Aline knew that she wanted to do her master's programme abroad, and since Sweden has always been a place of interest to her, that is where she started searching. During her master's studies she met som many people who were actively engaged with making a difference in one way or another in the field of gender and equality. That was very inspiring, now she has two jobs!

Where do you work?

I have two jobs. The first one is being a project leader with focus on external communications at FUB, The Swedish National Association for People with Intellectual Disability. We have a project about close relationships for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. I also have my own business, which is called ParsCapere were I hold workshops, courses & lectures about disabilities.Aline Groh, alumn from the master's programme in Gender Studies Photo credit Julia Veth

What do you do at your job?

At FUB, I do a lot of different things. I am a part of a team with other project leaders, and we share most of the administrative tasks between us. My job includes keeping track of the economy, writing reports, and setting up meetings. I am also responsible for our communications trough Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn where I try to reach and interact with people who might be interested in our projects. Another part of my job includes strategic work, for example designing and planning our work so that we can concretize and reach our project goals both internally and externally. We also have meetings and workshops with people who have intellectual disabilities or autism where I help with administrative work as well as mentoring my colleges who have own disabilities.

In my own business, ParsCapere, I do pretty much everything. I am a course leader and educator, but I also handle marketing, sales as well as producing educational material and writing texts!

What is the best part of your job?

The best thing about my job is to be able to make a difference for people, which feels very meaningful. I feel like I am a part of strengthening human rights of people with disabilities in several aspects of their life in quite practical and concrete terms, while also reaching a lot of people. I am always learning more, and I feel like I can really use the things I have learnt during my studies. It feels like a great match!

Tell us about your background. How and why did you choose to study in Sweden and specifically at Linköping University (LiU)?

I did my bachelor’s degree is in sociology and psychology and I took one course in intersectionality towards the end of my programme. Even though it was a new concept for me, I felt it made a lot of sense and that it seemed useful in many situations. I knew that I wanted to do my master’s programme abroad, and since Sweden has always been a place of interest for me, that is where I started searching. I found two programmes that I was interested in, and when I got accepted to LiU I decided to move to Linköping!

Tell us a bit about your programme. What did you enjoy about studying here?

I enjoyed the topics and even thought the theoretical parts could be challenging, I really loved it once I got into it! It was great discussing with classmates who had different backgrounds and entry points to the conversations, and we learnt a lot from each other. I met so many people who were actively engaged with making a difference in one way or another in the field of gender and equality, which was very inspiring. I feel that I have learnt a lot!

Do you have any particular memories that stand out?

I have a lot of amazing memories! One example is from the first campus-based week, when I for the first time realized that I was going to have truly inspiring classmates and very good teachers in the programme.

How have your studies at LiU helped you in your career? What has stood out as being the most helpful part?

I found it a bit challenging to find a job that I wanted to do after my studies and that is one of the reasons to why I chose to start my own business. For a while after finishing my studies, it was difficult to see what I had learnt throughout the programme, but this has changed in the last years and now, I feel like I have really learned a lot! The most valuable knowledge might come from the strong focus on intersectionality, which has helped me understand different issues deeper than before.

I also learnt a lot about feminist knowledge production. How to listen to people and how you can work to get different peoples voices heard. This has always been important to me, and my studies gave me tools to do it. One specific example is the exercise called “the theater of the oppressed”, which is a great method that we tried in the programme that I am still using it in my professional life.

Why do you think others should choose to study in Linköping? What do you think is unique about LiU that you can’t find anywhere else?

The TEMA Gender department at LiU is unique, and you can see that in the interdisciplinary research that is being done. I believe LiU is very good in this field and I appreciated being part of that setting.

What advice do you have for future international students at LiU and the Gender Studies Masters programme?

My advice is to take time to discuss and meet up with other people to exchange your ideas and viewpoints regarding the studies because it gives you energy when you are studying online. Another thing I would recommend is to try and get engaged with Swedish students and Swedish student life on campus, because I think that helps in multiple aspects of life. It makes you feel more like home and if you are thinking about staying in Sweden after your studies, having contact with Swedish people is great. My last advice would be to learn Swedish, especially if you want to work here in the future. I believe it is easy to get to know Swedish people but if you want deeper connections, knowing the language helps. It can also improve your chances of getting a job!

What, if any, tradition will you continue in your home country? Is there anything you would have loved to be able to take home with you?

I am still living in Sweden, and I have to say I really enjoy the “Fika culture”, that is something I have continued with! I also like the non-hieratical setting that allows good discussions at the university and later on in your professional life.

More about the programme