Sophia Djane is a BIDS Graduate of 2012 with a Political Science major. Sophia was born and raised in Lund, though she has also spent longer periods in Accra and London. Currently she works for IM (Individuell Människohjälp) in Lund, and is involved in a local movement called Tillsammans för Lund (Together for Lund). If currents BIDSters have questions regarding exchange studies (in Africa), Sophia encourages them to contact her. 🙂
Sophia tells that her favourite hobbies are playing football, dancing and enjoying creative moments, and that her secret love is agriculture. In the future Sophia would like to find a way to combine development and creativity. “I have lots and lots of ideas…”, she reveals.
Major and Exchange Experiences
Sophia found it a tough choice to major between Poitical Science and Human Geography, but finally decided to go with Political Science. She went on an exchange semester to Accra, Ghana, where she took courses in Political Science, Geography and Sociology. Sophia tells that her trip to Accra was one of the best experiences she’s had. As Lund University (at that time) did not have exchange programs to any African country, she decided to organize her own exchange as a free mover. Therefore Sophia notes that she would be glad to help anyone interested in doing something similar. For her thesis Sophia decided to do a desk study.
From the BIDS Programme Sophia found the interdisciplinary approach to be particularly useful in the future. “The methodology courses (believe it or not) have been extremely helpful”. She affirms that method is used a lot in daily working life when writing reports, pre-studies, analyses etc. “Other than that, the analytical ability, which was sharpened all through BIDS has been and is an important asset!”
After the completion of BIDS in 2012 Sophia had the opportunity to intern at IM. “This was followed by a 6-month employment at the organisation during 2013. I later decided to do a one-year master programme at the University of Malmö. However, I never completed my thesis as I was offered a job at IM (autumn 2014)”. The post Sophia is currently holding is a Development and Communication Officer at the Swedish Department for IM. She therefore is both directly and indirectly involved in development related activities. Sophia highly recommends everyone to do an internship if they have the opportunity to do so. She tells that IM offers internships every semester at the HQ (in Lund), and every autumn semester they offer internships abroad at the regional offices and partner organisations.
In addition to her work, Sophia is involved in a local movement in Lund called Tillsammans för Lund (Together for Lund). Tillsammans för Lund has to do with antiracism, and with her own words they ‘spread love and propagate equality through various activities!’.
Some advice Sophia has for BIDS graduates
1) Be an active citizen (not only an active student): show that you are committed to these issues by doing volunteering and extra-curricular activities.
2) Do an internship. Work hard once you get the opportunity, it will take you far.
3) Learn languages!
4) And, think outside the BIDS/development-is-all-wanna-work-with box. Bretton Woods-institutions, aid agencies and NGOs are not the only ways…
About BIDS Alumni
For Sophia the BIDS Alumni network is a way to connect BIDSters across the world, online and in the real life. She wishes to share contacts, advice, and useful connections through BIDS Alumni, as well was maybe get a chance to meet up with former classmates in reunions.
Interview conducted by Marika Samuelsson, edited by Kia Silvennoinen