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Emma Ehrenberg

Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender

"Don't be afraid to jump on various opportunities that come your way!"

Profile photo of alumna Emma Ehrenberg
Profile photo of alumna Emma Ehrenberg.

Alumni portrait of alumna Emma, from the Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender. Interview was conducted in January 2024.

You graduated from the Social Studies of Gender program in 2019. What have you been doing since then?

Right after graduation in summer 2019, I got a temporary post at Kvinnojouren Lund, an organisation based in Lund that tackles the issue of violence against women. I worked there for about nine months before acquiring a job as a temporary committee secretary at The Municipality of Lund. A few months later, the role became permanent and I have now worked there for almost four years. When I started, I was in charge of a few smaller committees, but as time went by I became ready to shoulder larger and more complex ones. Today, I'm the committee secretary for the municipal board in Lund, one of the municipality's bodies of political leadership.

Emma and Anders Almgren, Chairman of the Municipal Board, during a meeting with the Municipal Board. Photo.
Emma and Anders Almgren, Chairman of the Municipal Board, during a meeting with the Municipal Board.

What do you enjoy the most about your work at the municipality of Lund? How does a regular workday look like for you?

The municipal board consists of representatives from the nine political parties that are represented in the municipal council, which is the highest decision-making body in the municipality. The municipal board's mission, however, is to be overall responsible for developing municipal operations, lead and coordinate the municipality's affairs, and promote long-term sustainability. Being the secretary for the municipal board means being an integral part of the democratic wheel. I work very closely with both politicians and public officials and get to see closely how the municipality runs. One of the best parts of the job is feeling like you contribute to a fundamental pillar of society. It's a demanding, yet very rewarding job.

When there's no meeting with the municipal board, a normal day consists of preparing documents and cases in our computer system, getting them ready for being politically processed. It also involves coordinating and planning the board's meetings. If it's a meeting day, I will spend most of the morning preparing for the meeting, for example by studying the various cases on the agenda. In the afternoon, the meeting will commence. It can last for several hours and my job is to keep track of everything that happens in order to be able to write the meeting minutes afterwards. Depending on the nature of the meeting, I'll write the minutes the very same evening.

Did your time at Lund University contribute to your professional development? If so, in what ways?

Absolutely! It contributed in many ways, but the internship course I took in my final year of the degree was especially helpful. I interned at Länsstyrelsen (County Administrative Board) in Halland, which introduced me professionally to the public sector and public administration. That is where I realised that I wanted to work with local government, rather than with international politics.

Emma and her fiancée at UPF student ball in 2019.
Emma and her fiancée at UPF student ball in 2019.

What did you enjoy the most about studying the Social Studies of Gender program?

My courses were very diverse, with students from all over the world. Because of this we discussed the course contents from many different perspectives, making lectures and seminars all the more interesting. This is still what I value the most about studying this program.

Do you have any advice to offer to current students at Graduate School?

Don't be afraid to jump on various opportunities that come your way after graduation. I didn't expect to work with what I do today, but when I saw the advertisement for the role as a committee secretary, I decided to give it a try despite knowing little about the nature of the role. And I'm so happy I did because it turned out to be a perfect fit for me! 

Alumna Emma Ehrenberg at her Graduation Ceremony in 2019
Emma at her Graduation Ceremony in 2019.

Do you have any advice to prospective students interested in the master program?

You'll all come from different backgrounds, with different experiences and perspectives on gender issues. Be curious and open-minded! You'll learn so much from each other. Also, if you have a specific interest you want to nurture further during your time in Lund, chances are there's a student organisation for it. I was active in The Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund (UPF Lund) and it gave me friends for life as well as valuable knowledge for the future.