Read about Olle Hammar, who graduated in 2012 with a major in Political Science. Before enrolling in the BIDS programme, Olle studied at the Business and Economics Department – He shares how this has given him broader knowledge in terms of research, as he is now doing his PhD concerning development economics and global inequality.
Finding BIDS and the many possibilities at Lund University
“I am Olle Hammar. I was part of the first BIDS class, graduating in 2012. Currently, I am a PhD student in economics at Uppsala University and I live in Stockholm with my wife and 2-year-old son.”
“When I started BIDS I had already studied two years at the Business and Economics programme in Lund, and when I applied to BIDS I was actually on an exchange semester studying economics and political science in Buenos Aires. That experience and previous travelling around the world had made me very interested in development issues, which is why I decided to study this programme as well. Within the BIDS-programme, I majored in political science, but I also took some extra courses in economic history, Spanish and Portuguese. During my second year I did the Global Issues Programme, which was a very nice thing to do since it consisted of online courses from different universities, which made it possible for me to spend a semester in Paris studying French at the Sorbonne and also to travel around Asia while taking these courses.”
“The main thing that I have taken with me from the BIDS programme is probably critical thinking and a broad knowledge of many different developmental aspects. In my current position as PhD student in economics, it is also quite nice to actually know something about research within the fields of economic history, political science, human geography and sociology as well.”
Development related activities
My main development related activity is my current research, which focuses on global inequality and development economics. I am also engaged as volunteer and board member within the non-profit organization Kompisbyrån, which my wife has founded and which works with integration in Sweden by connecting new friends from different backgrounds.
“After graduating from BIDS I did an internship at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, within the unit for South Asia. At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, I worked with many different tasks, including everything from writing speeches to guiding foreign ministers around Stockholm. This internship gave me a very nice insight into the broad fields of development cooperation, foreign policies and international trade in practice.
I then worked as junior analyst at the consulting agency Oxford Research in Stockholm. Since 2013, I am a doctoral student at the Department of Economics in Uppsala, to where I have just come back after a year on parental leave.”
Do you have some advice for future BIDS-graduates?
“My advice would be to complement your studies with some other experiences, for example, other studies, voluntary work, travelling, languages, and so on – whatever you find inspiring. I would also recommend those, like myself, who find quantitative research interesting to combine their studies with a course in statistics or econometrics.”
Do you have any BIDS-related future plans?
“You never know what the future will bring ☺”
Interview conducted and edited by Anna Butondo