[Course Reflection Series 9] – Business Development (BD)

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Having heard about the workload of this course from senior students, I am not that surprised when I received the syllabus from the lecturer, Pauline Mattson. This course consists of lecture, seminar, case study and guest lecture. The assessment are made up of three parts: group project working with real-life company, individual assignment interviewing real-life BD managers and written exam. All of these three assessments are due on Oct 6, which is yesterday. When the clock tick at 0:00 midnight, I am relived.

It is not just projects, time is also limited. Courses go on everyday and only one day in a week is for group work. Most of classmates are looking for internship and thesis at the same time as well. To summarise, this is a busy course and the busiest September for me.

However, learning is massive as well. We have been exposed to business language such as portfolio management, due diligence, deals and strategic alliances. We also reviewed some knowledge from Industrial Management course to conduct valuation. These were heavy business terms we need to master. Just as one graduate commented, only when you graduated from MBE you would realise how useful it was. Therefore, even though we’ve learned quite a few theories and terms in papers, we will realise the implication when we apply them in the future.

Now I start a new course on ’Scientific Method’ and prepare for writing the master thesis. Time flies and I am only 8 months away from being a MBE graduate!

Wish my dear audience a happy October and enjoy the marvellous Fall.


Infection and Immunity

Hey Everyone!
Friday was our mid-term exam in our current course Infection and Immunity. I felt like this “half” time was a great point to talk about how the course is going. This is the first course of the second year Biomedicine Bachelor’s program. It covers the immune system, as well as Virology, Bacteriology, and Parasitology. For me, this is the course I was most excited to take in the entire program. I got interested in the field of Biomedicine and Medical Research with the SARS outbreak of 2001. I really get excited about infectious diseases, particularly respiratory illness (everyone has their quirks).

Lab Results

The class itself has been really informative. The teaching staff has some great personalities, which has made many of our lectures really engaging. There are a LOT of details to learn, and one thing I have learned is that the American Federal Government got the inspiration of alphabet soup from Immunology. Because NSA, CIA, and FBI, doesn’t even begin to cover all the jumbled letters you have to learn in this course (C3a, C4a, C5a, C5b, C9, and that is all just within the complement pathway). For me, that is really hard, because while I am pretty good with concepts, and keeping ideas together, acronyms are an absolute mess for me. However, if you can keep all the letter’s straight I think that this is a course to really get your toes wet with. It’s a great starter course for those of us who get excited about Infectious diseases. We are mid-way through Bacteriology and have yet to start Parasitology, so we will see what the second half of the course holds. Right now, a lot of our energy is focused on lab work and our final project.

I was lucky enough to snag Influenza A! I would say it is a dream come true, but I got to pick topics and obviously I chose my favorite. Let’s just hope my favorite subject doesn’t raise it’s genetically segmented head and get everyone sick! Don’t forget to get your flu shot.

I could not post on today of all holy days and not mention the Nobel Prize, which this year is going towards the treatment of Infectious diseases, showing how exciting this course really can be. Congratulations to William C. Campbell, Satoshi Ōmura and Youyou Tu for all of their contributions to the field.

Dance like nobody’s watching*: my first (traditional) dance performance in Stockholm

Art has been a part of my life since I was little. Out of curiosity, when I was in elementary school I told my mom that I would like to learn ballet. She, instead, enrolled me to a traditional dance class XD She said it would be much more useful in the future, that I could go abroad and introduce our cultural heritage by performing traditional art. I, tempted by the prospects of going abroad, started my first dancing lessons at age 7. It continued until sometime, but then I found another interest in music, and completely stopped dancing when I started junior high school. It was not until when I came to Sweden that I started dancing again.

It was all started when one of my Indonesian friends, Winda**, who studied Bioentrepreneurship master program at KI, asked me if I would like to participate in the next Indonesian Market event arranged by the Swedish-Indonesian Society. I was hesitant at first. It has been so long since I last danced (apart from making abstract movement when I listened to a good music :P ). But thinking that it might be fun, I finally agreed.

