It was another venture as we chose to take our networking programme to another angle. This time I and a few colleagues decided to add to our list one of the largest and oldest organisation in the world. Our destination this time was to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Our journey started on Monday March 23rd, 2015 with a bus trip to Copenhagen followed by a two-hour flight to Switzerland. We were sixteen in number blended with students from other parts of Sweden. We had to rest on the arrival day Monday. Tuesday, our first meeting kicked off with the Senior Legal Adviser, and United Nation Representative of the International Commission of Jurists.The discussions and questions featured United Nations programme on economic, social, cultural, and business rights. Our discussion also highlighted human rights issues in parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia. In the afternoon, we join the human rights session at Palais Wilson where we attended the 113th session of human rights council. The session was on Human right in Monaco. At 17:00 we decided to embark on the pre-planned networking events with law students from the Geneva Academy.
The next day, Wednesday morning we proceeded with a meeting at the UN offices with the President of Geneva for Human Rights Adrien-Claude Zoller, who is also in charge of Global Training. The meeting started at 9:00 -12:00 focusing on global politics and human rights. We then progressed in the afternoon to the Human Rights House Foundation where we discussed current global security, human rights, and the current political situation in Europe. It was a unique day as we tested our brains on global politics, world leadership, and current affairs.
On Thursday, we decided to have a general tour at United Nations offices. The tour started at 10:00am and lasted for one hour. Later we went to the association for the prevention of torture who were waiting for us. Our discussion with them featured torture prevention in society and various mitigation strategies.One discussant was a Swedish who was excited to see students from her country.
Friday morning was our returned date and by 9:00 we were already at Geneva airport ready for our flight back to Sweden via Copenhagen. It was an interesting experience blending human rights, global politics, law, engineering and above all creating a global network.
More photos from the trip
The prospect of starting to work after graduation can both be stressful and exciting. The last few weeks have been such a mixture of contrasting emotions because it was during this time that I got my first job interview in Sweden, as a ”projektingenjör” in Trafikverket. Not only was this my first interview in Sweden, it was the first ever in Swedish language.
It was a worthwhile and memorable experience. I read and asked around a bit of how interviews work in Sweden and got considerable input from friends and acquaintances. I prepared some questions that are generally expected in such situations, for example, analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. The challenge was not so much as to what I should speak about, it was to express my ideas in a clear manner in Swedish. I browsed through all the notes I had made over the last year or so in my Swedish classes, and tried to cram in in as much vocabulary as possible in to my head. Lastly, I did a few practice drills in front of the washroom mirror and was all set to face the music.
The interview afternoon kicked off with a presentation about the company which also focused on the future prospects for new employees and what they expect to get from a newly graduated student.The interview it self had all that I had expected. Pleasant and friendly personnel, with questions related to my personality and aims in life. It was comforting to see how every single person at Trafikverket was appreciative of what ever Swedish I could speak and gave me time and space to think before I could formulate a reply.
There was also a simple logic test which every candidate should do. Out of 180 candidates who appeared that day, 45 were to go through to the next stage.
Luckily, I made the cut and have been called to the final set of interviews in Stockholm. Every candidate would have to do a small presentation about himself/herself, do an interview and write another logic test. I can already feel butterflies in my stomach. All the hard work and energy put into learning the language can possibly pay off now. It is an uphill task but nonetheless exciting. Will come back in my next blog with my story from Stockholm!
Chalmers Sport & Teknologi – ingenjörer tar sig an idrottens utmaningar
Teknologiska framsteg och nya material förbättrar idrottares förutsättningar och prestationer, samtidigt som skaderisker minskar. Samtidigt fungerar idrotten som en effektiv testarena för den tekniska utvecklingen, innan den får tillämpning inom andra områden.
Plats: Palmstedtsalen, Chalmers Kårhus, Campus Johanneberg
Masugnen är en svensk innovation – det avslöjas i den nysläppta boken ”Järnet och Sveriges medeltida modernisering”, som baseras på resultat från ett tioårigt forskningsprojekt lett av chalmersprofessorn Bengt Berglund.
Ett team på tolv personer bestående av arkeologer, ekonomer, historiker, metallurger och vegetationshistoriker har med samlad kraft lyckats konstatera att masugnar fanns i Sverige redan på 1100-talet, och mycket tyder på att de till och med uppfanns tidigare än så. Förut har man utgått ifrån att masugnen var en tysk innovation som uppfanns på 1300-talet, till stor del baserat på gamla skriftliga källor.
– Vi har bland annat sammanställt en databas där vi, utifrån mätningar av slagg i marken på platser där det funnits verksamhet av järnhantering med masugn, lyckats se hur mycket järn som framställts genom årens lopp. Den här typen av mätningar har gjorts på många platser i Europa men det är bara i Sverige vi kan se att järn hanterades i masugnar så här tidigt, berättar Bengt Berglund som är professor i teknik- och vetenskapshistoria vid Chalmers.
Orterna växte med masugnarna
Forskningen vittnar om hur järntillverkningen spelade en stor roll för Sveriges modernisering – hur landskapen vid det tidiga tillfället öppnades upp, hur nya träd och sädesslag infördes och hur masugnsorterna växte och fick fast befolkning.
– Sverige var tidiga med att ge sig in på en internationell marknad då vi producerade ett överskott av järn redan på vikingatiden. Med masugnstekniken kunde vi snabbt svara på efterfrågan från andra länder, som bland annat behövde järn för att producera vapen, och än idag exporteras två tredjedelar av allt järn som framställs i Sverige, förklarar Bengt.
