Behold! The birth of Karolinska Institutet Health Informatics Alumni Network

“What is your plan after graduating?” might be one of the hardest questions to be answered for some of the student in the Joint Master’s Programme in Health Informatics. Some of the students might already have the answers, but every plan should be based on a sufficient prior analysis, right? At least that is what we were taught of. In order to achieve better preparation before planning for after-graduation, some of the students initiated the KI’s Health Informatics Alumni Network.

It all began around November 2018 from the discussions among several current first year students, named Olina Ou, Thanapop Na Nakhonphanom, and myself. Then, we were largely influenced by the overwhelming development of the health informatics field and felt that there should be a method of relating the knowledge and skill gathered from the academic activities with the post-academic reality. We would molded the idea of connecting the students and alumni of the program in order to address this concern and delivered it to the former and current program director. We received very positive responses that exceeded our expectations. They happily organized a Christmas event to introduce the new programme director as well as our initiatives. It went so much well that we immediately plan for the next event that is now specially organized within the alumni and networking atmosphere. That next event happened on February 19, 2019, not yet an official date that denote the birth of the alumni network but worth to be considered as the date of first event (out of many ahead) organized by the student initiatiors.

Under the guidance from KI Alumni Relations Office and Nadia Davoody, the current programme director, we managed to establish a small yet inspiring event, at least that is what we heard from most of the attendants.

Inspiration. A strong word, which have the same concept of the act of drawing breath (inspiration). From the many substances composing the air, one takes it in for one’s body to process it into allowing the valuable oxygen to bind with the haemoglobin and circulates to fulfil it functions throughout the body. The same principle applies when the attendants receive and respond to the speakers’ experience, process it according to own’s understanding and take it into account what considered to be most valuable.

We invited three guest speakers to share their experiences. We picked three speakers from different backgrounds in order to be able to cover different fields available in the society.

Sara Zaker
Sara Zaker, sharing her experience as a health informatician from the private industrial sector. Photo credit to: Thanaphop.
Bastiaan Franssen
Bastiaan Franssen, telling his stories of being a patient, a student, and a startup owner. Photo credit to: Thanaphop.
Daniel Chen Hsi Tsai
Daniel Chen Hsi Tsai, on how he ended up working at Karolinska Institutet after graduating. Photo credit to: Thanaphop.

 

We expect to be able to maintain the longevity as well as expanding the network. Several future events ahead have already been planned, so make sure you regularly look for information in the KI Alumni Relations Office webpage. And also, speaking of this newly born initiative, it does not have a name yet. So, if you have a brilliant idea of naming it, please share it with us in the comment section.

 

Speakers and Sponsors
The three speakers alongside with the sponsors. First from the left: Nadia Davoody, Programme Director. Second from the left: Megan Osler, KI Alumni Office. Photo credit to: Thanaphop.
Networking here, networking there.
Networking here, networking there. Photo credit to: Thanaphop.
Refreshment
Not-so-light refreshment provided by KI Alumni Relations Office. Photo credit to: Thanaphop.

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