There were 13 Indonesian students (and alumni) studying at KI, KTH, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University who were going to dance for the event (including a singer). We were planning to perform Saman Dance, a traditional dance from Aceh, the westernmost province of Indonesia. This dance is listed as one of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO and was previously performed only by males (although it is commonly performed by both genders nowadays). This dance is also quite popular within the society, not only in its province of origin but also in other regions.

In general, the movement of the dance itself was not very difficult. What made it more challenging was the synchronization of movements among the dancers, the speed, and the fact that we had to sing between those all XD Moreover, we only had approximately 3 weeks to prepare everything, and most of us had never danced this kind of dance before XD

However, it was really fun, both the process and the performance :) I was so happy that some of our friends could come and watch our performance (thanks for coming! <3 ). And I also am happy that, somehow, my mother’s words do really come true :)

What about you? Have you ever learned your traditional arts? Please share your stories below! :)





*Inspired by William W. Purkey’s quotes:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

**Special thanks to our extra-patient dance instructors, Winda (KI) and Alvi (KTH-alumni) for teaching us :D

Mushroom hunting

Autumn semester has been begun since approximately 4 weeks ago. But what are other things that come to your mind when you hear the word ‘autumn’? For me it’s red and golden leaves and… mushroom!

I like (to eat) mushroom. However, back home, I only ate them occasionally. It was not the main ingredients we regularly served. That’s why I was so happy when I first came to the supermarket here and found a range of different mushrooms, waiting to be bought, on the shelf. :) :) :)

I know mushroom is not a difficult ingredient to be bought here, yet living in Sweden (and probably in other four-season countries), has offered me another level of happiness regarding my ‘relationship’ with mushroom: the possibility to pick it on your own! :D

Now, I am not an expert in mushroom. Expert in eating, probably, yes, but not in picking it from the wild nature. :P I know some people are trained to do that, or at least have some experience in that, but that people is not me. XD Fortunately, the chance (to try to pick the mushroom on my own) came last Saturday, when one of our classmates, Åsa, invited us to join her for an excursion in Nackareservatet, one of the nature reserves in Stockholm.

We started out at 10.30 from outside Björkhagen station (T-bana green line) and we were planning to reach Hellasgården later in the afternoon. During the excursion, honestly, I had completely forgotten about the mushroom, because the surrounding was beautiful! (Not to mention the good weather in our favor as well). It was not until my friend suddenly stopped among the moss and trees and cheered that I realized that we have found the mushrooms! XD

The first one we found was trattkantarell. We were lucky to find quite a lot of them there. By a lot, I mean, enough for one time dish (instructions to cook below) XD We also found other types of mushroom, including björksopp (if I’m not mistaken) and blomkålssvamp. My friend said that we might be able to find more in the upcoming weeks, when the weather would be more in favor for the mushroom to grow.

So… that’s a bit of my recent adventure in Stockholm’s nature. What about you? Do you like mushrooms as well? If so, which one? Please share in the comments below! :)





P.S. Never try to look for the mushrooms in the forest on your own, especially when you have no experience before. Some of them might be poisonous and have the similar appearance to the edible ones.

P.P.S. Instructions on cooking trattkantarell (this is just an example and the simplest way to do it as far as I know)

  1. Clean the mushrooms.
  2. Fry the mushrooms without oil (I don’t know the word for this in English, dry-frying?) in the high temperature. The mushrooms will release their own liquid. Keep frying until all the liquid is gone.
  3. Lower the temperature to medium-heat, put a bit butter, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Done! :)

Happy cooking!

Busy September Recap

The past month seems to be the busiest month I ever had in Sweden. I have been traveling with friends in early August, picking up new students, volunteering at airport orientation and a couple of other volunteering actives. The course schedule for business development is also extremely intensive. Whenever I have some free time, I want to sit down and write a blog about each activity but it ends up nothing! And I have not written a blog in September!

