“To open a door to endless opportunities and unleash your full potential to become a true leader, inspirer, innovator and changemaker.”

Alina Veksler, previous scholarship holder from Russia. Completed her master’s degree in Business and Economics with specialisation in Entrepreneurship at Linnaeus University, in June 2020. This is her story:
SI scholarship holder Alina Veksler outdoor in Stockholm.

What were you doing when you applied for the scholarship?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, from South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. I came back to my hometown – Saint-Petersburg, Russia and started to deepen into the local entrepreneurial ecosystem through attending numerous events, workshops and conferences. At the same time, I started working as a Renewal Sales Representative at Veeam Software.

What has the scholarship offer brought for you so far?

The whole experience of doing my master’s degree in Sweden had a tremendous impact on both my personal and professional development. I grew as a person and as a professional. Besides being an achieving student and active member of the SI Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL), I was and still am engaged in other organisations.

I joined the United Nations Association (UNA) Växjö and student union at Linnaeus University – as the board member responsible for partnership and event management. For the former, we promoted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through organising various events and for the latter I (together with Växjö municipality) organised an event for 200+ international students. I’m also a student ambassador of Linnaeus University and, for two years in a row, I was engaged in the Mentor Programme, the Friend Family Project and the Buddy Program. All this experience enriched me with valuable contacts and international perspectives.

Throughout my master’s degree, I am trying to seize every opportunity. First and foremost, we established a local Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL) at Linnaeus University with SI’s grant. We in the team organised various events, workshops and study visits. I have also represented our network at several occasions. The most impactful occasion was when I represented our network at the annual kick-off event for new scholarship holders and gave a motivational speech in front of 400+ individuals from 50+ countries. What is more, I proudly represented both the Swedish Institute (SI) and my university at the Consulate General of Sweden in Saint-Petersburg, Russia during an event, organised by Swedish Institute (SI) Alumni Network in Russia.

If you had to choose one thing that you like about the scholarship, what would that be?

That would be the Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL). To my knowledge, no other scholarship has this extensive network of talented individuals, an abundance of activities and constant knowledge/experience exchange. I am truly grateful for meeting like-minded people and working together, towards a better future.

Has the scholarship opportunity and your time in Sweden so far helped you level up as a global leader or change maker?

Definitely! I cannot imagine anything else that could have happened in my life and changed me the way this experience did.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself being actively involved in projects related to entrepreneurship, sustainability and social change. Regardless of whether my career path will continue within industry or academia, those areas will remain my central point of interest. I would like to continue being a board member in organisations that bring value to society and organise events that educate, inspire and foster positive change within society.

Why should others apply for SI scholarships?

To open a door to endless opportunities and unleash your full potential to become a true leader, inspirer, innovator and changemaker.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of applying for SI scholarships?

In my opinion, it is crucial to have a clear set of actions you wish to undertake when being granted such an opportunity to study in Sweden with the scholarship from the Swedish Institute (SI). Once you know what exactly you wish to do and why execution remains just a matter of time.

Find out more about the SI scholarships.