|Meet our Alumni-Sara Törnros|
Sara Törnros, working for Forcier Consuting, a research company across the Middle East and Africa, graduated from JIBS EPE-Economics and Policy - Economic Development at 2013
Do you have any additional higher education? If yes, please specify.
Yes, I have a Master's degree from Lund University in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES).
Who is your current employer?
Forcier Consulting, a research company working across the Middle East and Africa, providing data and analysis to non-government organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies and governmental organisations. I currently work at their office in Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia.
What is your current position and which tasks do the position involve?
I am currently employed as a Project Officer; in this role I manage research projects with a focus on resilience and development mostly in Somalia, but I have also managed projects in Sudan, South Sudan and Tanzania. The tasks include developing research design, managing data collection, data analysis, report writing, and client communication.
How did you get the job you have today?
I learned about Forcier Consulting through a social media group focusing on work in the developing sector. I thought their line of work sounded really cool (imagine evaluating programs and making policy recommendation to big and important clients such as UNICEF, Oxfam and the World Bank). Hence, I applied and was initially employed as an intern at the office in Cairo, Egypt. After a couple of months, I was hired as a research analyst and later I asked to be transferred to Somalia to work with resilience and droughts, which is where I am currently based, because I wanted to work with project management.
What motivates you to perform at work?
Being able to influence important humanitarian actors on how their programming should be designed to help people in dire need really gets me going. In my line of work, I am able to deliver high-quality products in very difficult environments and can actually tell clients that x is what is making people vulnerable against droughts, and y is what you should do to make people cope better with droughts and other extreme events.
What is your next career goal?
I am currently working on building a new business unit in Nairobi, Kenya, which will solely focus on resilience and food security. So next year I will be the head of this unit, and I am very excited to be able to manage my own unit and to purposely focus and coordinate all our resilience work globally under one umbrella, so that we, as a company, can grow and capitalize on all our joint experience within this field into one specific unit.
Which career advice would you like to share with JIBS alumni members?
Find the one thing that makes you unique and connect it to what you are really interested in. For me, I was always focused on Africa and development, and I had spent some time in Zimbabwe as a volunteer during my masters. At the same time, I wrote my master thesis about resilience, as resilience is really what interests me - what we can do to better cope with the effects of climate change. So, when the opportunity was presented to me to work in a company doing a bit of resilience work in Africa, it was an easy in.
Can you name on great thing you remember from your studies at JIBS?
Only one thing?! Actually, there are three things that stuck with me: the kick-offs (this is where you make friends for life), the exchange semester (this is where you learn and grow) and the curricular work I did for the Student Union and Society of International Affairs (SIAJ). Curricular work is what connects social life and professional development.