The scholarship period was decisive for Märta’s career choice
Entrepreneurship and innovation have always interested Märta Eriksson. When she had the opportunity to delve into both these areas at two of the world’s leading business schools, she didn’t hesitate to apply. Now, almost six years since she was selected for the K-A Bonnier International Fellowship Program (KAB-IFP), she benefits greatly from the experiences in her professional role as senior manager of consumer insights and analytics at Zound Industries.
Märta had experience in entrepreneurship from Junior achievement and had also worked with entrepreneurship at a startup incubator. When the information about KAB-IFP appeared on the school’s portal, she immediately decided to apply.
– When I noticed the scholarship, I realized it was spot on for me! I remember thinking that the competition will be tough, but I have to apply. I knew that the National University of Singapore (NUS) was one of Asia’s best business schools and to get a master’s degree both from there and from the Stockholm School of Economics was a unique opportunity, says Märta.
Together with three other outstanding students from Sweden and Southeast Asia, Märta was selected for the program’s first cohort. It led to two intensive years of studies divided between SSE and NUS.
– Both NUS and SSE place high demands on the students, so it was a very educational period. Among other things, I read a course in marketing with a focus on consumer culture theory, which made a big impression and opened my eyes to what I work with today. It is a field that deals with how we consume to express our identity or group affiliation and how it is possible to understand the consumers’ behavior based on the culture and society in which they live. In my work, I use what I learned almost daily, Märta continues.
Märta is currently Senior Manager, Consumer Insight & Analytics at Zound Industries. She is responsible for a function that analyzes global data to develop customer-focused strategies and offers.
– My job involves analyzing a range of different data sources as well as understanding trends and where consumer behavior is heading. I help our business lines understand consumer preferences, values and expectations, as well as which brands they prefer and why. I get to work in a field I am extremely passionate about, which is a lot of fun, says Märta.
Working in an international environment has become a matter of course for Märta and she finds it difficult to see herself in an all-Swedish company.
– Zound Industries is a company that has both a start-up mindset and great diversity, which is completely in line with the type of environment I want to be in. I want to work in an entrepreneurial and global environment where many perspectives are represented regardless of subject matter. Diversity means that people contribute with different insights, which creates better solutions than if we had all thought alike. It is an incredible strength, Märta concludes.
When asked what her thoughts are about the future, she replies that she absolutely wants to return to Singapore or Southeast Asia one day. The relationship with Southeast Asia has grown strong and it would feel both fun and natural to return to that part of the world for work.