"It had been a Jobbsprånget session! I was ecstatic, hoping that this opportunity would help me break into the Swedish labour market. Days following the session, I completed all the necessary pre-work so that when the application period starts, I can apply to as many companies as I believe need my skills and expertise."
Hello, my name is Jean and I'm from the Philippines. For almost two years, I've been living in Sweden. In the year 2020, I packed my entire life into two suitcases and left my country, friends, and family. And, after taking a leap of faith– I had no idea what to expect on the journey. Living abroad is not all sunshine and rainbows, as it appears on social media; you simply learn to find the positive in any situation. To say it was a learning experience is an understatement, but I have no regrets about coming and settling down in Sweden, even if I didn't have it all figured out.
I earned a bachelor's degree in business administration (BBA) with business and marketing management as majors. I'm a marketing services and communication specialist with a focus on non-profit organisations, branding, and traditional and new media communication, as well as administrative support. Empathy, flexibility, belief, developer, and context are the top five qualities I possess, according to my Gallup Strengths evaluation. But, despite the skills, experience, and accomplishments I've built up over the past 5 years since finishing university in both the non-profit and corporate sectors, I've struggled to continue the professional life I began back home in Sweden. I spent more than a year trying to break into the Swedish labour market.
Not to mention the terrible Covid situation that has existed in Sweden and throughout the world the past years. It made me spend a total of one year and four months in various Swedish agencies securing all the legal documentation required to live and work in Sweden, including a residence and work visa, as well as a personal number.
In the last year and a half, I've tried a lot of new things that I hadn't tried before. It's a complete 180 from what I used to do for a living. To keep going with my life and earn, I became an online English teacher, walked other people's dogs, babysat, cleaned, and did other side jobs.
I became a member of so many other networking groups for everything from work related groups down to community engagement and updates. The International Citizen Hub Lund is one of these organisations. ICHL was one of the first organisations I came across while researching the opportunities available in Malmo.
I attended multiple ICHL-hosted workshops and learning sessions. Everything was done online because it was covid time. ICHL had one of its first physical gatherings in November. I didn't want to miss out on this opportunity, so I participated. It had been a Jobbsprånget session! I was ecstatic, hoping that this
opportunity would help me break into the Swedish labour market. Days following the session, I completed all the necessary pre-work so that when the application period starts, I can apply to as many companies as I believe need my skills and expertise.
My only issue was that one of the strict rules was that participants must have a mobile bank ID. And once again, it took me a month to find one. Yes, it's difficult, but everyone is doing their best to cope with the Covid situation, so there's nothing you can do but be understanding, patient, and hope for the best. Finally, my mobile bank ID arrived two days before the application deadline. Fortunately, I had done my pre-work so when I created my Jobbsprånget account, I was able to apply to various organisations without issues. After a few days, I received two invitations, one of which was from Elobina AB.
Elobina is a digital textile printing company that uses a unique IT platform to digitalize the textile industry and provide sustainable print-on-demand fabric production. The company's production facility in Alnarp, Sweden, is the first digital textile printing facility in Scandinavia. Elobina helps turn ideas into works of art in the form of office and home textiles for both personal and commercial use. It can provide fabric and sustainable print-on-demand services to individuals, artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses through its unique and state-of-the-art IT platform, and transforms design/photo masterpieces into printed fabrics, curtains and wall panels, pillowcases, cushion covers, tablecloths, kitchen textiles, clothes, accessories, and more. They offered me an internship as a marketing assistant, with a special focus on content creation and social media.
I felt like the invitation was made for me. We decided to meet and conduct an interview. Covid infected me a few days before the interview. I was scared that I wouldn't have the chance. Fortunately, they understood my situation and offered that I do it online instead. As a result, I was offered the job! Everything happened in such a flash! The Jobbsprånget closed applications the last week of January, and two weeks later, I was already working for Elobina!
My internship with Elobina will end on June 14th. The bad news is that everything must come to an end. 4 months with them was a fantastic experience that greatly helped me in breaking into the Swedish work market. My coworkers were supportive of my development and kind outside of work hours. This is an experience for which I will be eternally thankful.
The good news is that Elobina has given me a job!!! I just have to go home to my country after the internship because it has been over two years. I'll officially begin working with them in August. This time as an employee, not as an intern. I'm looking forward to learning and growing with Elobina. I'd like to be a part of their efforts to transform the textile industry into a greener and sustainable future.
Finally, without ICHL, none of this would be possible. They were important in my journey. They were the ones who first introduced me to Jobbsprånget. Also, I'd like to express my gratitude to Jobbsprånget for opening the door for me. I will be forever thankful for your help. I wish you all the best and hope that you will be able to help more internationals and change more lives.
/ Jean Descutido