#24 Alumni + Career = true

Guest blog post from Megan Osler, alumni coordinator at Karolinska Institutet.

I became a researcher because of my alumni network. Today, I’m working with KI’s alumni network to help researchers-to-be…and other brilliant KI students.

Hej there – My name is Megan Osler. I have a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (USA). I moved to Sweden in 2006 for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Physiology Department, where I continued as a research assistant until 2015. Today, I run the alumni relations office at KI.

What? She left research to do what?

Yes, I left research to run the alumni office. Why? Because I am passionate about science and research, but also about encouraging people to get the most out of their career possibilities through networking and connections, which of course are essential for professional development, even for scientists. Yeah, think about it. Like when you meet for fika and start talking science and all of a sudden a new project idea or research collaboration is born. Or when you go to one of those networking seminars organized by Career Services and hear from a KI alum who has your dream job. Networking is good stuff, and alumni are interesting people with great experiences to share. I am passionate about contributing to these connections….

OK, yeah. She’s kind of right.

…because my scientific journey began through alumni connections. I got my first position in lab after my bachelor’s education through my own alumni office at Rhodes College (USA). I just called them right up and said, are there any Rhodes College alumni who run research labs in the nearby area? Within a month, I was working in a rhematology lab at Vanderbilt University. To think that I actually made this logical connection (desired career = experienced alumni in the field) without any Career Services reveals my genius intuition. Working with alumni relations at KI with a background just like many of you helps me understand how I can help you prepare for the next step.

Great. So how is this going to help me?

Are you ready for this? In 2018, KI Alumni & Friends is joining forces with KI Career Services to bring you – ambitious students with a hunger for a successful career – even more opportunities. Since 2016, the alumni office has supported the development of alumni networks for the Biomedicine and Bioentreprenuership programmes as well as the Public Health Sciences. In January, KI will launch its first global alumni chapter KI Alumni China (registration open!).  We look forward to working together to bring you career training, seminars, networking opportunities, and sharing alumni testimonials – all so you can navigate the uber-competitive job market when you graduate. And…we look forward to completing the circle and inviting you back as alumni to share your experiences. Our joint effort is sure to be exciting– and to leave you with something to ponder over the holiday break – I’ve converted this blog post in a “julgran”-shaped word cloud. Looking forward to seeing you in 2018!


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