Meet our alumnus of the month, Dino Helmefalk. Dino pursued his great interests, history and societal issues, when he chose programme at Linnaeus University. As a professional, he now combines both working as an employment officer and running the podcast “Vår blodiga historia” [Our bloody history].
Name: Dino Helmefalk
Current profession and city: Employment officer at the Swedish Public Employment Service, Kristianstad
What did you study at Linnaeus University?
– I started studying at Linnaeus University in Växjö in 2007 and studied a bachelor’s programme in European studies with specialisation in jurisprudence. Out of sheer interest, I also studied 120 credits in history. Later on I studied a 1-year master’s programme in political science. I chose to study these programmes and courses since societal issues and history are two subjects that I’m really interested in. When applying for a course or programme at a university, I think it’s important to choose a field that you are interested in. And later on see what profession this may lead to.
What do you work with today?
– Since 2015, I work as an employment officer at the Swedish Public Employment Service in Kristianstad and am part of an ESF project. I help young adults up to the age of 29 who lack upper secondary school grades to be given credit for their education and return to their studies.
– In addition, I also run the podcast “Vår blodiga historia” [Our bloody history]. It’s a history podcast that releases a new episode every other week. On the podcast, I talk about exciting stories and the fates of human beings. Examples of events that I have talked about are Elisabeth Bathorý, one of the most famous women serial killers in history, and the Black Death. In my podcast I use a narrative style because I think it’s important to tell this type of stories with dignity and respect. However, during next season I will also carry out interviews with history experts.
What did you do to establish yourself on the labour market after your studies?
– I worked a lot during my studies. Among other things, I was employed by the hour at a gym and as a bartender at Slottsstallarna, the student pub on campus in Växjö. This made me feel at home in Växjö and I established myself on the labor market at an early stage. During my time working as bartender at Slottsstallarna, I made friends with many other students who worked at Slottsstallarna and we went to student sittings together and I’m still in touch with some of them today.
What happened after you got your degree?
– When I was writing my master’s thesis, I saw that a position as court administrator was available at Växjö municipal court. I applied for the position and got it. It was challenging to write the master’s thesis while also working at the municipal court, but I’m glad I made it since it makes you more competitive on the labour market if you have a degree. After three years, I started working at the Swedish Public Employment Service where I still work today.
What do you bring with you from your studies at Linnaeus University?
– What gave me most knowledge was the 1-year master’s in political science. I felt that I could really acquire in-depth knowledge from the course content and, above all, make use of advanced statistics and concrete tools. Once I got to the second-cycle level I could make practical use of all the knowledge I had acquired during my first years. I learnt how to have a critical and scientific approach, which was very rewarding since it prepared me for working life. If you have the opportunity to study a 1-year or 2-year master’s (second-cycle level) I can really recommend doing it!
What is your relation with Linnaeus University today?
– I’m relatively new in Linnaeus University’s alumni network; I have been a member since January 2019 so I haven’t really had the opportunity to make use of the network so far. However, it would feel great to inspire others to study at Linnaeus University. I think it’s a modern university with high-quality programmes and courses.
Do you have any tips for students?
- Try to work during your studies. Through work you will make contacts and get access to working life. You will also get the opportunity to try working with things that you will not work with in the future.
- Don’t be too picky when applying for your first job after your completing your degree, be open and, for instance, willing to move to a new city. It’s important to get established on the labor market after completing your degree. If you are not 100% happy with the job you get, keep in mind that you are new on the labour market and that you have just graduated, the dream job you are looking for will still be there waiting for you later on.