Now I suddenly realize if you are very busy everyday, you might not realize why you are so busy. I am preparing for the exam of Business development and individual assignment. I wish I could write a blog about this ‘exciting’ course after I accomplish it.

Just a brief recap of what volunteer jobs I have done
STaF Orientation at Arlanda Airport
Mayo Clinic & Ki conference
Digital Health Days

Most of them last 2-3 days and they are great experience. I will write each job in more detail in the next few blogs.

Wish you best luck for October!

Important Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Hello every one,

As usual, LinkedIn training was organized by KI career service office recently. This is a summary of the points discussed in the training for those who were not able to attend it. I believe prospective students might also benefit a lot if they get a way to follow such campus events.

Barry O’Brien (our trainer from PhD Career Link) started the training by mentioning that best LinkedIn profiles are honest, focused on what makes you unique and what you can offer for your employer. It is important to answer the question ‘what problem can you solve?’.

According to Barry, most users of LinkedIn do not have optimized headline although this is the part, which is viewed by most of profile visitors. It is very important to have a strong professional headline and one should not forget that it is possible to write up to120 characters in this space. It is of highest importance to find unique ways of describing your skills avoiding commonly used phrases such as ‘team player’, ‘ambitious’, etc.

Another important part of your LinkedIn profile is the summary. Barry’s suggestion is to write about 300 characters answering the following questions: 1) who are you? 2) what have you done so far? and 3) what do you want to accomplish next?

In the experience section, it is good if you mention the challenges you faced so far, the actions you have taken and the consequent results. It is also advisable to have recommendations for the experiences you had. One tip here is that if the person you would like to ask recommendation is not on LinkedIn, it is possible to get a paper recommendation and attach a scanned copy.

LinkedIn is different from other social media networks in its professional nature. Therefore, we should always pay attention to this fact in our interaction with others on LinkedIn. It is always better to start connections only with people we know. If we have a special interest/reason to connect with people whom we do not know before, it is important to send them a customized request mentioning our interest for connection or similar.

A final advice was about the importance of joining groups that we are interested in and participate in discussions. It is quite good to stay active in sharing job vacancies, provide endorsements and congratulate people on their success.

Finally, I would like to say that all the contents of this blog were taken from the training although the way it is written is a kind of mixed up😀

N.B: Please do not forget to check for other similar trainings of the career service office; for instance I heard there will be one on CV writing in the near future😀

See you next time!


Summer school in Finland

Last August I was lucky enough to spend a week in Seili, an island off the south-west coast of Finland, close to the main island of Nauvo (Nagu). It provided a picturesque setting for NordBioMedNet’s second summer school on omics and drug development. NordbiomedNet is a collaborative network within the field of biomedicine connecting the universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Eastern Finland, Turku and our very own Karolinska Institute. Here are just a few highlights from this incredible experience.

Blinded by the strong Finnish sun

The teachers, tutors and students of this year’s summer school – all blinded by the strong Finnish sun

The setting: Seili (Själo in Swedish) island

Once a place of no return for lepers and mental patients, the island has now evolved into a haven for researchers and cows alike. It offers unobstructed skies for star-gazers, hidden cliffs with vistas for sunset-admirers and century old churches (complete with sordid pasts) for local history buffs. And a sauna of course! It is also the location of the Archipelago Research Institute which participates in multidisciplinary research of the Baltic Sea.

Peaceful lovely Seili

Peaceful lovely Seili

The old Seili church built in 1733

The old Seili church built in 1733

The program itself: Omics and ethics and business! Oh my!

The summer school program balanced together such topics as omics, bioinformatics, ethics and business. Experts from the different universities were invited along to give us lectures, challenge us with discussions and exercises, and, ultimately, provide us with the material for our main group project: coming up with a theoretical plan for the discovery and preclinical development of a drug.

