Interest, knowledge and commitment have taken her from volunteering in the Erasmus Student Network, to become the organization's president at an international level. Today she lives in Brussels and work with change management for international students..
Name: Safi Sabuni
Current location: Brussels, Belgium
What did you study at Linnaeus University and when did you graduate?
I have studied Media and Communication Science focusing on Peace and Development Studies, and I have graduated in 2013.
What do you work with now?
I am the President of the Erasmus Student Network. My main focus at the organization is related to research on international higher education, the policy and advocacy work, and also the external representation of ESN.
What is most fun part of your job and what is the most challenging?
The most fun part of my job is representing ESN towards externals, to share the amazing things that are accomplished on the local, national and international level and see how much we contribute to change, how powerful we are in supporting the students, and so on. I am required to have an overview of so many different things so I would say the most difficult part is to coordinate all the different responsibilities, and not spend too much time focusing in one single area. We want to be everywhere but we really have to prioritize, that is also a challenging aspect.
How did you establish your career after your studies at Linnaeus University?
I was always active in VIS (ESN Vaxjo) and while studying at Linnaeus University I was also the President of ESN Sweden, so my career grew at the same time that I was a student. And eventually I became President of the organization on the international level. However, in the mean time I also did an internship at Plan International Sweden, an Aid organization focused on children's rights in third world countries, which was more related to my academic background and where I was employed later as their Youth Engagement Officer and Web Editor.
How was your student life at Linnaeus University?
My student life was super busy, besides being a volunteer of ESN I was also employed by Stallarna. One or two times a week I would be working at Stallarna and until today that is still one of the most fun jobs I ever had. I enjoyed serving and chatting with all the students, many times it was like serving your friends as everyone was known in the small campus bubble. I also had a gym card so I would go there frequently to swim... Besides being busy I still managed to do other things.
What skills did you take with you from your studies at Linnaeus University?
Is there anything you were able to accomplish lately due to your education here?
In one way I have improved my public speaking through the assignments linked our study program and I got to learn how to work with Photoshop, which was very helpful afterwards at Plan. We have also learned how to evaluate organizational structures which has helped me a lot today in ESN, how to link education to development Aid, how to communicate, etc. However, a lot of these skills I have also developed through volunteering, so you should try to combine what you do during your free time with your studies, I would say.
What is your relationship with Linnaeus University today?
I always think back at Linnaeus University when I am doing external representation or when I visit other universities and meet student organizations. I am always proud to promote Linnaeus University and I would love to collaborate more in the future. There is definitely a lot of potential to build an Alumni Network where we could learn a lot from each other!
Can you give three career advice?
- Try to define yourself in the job market by making your portfolio as interesting as possible, don't only look at what you have studied. Include other interests and skills such as volunteer work and other projects you may be involved in.
- Find out what you want to work with while you're still studying. Think big, think long term and use that to shape your studies into the right direction.
- Don't give up! I know the Swedish job market is tough sometimes.