Alumni interview: Alexander Passgård
IT, project management and ERP systems is a programme offered as distance education. How did you experience your studies?
“The first two years I studied part time and the last two full time. I thought that it worked very well and I was abroad most of the time, in Australia, the USA and Spain. It was fun and made distance education a better alternative, even if one sometimes misses meeting fellow students. Distance studies require discipline, time, energy and independence.”
Have you benefitted from the programme?
“Yes, I am very satisfied with the programme. It was particularly the java programming skills that first helped me to get a job. I have also learned a lot about working in groups, because group work was included in all courses and I thought that was really good. I have experiences from distance group work and having virtual meetings, something we often do in the company. The courses on ERP systems were really, really good. Karlstad is far ahead in this area and we were taught the latest in the branch. In my current job, I have learned how to bridge different systems, giving me solid practical experience linked to the theory. I would take different elective courses today. I chose economics, for example, but for my current job, more computer science and programming courses would have been better. However, this of course depends on which job you end up with. The project management courses were very interesting and I will really benefit from them in the future.”
Which job do you have today?
“I work as a system support engineer at Swisslog, a company that provides automatic, intralogistic warehouse solutions. I am part of a team of six and we are each responsible for a few clients, and we manage the systems. This may mean changing things in the system, offering solutions to problems that arise, and coming with longer-term suggestions. We may also be included in a new project that our team will manage. I finished my programme in the spring and started at Swisslog directly after the summer. In my spare time, I like playing floorball and tennis, and I also do rock-climbing. I also volunteer in Move It that is part of the organisation IM (Individuell Människohjälp, Swedish Development Partner). We arrange cultural and sports activities for newly-arrived young people.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I have started to lean more toward project management and want to develop as a project manager in the software area. This has already started, first in the team and then a bit more broadly. I think it’s fun to take different roles that the programme prepared me for and where I am now there are only open doors.”
Which tips do you have for current students?
“Make sure to tell people about the programme in your CV and during interviews. Highlight, for example, that it tends towards information systems but includes a bit of IT design. Make it easier for employers to understand what you can do. Find a group of fellow students that share your view on the aim of your studies, and hopefully you’ll still be in touch after you’ve finished.”