Stort genomslag i media
Boken är ett av Jernkontorets, den svenska stålindustrins branschorganisation, största projekt någonsin. Den gavs ut den 18 februari och har redan sålt i hundratals exemplar. Forskningen har fått stort genomslag i media och bland andra SVT har intervjuat Bengt.
– Boken vänder sig både till nördar inom branschen och till en stor allmänhet som antingen arbetar med järn och masugnar eller kanske ägnar sig åt det på fritiden, menar Bengt.
Bok på gång om AB Volvo
De senaste fyra åren har en stor del av Bengts tid spenderats med att göra en företagsekonomisk analys av de trettio första åren av AB Volvos historia, alltså år 1926-56. Forskningen har utmynnat i ett bokmanuskript som han hoppas kunna ge ut senare under året.
– Det finns mycket att lära genom att studera teknikhistoria. Till stor del gjorde man på samma sätt som man gör idag när man bildade bolag och många av faktorerna för att lyckas med att starta företag ser likadana ut, även om det idag finns andra förutsättningar, säger Bengt.
Bengt Berglund är professor i teknik- och vetenskapshistoria vid institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation på Chalmers.
It’s close to two years since she made her journey from India to Sweden for her studies at Chalmers University of Technology. Poornima Joshi is now in her final semester pursuing a Master’s Programme in Software Engineering. She is always actively involved in a number of events besides her busy class schedules at the University. This week I had an opportunity for a one-on-one interview with her to find out more about her reflections at Chalmers and her next plans. This is what she told me.
Introduce yourself and what are you studying at Chalmers?
My name is Poornima Joshi. I come from Bangalore, an IT city in India, and I am studying Software Engineering Master’s Programme.
Why did you choose to come for studies in Sweden and Chalmers, in particular?
Typically, an IT student’s dream is to go to Silicon Valley, California. But I chose to come to Chalmers when I met an interesting Swedish lady, a representative of Chalmers in Bangalore. She told me that in Sweden people always follow their heart and give themselves chances. And Chalmers University of Technology was the chance given to me. I followed my passion to study exactly what I was looking for in the Software Engineering Master’s Programme. And of course Volvo, a Swedish company having a strong base in India was a big part of it too.
You have three months to complete your Master’s studies, what are your next plans after Chalmers?
I plan to look for a challenging job that suits my profile and passion. I believe it will open me to the beautiful world of flat structures and its brilliant contributions to science and technology.
Could you please tell us a few of your memorable experiences at Chalmers?
The student union and course structure is the most influential part of my studies. The course is designed in a shockingly surprising structure where the class projects and assignments including open exams and presentations ensure that every student in the class becomes a master of the subject. And the student union just complements the course work bringing out the best in every student.
Any experience from student events?
I had been the Vice President for Public Relations on the Board of European Students of Technology at Chalmers. It is an association that exists under the student union to collaborate and learn to work in an international environment. Well, the most interesting thing I had to deal with; in my mandate was to build a strategy for sustainability keeping in mind the future of the association on a long term basis. At my age and experience, it seemed like a herculean task. However, it was a great learning experience. I also learned to deal with fluctuations of peoples’ motivations and commitments as I fought with them myself. It was a truly multicultural international environment with more than ten nationalities. We had to bridge a gap between them all to achieve a common goal.
What advice would you give to candidates who are considering coming to study at Chalmers?
A typical thing that every student would do before coming to any university is to check ranking. But trust me – once you’re at Chalmers it doesn’t matter. What if there exist high ranks universities? You would already be in a top class education. Chalmers does not just give you a degree – it gives you an education! A lifetime experience!
Winter sports are a spectacle to behold. Hailing from the tropical zone, it was quite an experience to witness my first winter, or should I call it semi-winter sporting experience. Semi-winter because the snow is all actually gone, and the venue where we were spectators to world snow boarding competition in fact had old, or artificial snow. The event was AleInvite, just outside Gothenburg.
Irrespective of the quality of snow, the thrills of snow-boarders performing mid-air acrobatics, after being thrust mid air by the momentum of sliding off the slope was scintillating. The stunts were reminiscent of the wake-boarding competition I had written about few months ago. But, in this event the terrain was more realistic, and gravity was unpardoning on the ones who mis-landed. The participants were from different northern hemispheric countries, and many have been champions at some or the other international stints.
Witnessing these sports does enthuse me to want to try out some milder form of winter sports. This venue, 25 km outside Gothenburg, in fact offers basic terrain for rookies like myself to practice skiing, and full experience under controlled environment for the next level skiers. In case I last another winter here in Sweden, I shall certainly try that! Until I post my own feats on snow, relish these clips and pictures from the event.
This week, I would like to get the attention of my readers to an extravaganza that Göteborg hosts every year. It is the world’s largest half-marathon and is called GöteborgsVarvet. In comparison to the city I come from, Göteborg is very small but the fact that this city hosts something as big and as celebrated as this marathon speaks volumes about the active and spirited live style here.
As one can judge from the name of the event, the race is a standard 21 km long. There are around 64,000 participants and over 200,000 spectators each year. It will be held on the on 23rd May this year; this itself is a huge catch of the event, summers in Sweden are in full flow around that time which makes outdoor activities twice as fun. Huge crowds and bands are seen by the sidelines trying to cheer and buck up the budding participants. I myself was standing by the side lines last year, cheering up a friend who participated. This year I decided to step up my game, and participate myself. If you feel like part of being this memorable event, then sign up and join in on the fun!
Each participant is handed out a medal as a souvenir at the end of the run. The most inspiring aspect, by some stretch is that people of all age groups are a part of this marathon. I felt very spirited when I saw people thrice my age crossing the finishing line last year! Commendable indeed! So if you think you can not do it then think again!