Receiving Global Swede Award: what does it mean for me

It is amazing what surprises life can give us sometimes! But can we learn from that?

Surprise of the year happened to me recently – I was invited to attend a ceremony “Global Swede 2014”, which took place at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 12th of May.  It was absolutely unexpected award and event that not only made me feel very happy and honored, but also induced me to look back and reflect on my way to this day, to understand what brings us to where we are and what we should continue doing/not doing.

First, a look some years back. I did my best in secondary, high school and university. But if during studies at my previous university back in Russia someone told me that I would receive another master degree in Sweden, in one of the best medical universities in the world – I would smile. I considered this as “pie-in-the-sky” dream and simply continued doing my best at my studies without knowing what service my grades would do to me in the future. Thinking about it now I can say that I simply was not open for this opportunity back then and not that there was no opportunity.

I continued in a very traditional for many students in my country way: graduated from the University, found a job and started working.  After some years of intensive work I realized that I was not learning anything new anymore and starting loosing motivation. Opportunity for a change came unexpectedly with a fresh idea given to me – “But what if you study again?” Sounded interesting… Some time later when I came across a description of Bioentrepreneurship program on Karolinska website, I liked it immediately as if a program description was tailored for me. As I often tell to myself “It is better to regret about things you have done, than about things you haven’t” I decided to be open for this opportunity and applied.  I prepared applications both for university and for getting a scholarship with due diligence but thought of the process as a lottery with minimal chances to win. And still here I am – finishing my studies at Bioentrepreneurship master program at Karolinska, while being a scholarship holder from Swedish Institute. I think I got the best lottery ticket after all! Or may be just looked around properly?

Time for a great change came. In august 2012 I arrived to Sweden and opened up a completely new world for myself. First adaptation period was quite challenging, but exciting. Structure of society and methods of education, attitude to environment and city planning, international environment and new culture – everything was new and interesting for me. I wanted to meet new people, learn and use all possible opportunities around.

With time going, I started to feel more comfortable with my studies at Karolinska and Swedish language classes, became digital ambassador for Bioentrepreneurship program, realized in which professional area I would like to see myself in the future and became involved in some other activities outside of the classroom. And time for the next “lottery win” came. Four weeks ago Unit of Bioentrepreneurship nominated me to represent Karolinska Institute at the diploma ceremony “Global Swede” held every year by Minister of Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Global Swede” is an award established to encourage students from outside EU with achievements in the area of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to be ambassadors for Sweden in their future professional life, thus enhancing relationships between countries. This way Sweden shows its intention towards creating a world where existence of geographical boundaries won’t prevent countries from collaborating.

A Diploma from Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
A Diploma from Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Global Swedes 2014 and Minister for Trade Ewa Björling
Global Swedes 2014 and Minister for Trade Ewa Björling

I feel honored and happy and grateful for such recognition of the work I have done since I came to Sweden. It means a lot and gives a lot. It gives inspiration to continue doing what I am doing. It gives a confirmation that if you are doing something wholeheartedly and are open to everything new, you will be definitely rewarded one day. As the saying goes: “Luck favors a prepared mind”.

Another surprise of the day - A present from Karolinska :) Least as Important for me as award itself.
Another surprise of the day – A present from Karolinska 🙂 Important at least as award itself.

Thank you KI and UBE for giving me this moment!

One thought on “Receiving Global Swede Award: what does it mean for me

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