BSL alumnus Josephine Bengtsson bags prestigious working opportunity at CERN (Geneva)

“Having small classes and professors who are willing to spend additional time helping us understand concepts is something that larger schools do not offer. I believe BSL fosters our entrepreneurial mindset and desires to make an impact in the world, either inside an organization or by creating our own business.”

The ever-talented, soon to be BSL alumnus (2021), Josephine Bengtsson, is certainly making a name for herself in her chosen career path since completing her studies earlier on this year. Soon to be armed with her MIB Finance from BSL, Josephine completed an internship at a renowned Swiss banking consortium before applying and being accepted to the Administrative Student Programme at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), where she is currently working.

CERN’s prestigious Administrative Student Programme accepts applications every 6 months from students around the world who dream of the opportunity to work among the world’s leading scientists and physicists spearheading advancements in humanity’s nuclear research. CERN is at the forefront of innovative advancement regarding particle collisions in the hopes to uncover the mysteries of our universe. The application process is thorough and requires a lot of information, interviews, and procedures. Luckily for Josephine, BSL Professor Julien de Grandbois assisted her with the application process which turned out to be of great benefit as Josephine was selected out of thousands of submissions.

“I wanted to apply to an international organization that would give me the opportunity to collaborate with a large group of highly skilled people from all around the world. CERN is such a different environment from what a traditional company would be, especially in the research field where you have different goals and motivations” says Josephine.

The programme positions on offer vary from marketing and HR to finance and event management, and the successful applicants are required to handle administrative-related tasks pertaining to each department. Josephine is responsible for day-to-day administrative tasks in the Finance department of the CMS collaboration: the largest experiment at CERN focusing one of four detectors of the particle accelerator. Roughly 17,500 people from around the world collaborate for CERN, and about 5,000 of those people work for Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS). Specifically, Josephine works on anything related to new scientists coming in to work at CMS.

Like most of us, Josephine has been forced to conduct most of her work from home due to the pandemic, but that hasn’t curbed her appetite for advancing her career and learning more. “Since my workload has been impacted by the pandemic, I have had to pivot and look for new ways to make a name for myself at work. My biggest win so far would be the projects I have been given thanks to my proactive attitude and willingness to improve systems.”

Despite keeping company with some of the world’s leading thinkers, Josephine insists she is more than up to the task of making a name for herself thanks to the educational and mental foundation she received at BSL. “BSL’s multicultural classroom environment allowed us to engage in unique and robust debates and discussions which helped us to see things differently – on a global scale.”

This global perspective instilled into BSL students by the faculty certainly helps Josephine and the rest of her alumni in everyday working interactions. Like Josephine, many of our graduates hold positions in multinational companies and it is crucial to be endowed with the ability to successfully communicate with people from different nationalities and cultures.

Josephine particularly valued the small class sizes and one-on-one student/professor interaction BSL provides. “Having small classes and professors who are willing to spend additional time helping us understand concepts is something that larger schools do not offer. I believe BSL fosters our entrepreneurial mindset and desires to make an impact in the world, either inside an organization or by creating our own business.”

Josephine tells us that she benefits daily from the numerous skills and experiences she was given at BSL, and is quick to let us know how much of a lasting impact her BSL professors have had on her personal and professional development. “I had a really great learning experience at BSL and felt equipped with the necessary knowledge to enter the business landscape. The finance curriculum was very complete, notably, Ms. Kukenova’s (who was my internship supervisor) and Ms. Sernova’s finance classes were challenging but rewarding as we learned a lot. They really dedicated a lot of time to our education and often spent extra hours teaching us new concepts. They were so involved and cared so much about us” she says.

“I also benefited from learning to code with Mr. Meidell (which is not something many business schools offer) and I use this knowledge at work for new projects. And of course, Mr de Grandbois has always been a great help and motivation to me.”

Students like Josephine choose to study at BSL not only because of the high calibre education they receive from our specialist Professors, but also because of the various soft skills instilled throughout their education journey that make up the complete global business professional. In particular, Josephine attributes the assertiveness she developed at BSL as the driving force behind her current career success. “My Masters helped me to be assertive and push forward decisions, as we were tasked with a lot of group work and had new teams every week. It taught me to be assertive and that it’s okay to make mistakes. It boosts your confidence because you have to stand up in front of many people and come up with things on the spot or prepare something with very short notice. We quickly learned how to adapt to new situations and take initiative to find the best solutions. Today, this has helped me to get involved in several different projects at CERN because when I see something that can be improved and I believe I have a valid suggestion, BSL has taught me to be proactive.”

So what is next on the career horizon for Josephine after her time at CERN? Well, the possibilities are endless. She would like to stay close to Geneva and take up a position in business management or finance. However, if given the opportunity to remain at CERN she would take it in a heartbeat because of its stimulating and enriching work environment. “I enjoy looking for solutions and improvements in business processes and decisions, so I hope to continue in this direction in the future, either at CERN or somewhere just as exciting” she says.

On behalf of the BSL Careers Office and the entire BSL Faculty, we want to congratulate Josephine on her remarkable career achievements she has earned since graduating from BSL. We are certain that her current and future success will serve as potent inspiration for all BSL students hoping to achieve similar success in their chosen career paths. Onwards and upwards!

The BSL Careers Office