Anuja Dabholkar from India, and Pouya Louyeh, from Iran were recent participants in the Jobbsprånget program, the Swedish government program designed to assist academics, researchers and skilled workers from outside the EEA in securing jobs across Sweden.
We spoke to the pair to discuss their experiences, and reflect upon how the program helped them succeed.
‘A platform to showcase my skills’: Anuja’s story
Having arrived in Sweden with a postgraduate science degree in Analytical Techniques, Anuja was keen to find employment that both aligned with her qualifications, and also immersed her in Swedish life.
“After completing my Swedish language course at SFI (Swedish for Immigrants), I was looking for opportunities to get into the Swedish job market. That’s when I came across Jobbsprånget.
“Although it was an internship program I thought it would be a good platform for me to learn more about the Swedish job market. I applied through Jobbsprånget’s website and landed my first internship.”
Soon enough, she found herself in a role with one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. She continues: “I managed to get an internship at AstraZeneca as a Laboratory Engineer. I had a wonderful experience working there!”
“I learned how to work in a Swedish company, about further job opportunities there and I gained far more experience in the pharmaceutical industry.”
It wasn’t just workplace skills she gathered.
“I learned all about the Swedish working culture from my mentors. I came to understand the work-life balance that Swedish culture really values.
“I also improved my Swedish language skills and discovered how ‘fika’ – the traditional break for coffee and cake – is an important part of Swedish work culture!”
Following her experience, Anuja was offered a role at AstraZeneca as a consultant, and is enjoying the challenges that the job provides. Reflecting on her Jobbsprånget experience, she is emphatically positive.
“The program really helped provide a platform to showcase my skills in the pharmaceutical and laboratory fields. I also gained valuable insights into my company’s vision and values.
“Just as important, my experience with the Jobbsprånget program helped me hone my Swedish language skills and build my social network.”
Anuja now works at AstraZeneca thanks to her participation in the Jobbsprånget program. Photo: Supplied
‘It all happened very fast!’: Pouya’s experience
Pouya, an aerospace engineer, told us that he turned to the Jobbsprånget program after his wife obtained a position at a Stockholm university.
“I was accepted to the program at the end of January, and my internship started at the beginning of March. I completed my internship at Volvo in Gothenburg. It all happened very fast!”
Pouya is enthusiastic about the flexibility and freedom his internship afforded him.
“I began talking to my manager about future opportunities. I was able to say to my manager, ‘I like this job, but I also need experience in other areas’.
“I didn’t have automotive industry experience, so there was a lot for me to learn. Once I was at Volvo, I started talking to different people in different roles to find out what they were doing, and to discover the best position for me.
“I was working as a design engineer, so I asked my manager to give me the chance to join other teams as well. He was very supportive and immediately talked to another manager in the Computer Aided Engineering team, and I was able to gain valuable experience there.”
Pouya was also able to learn about Swedish workplace culture, and help his co-workers understand more of his.
“I spent a lot of time learning about Swedish culture – particularly over ‘fika’. During these breaks I was able to communicate with everybody on my teams and talk about culture, language and what’s going on in society. I was able to learn about my co-workers, and I could share a bit of myself, too.”
Currently working on one of Volvo’s design teams, Pouya also has overwhelmingly positive reflections on his Jobbsprånget experience.
“I had a great experience with Jobbsprånget. In some cases, you might not have experience of a particular industry, and this program is ideal in providing that. It helped me immensely and gave me the opportunity to network and make real connections.”
Pouya gained valuable automotive industry experience during his Jobbsprånget internship. Photo: Supplied
The fast track to a Swedish career
From workplace skills and understanding of new technologies, to the invaluable insights regarding Swedish culture you can only get during a ‘fika’ break, the Jobbsprånget program is an ideal tool for academics, researchers and other skilled workers arriving in Sweden from outside the EU/EEA.
Jobbsprånget’s fixed-term, state-supported internships give those who may otherwise have trouble accessing the Swedish job market the kind of valuable experience and insight that makes them an attractive proposition to local employers. In fact, 70% of Jobbsprånget participants receive a job upon conclusion of their internship.
If you come from outside the EU/EEA, have a college degree in engineering, IT, architecture, business, communication, HR or science, as well as hold a valid Swedish work permit, you could be eligible for the program.
Currently, there is an additional program focused at Ukrainian refugees, that can be applied for separately.
Following completion of an online application, an interview will begin your path to an exciting opportunity in a Swedish workplace if an employer is interested in your profile. Many applicants find a position with an employer shortly afterwards, and some are working within two months.
With the next application period commencing July 16, now is the ideal time to consider Jobbsprånget as your springboard to a career in Sweden.