Gillian Miswardi '17 Wins Stockholm School of Economics and Karl-Adam Bonnier Foundation Competition
The anthropology major from Singapore won a trip to Sweden (valued at more than $1600) to learn about the K-A Bonnier International Fellows Program.
Though Gillian Miswardi '17 is from Singapore she is becoming quite an expert in Swedish living. In 2015, the anthropology major won the international IDEA Essay Prize, which included a coveted six-month internship at International IDEA's offices in Stockholm. Miswardi enjoyed that experience so much that, upon her return to campus, she began seeking out opportunities to return to the Scandinavian nation.
Last semester she applied to the business and management master's program at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and to the Karl-Adam Bonnier Foundation International Fellows Program (KAB-IFP), a related scholarship program that offers the chance to combine master's studies in management at SSE with those at the National University of Singapore (NUS). While waiting to hear of her acceptance, she discovered a competition, sponsored by Sqore, to promote the very program she was hoping to attend. And after taking two multiple-choice tests and crafting a 500-word essay on how a Swedish crowdfunding platform should enter the Southeast Asian market, she was chosen as the winner.
As the lone winner of the Discover SSE and KAB-IFP competition, Miswardi was treated to a grant of roughly $1600 to fund round-trip travel to Stockholm and accommodations in the city. She was also given an itinerary for her time in the Swedish capital that included meetings with KAB Foundation members to discuss the fellowship opportunity.
"I was actually on the Blue Bus coming back from Bryn Mawr when I got the call on January 26 [that I had won]," said Miswardi. "At first when I saw that it was a call from Sweden, I thought that I had mistakenly called one of my Swedish friends and they had called back. But when I heard that I had won the KAB Fellows Challenge… I could not believe it. I was so excited!"
Miswardi flew to Stockholm less than a month later for six jam-packed days that included activities with current SSE students, meetings with professors and staff at the school and KAB Foundation that were de facto interviews for the fellowship program, and even an encounter with a fellow Ford.
"On my first day I met up with Janis Kreslins ’78, who works at the Royal Library," she said. "We had a good conversation about my background and my future plans. It was really helpful because he gave me some ideas about what to say to the KAB Foundation."
Miswardi left for Sweden already knowing that she had secured acceptance to SSE's master's program, however, she is currently waiting to hear about the KAP-IFP. That fellowship, which was first announced just this past September at the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit, covers the cost of tuition fees at both SSE and NUS and living costs up to 50000 Swedish Krona. Regardless of whether or not she receives that honor, Miswardi is sure that Sweden is where she wants to be following her Haverford graduation.
"Exciting things happen when you venture out of your comfort zone," she said. "I encourage all Haverford students to look for opportunities beyond the campus."