This all took place within five intensely-active 8am to 8pm days. And I mean intense in the best way possible. I loved every single second of it. One example is an exercise which was scheduled at 17.30 one day, with no end time. We immediately started joking about it lasting all night. As it happened…the joke was on us – we finished at 21.30. Yet, looking back, it also turned out to be one of the best exercises of the week. We were obliged to make quick, informed choices vis a vis omics and bioinformatics tools in order to solve a simulated scientific problem. It was exhausting, it was interactive and it was formative. After this seminar I find myself wondering why most of our education still consists in passively listening to lectures.

Our lovely tutors who helped us with

Our lovely tutors who helped us with our group project. Photo cred: Shahin Sarowar

Enjoying a game of mölkky between classes

Enjoying a game of Mölkky between classes

 Highlight of the highlights: The students

What this week has given me, above all, is the opportunity to meet and forge friendships with like-minded science students from all over Scandinavia. These inspiringly intelligent, decidedly fun-loving and refreshingly open people were the best part of everyday spent on the island. I presented a drug development plan with some and sang to The Spice Girls with others. I debated the ethics of sequencing with all and competed in Mölkky (similar to Swedish kubbe) with most. It was enlightening to share details about our different program experiences, describe our plans (or lack thereof) for the future and laugh at differences in our language and cultures – may it be over korvapuusti (cinnamon buns) or during a hardcore (for a non-scandinavian like me at least) sauna session.

So thank you to all the organisers, teachers, tutors and students for making this incredible week possible. And last but not least, I would like to thank the Finnish sun for shining so brightly every day…and giving me my worst sunburn of the summer :p

End of week dinner with a lovely buffet, cake and a live classical music performance

End of week dinner with a lovely buffet, delicious cake and a live classical music performance – Photo cred: Shahin Sarowar

KI representing

KI representing

Data Mining and an Empty Heart Problem

It has been almost two weeks since school started again at KI. A warm welcome to the new students especially to the new Health Informatics students!

After a refreshing summer break in the rainy tropics I was eager to start the term. Having chosen data mining at the Department of Computer Science at Stockholm University despite the warnings that it was going to be a difficult course – especially if one doesn’t have a technical or computer science background like me – and maybe because of these warnings that I have decided early on to really apply myself and attend all the lectures whenever they don’t conflict with my schedule at KI.

Data mining – ah, I’ve heard a lot about this field and I thought that it is becoming more relevant now with the exponential growth in data and the Internet. According to a Cisco forecast: “Annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte (1000 exabytes) threshold by the end of 2016, and will reach 2 zettabytes per year by 2019 [1].” I can’t even imagine how many zeros this figure has. A data scientist is needed to make sense and find patterns with the aid of computers of course and nifty algorithms.

And so the course started. The first lecture was about the need for and usefulness of data mining. Then off we went down the rabbit hole called set theory, probability, a priori principle, and mathematical whatnots. I was holding my breath – thinking to myself that it was at least a decade ago since I last attended a lecture on Venn diagrams and now this, I must breathe slowly. Trying as it might have been but it did not deter me.

Then the second lecture came. It was about association rules – no, not the one that you get invited to and pay an annual membership to know but the implicit patterns that connects one thing to another. Whilst struggling to keep up with the lecture and writing notes on what I have to look up (a list that could rival the growth rate of the Internet traffic) I heard this:

An empty heart problem is a difficult problem…

Say what? An empty heart? How tragic, I thought. But wait, an empty heart? Maths is brutally unromantic, tragic maybe but then…? So, I asked Google and the top three hits out of the 6,300,000 results in 0.30 seconds were:

  1. The Half-Empty Heart – Amazon.com

  2. Shocking Heart Deaths: What is Sudden Cardiac Arres

  3. empty heart syndrome?? – Interventional Cardiology …

I was perplexed! It couldn’t be, I must have misheard. So, I asked my classmate, Michael, who is a sly genius and with a sigh (probably of exasperation) wrote the following:


Oh, NP-hard.

I felt my heart sink for a bit.

