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Winning a Scholarship to Study at Södertörn University – Atusaye from Malawi

Atusaye Zgambo is from Malawi and is a 2021 Master’s program student in Economics at Södertörn University. In April 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Swedish Institute scholarship for Global Professional (SISGP) to study at Södertörn. Here is his interaction with Amaraizu Genius, our International Students Ambassador.

Atusaye Zgambo at Södertörn University campus

“The most important thing is to do ordinary things extraordinarily” – Atusaye Zgambo

What’s your Master's program about, and why Södertörn University?

"The one-year Master’s Programme in Economics equips you with theoretical and methodological skills for analysing complex world problems. These skills that can benefit society by offering practical and sustainable ways of attaining development without compromising the wellbeing of future generations. The program also provides you with knowledge of how companies and organisations build and strengthen their capacity through innovation to survive global competition.

The programme which comprises two semesters of full-time study mainly focuses on environmental economics and macroeconomics if you start in the autumn semester, whereas in the spring there is more focus on international economics and microeconomics.

The Master’s programme does not only enable you to acquire subject-specific knowledge but also increases your skill set in areas such as making presentations, scholarly writing, and programmes, enhancing your ability to work with and analyse complex materials."

Why Södertörn?

"Sweden! Studying in Sweden is my dream come true. I wanted to study in Sweden as it is one of the model countries on inclusive development. Learning how Sweden's public systems function to the benefit of every member of society is one precious lesson to take besides academic excellence.

The Master’s programme in Economics at Södertörn is relevant to major economic issues affecting my country and region. It is directly related to my work and prepares me well to further my career. Södertörn is one of the few universities in Sweden that offer a one-year Master’s in Economics and provides flexibility in also allowing students to transfer to a two-year Master’s degree. The university has excellent campus facilities, excellent learning resources, and highly qualified academic staff."

Describe your feeling when you received the news about your scholarship award?

"When I received the all-important email from the Swedish Institute, I could not hold back the excitement but jump and punch in the air like I was celebrating a goal in a football match. The SISGP is the only scholarship that I applied for, so I was delighted."

Atusaye Zgambo

Atusaye Zgambo

What skills, experiences or general efforts do you think are your lucky charms to winning the SI scholarship?

"The most important thing is to do ordinary things extraordinarily. I valued preparation - research on what the SI scholarship is all about, making sure that my CV is always updated, and adhering to timelines.

Not all leaders are the same. Primarily, you become a leader by learning through experience. In whatever you do and any responsibility assigned to you, no matter how small it is, learn to identify the leadership qualities in you and build on that. The more you improve your leadership qualities, the more responsibilities you can handle. SI wants you to demonstrate your leadership experience.

One ought to participate in work that aims at uplifting the lives of other people. Your involvement in networks or civil society organisations outside of your regular work is, therefore, one important aspect to consider in the application."

Share Some Tips to Other Students Applying for the SI Scholarship This Year

"When the University Admissions open applications, take time to find the right programme for you which is related to your work and your undergraduate degree. You should also know the Sustainable Development Goals and how your work contributes to their achievement. SI values the relevance of your application.

Alert potential referees in advance of your intention to apply for the scholarship. In the application process, pay attention to detail regarding the necessary documentation and timelines. Do not rush and make sure you review your application thoroughly before submission as the quality of your application matters. However, avoid submitting your application around deadline day. The system becomes so overwhelmed with thousands of submission requests and yours may not be successful.

You must always be true to yourself, be honest with the information that you provide to SI, and present your best-case scenario for your career."

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

"I look forward to being in a place where I can make a difference. I want to be able to apply the skills which I am learning in my work. I see myself participating more in social-economic and governance collaborative research. I am also excited about setting the pace for gaining new skills to support my long-term career goals."

Picture of the author Amaraizu Genius

Author: Amaraizu Genius

Do you have any questions, or want to learn more about students at Södertörn University? Connect with Amaraizu Genius, our International Student Ambassador here: External link, opens in new window.

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