‘I’ve adopted a more sustainable way of living. I buy second-hand stuff and more environmentally friendly products.’

Novita Supardi from Indonesia is studying for a master’s degree in marketing at Stockholm University. This is her story.
Swedish Institute scholarship holder Novita Supardi

I was working full-time as a co-founder and chief strategy officer at a marketing and branding start-up in Indonesia when I applied for the SI scholarship.

The plan had always been to study for a master’s degree, but I decided to start working first to see what kind of knowledge I needed and what kind of career I wanted. During my time as a marketing consultant, I realised I still had a lot to learn and that’s when I decided to continue my studies.

Choosing Sweden as a study destination is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. One reason was that I wanted to learn about the innovation process and Sweden is one of the top three most innovative countries in the world. Another reason was the curriculum itself. The marketing programme at Stockholm University differs from most marketing programmes in other countries. Last but not least, the Swedish Institute Scholarship for Global Professionals is a fully funded scholarship.

I heard about the SI scholarship from a friend who encouraged me to apply. I got curious and started watching the Swedish Institute scholarship chats on YouTube and reading student blogs. I found out more on the website and checked out the requirements. I discovered that our sustainable development agendas were a good fit and saw that would make me a good candidate.

In the end, I think I was awarded the scholarship because my previous experience showed that I was serious about achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals. Additionally, in keeping with the Swedish concept of lagom (‘just enough’), I did not exaggerate my achievements in my application, but was matter of fact about what I have done and what I wanted to do with my master’s degree. My advice for anyone thinking of applying is to be authentic, straightforward about your motivations, and to focus on the important stuff.

I have been in Sweden for a year now and many aspects of my life have changed, as well as my perspective on things. For instance, I’ve adopted a more sustainable way of living. I buy second-hand stuff and more environmentally friendly products. Moreover, I got the opportunity to chair the local NFGL (Network for Future Global Leaders) at Stockholm University. That experience taught me to work with an international team as I developed my leadership skills with the training programme from SI and Hyper Island and built connections with professionals, professors, and industry leaders.

The SI Scholarship provides valuable opportunities to exchange knowledge and network with like-minded scholars from different countries.

I am so happy that I got the chance to study at Stockholm University, where I can now choose what I want to do in the third semester. I’m currently taking courses at three different universities. One of them is a project course at OpenLab Stockholm called innovations for societal challenges with a real case from Region Stockholm. I’ve already learnt a lot about the Swedish culture of innovation, which is why I came here in the first place, and I hope my team’s solution will be beneficial to Stockholm.

Looking ahead, in the next 10 years, I aim to be an expert in my field. I see myself as an entrepreneur creating my own businesses. In the meantime, I am focusing on learning as much as possible, networking, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Studying in Sweden with a Swedish Institute Scholarship has not only been a life-changing experience but also a great investment in my personal and professional development.

Find out more about the SI scholarships.