I wanted the earth to swallow me then.

So, welcome back to school!


WolframMathworld says that  “A problem is NP-hard if an algorithm for solving it can be translated into one for solving any NP-problem (nondeterministic polynomial time) problem. NP-hard therefore means “at least as hard as any NP-problem,” although it might, in fact, be harder [2].”

It is in fact harder.


  1. http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html
  2. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/NP-HardProblem.html

Fish Pedicure in the city

Half the fun of moving across the world is all the new experiences. And while fish pedicures are available back home I never tried one until a few days ago. The idea behind a fish pedicure is that you stick your clean bare feet in a tank with toothless doctor fish, and they eat the dead skin, leaving you with beautiful feet without irritating your skin.

It was certainly a new and exciting experience to try it.

The fish are very cute, and I felt pretty guilty sticking my feet in their glass home. Then when they started nibbling on me, it was enough to make me squirm. I am not in the least sensitive, but even I wanted to giggle at how unusual it felt. The smaller fish felt a bit like bubbles, and the larger fish felt more like sucking.


Overall, it was a relaxing experience that I am really glad I tried. Sometimes you just need to breakout of the everyday and try something new, and why not feel pretty while doing it? Hopefully I can find time to have more mini-adventures here in Stockholm and recommendations are always welcome (as are partners in crime!).

Until next time!

Some Useful Swedish Words/phrases for New Comers to Sweden

Hej allihopa (Hi everyone)!

This blog was planned to be posted before few weeks mainly to serve as a Swedish mini-dictionary for our first year students up on their arrival. However due to technical problems☺️ it is delayed by weeks. May be some of you have already mastered those words and phrases and went a bit far in your language learning. Grattis (=congratulations☺️) but there will be someone always näive but interested to know a little Swedish. So, I am going to continue writing…☺️

N.B: It is quite important that you try to check and learn the pronunciation of these words and phrases. You may just guess how to say them based on your English knowledge but probability of pronouncing them is very high.

  1. Greeting words

Hej = Hi…A very important word that you can use in every situation with everyone you meet.

Tack (så mycket) = thank you (very muck)…This is the other most useful and generously used term in Sweden.

Varsågod = This is another important and multi-purpose Swedish word. I am not sure if I know all its meanings but I can try some. It is frequently used to say ‘you are welcome’ as a response for ‘thank you’. It is also the term you can use when you invite someone for an offer (for instance your food) or when you give priority for others (in a service or may be in a narrow entrance to a hall).

Ursäkta = excuse me…This is the most appropriate word to use when you need someone’s attention for asking a question or favor.

Förlät = pardon…This word is important to say sorry if you make something wrong to someone (For instance, if you pump into someone while you travel around T-centralen)

Hej då = good bye

Vi ses! = see you!

  1. Expressions for talking with someone you met for the first time

Vad heter du? = What is your name?;

Jag heter… = my name is…

Varifrån kommer du? = where do you come from?

Jag kommer från… = I come from….

Vad studerar du? = what do you study (are you studying)

Jag studerar… = I study (am studying)

Var bor du? = Where do you live?

Jag bor i Stockholm. I live in Stockholm

  1. Transportation words

Buss = bus

Tåg (korttåg) = train (short train)

Nästa = next

Mot = towards

Trappa = stairs

Utgång = exit

Ej upp = not up

Hiss = lift

Taxi = taxi

Bil = car

  1. Direction words

Gå rakt fram = Walk straight ahead

Sväng till vänster = Turn left

Sväng till höger = Turn right

Sväng vid = Turn at

  1. Shopping words

Hur mycket kostar det? = how much does it cost?

Det kostar två hundra krona, tack = It costs two hundred crown, thanks

Vill du ha kvitto? = Do you want to have a receipt?

Ja/Nej (tack) = Yes/No (thanks)

Vill do ha påse? = Do you want to have bag/ plastic bag?

Lycka till i dina studier (=good luck in your studies)☺️!