The former SSE student Sofia Hellsten has been profiled on the social networking site About.me as a Campus Fave – which wanted us to give her a shout-out, but also to let you know more about Sofia and the organization Early Art that she and another SSE student co-founded in 2014.
Sofia has always appreciated to visit museums, dance shows and concerts and her parents always encouraged her and her sisters to take part in the cultural selection offered in our surroundings. With the monthly arranged creative mornings, she passes along this mindset and gives you the opportunity to enjoy different kinds of inspiring art to start the day. When choosing SSE Sofia was mainly attracted to communication, organization and business and the choice to take a Master’s degree in Business & Management has been one of her best.
Tell us about the Early Art concept
The idea was born during the first master year when Elin Torstensson – who is also the co-founder – and I visited an exhibition at Moderna Museet. We felt that why don’t we do this more often? Unfortunately, most of the days and weekends are fully booked and art consumption often gets excluded solely to evenings and weekends. But, if we managed to do activities like exercising or meeting friends for breakfast in the morning, why not as easily consume art? Approximately one month afterwards, we organized our first event at a small gallery in Vasastan, which became very popular. And since then we arrange our monthly fine arts sessions, over breakfast.
What are the benefits of morning art?
When you go to an exhibition or show in the evening, you have probably already had a full day of decisions and impressions. In the mornings, however, the brain is more like a blank sheet of paper and you are more open and have the energy to take on art and the challenge that it might be sitting at a performance of modern dance or listening to poetry. So it is very positive to embrace the days with a completely different attitude. At SSE, for example, a certain mindset exists and sometimes you need to think in completely different ways. So we see it as a nice addition if you work with the kind of profession that many of the SSE students finally end up on, which can be quite logical and straight-controlled.
Studying at SSE, how has it helped you along the way?
The most important has been the people I have met! I appreciate it more now when I am finished and more involved around the world and taking part in the business community. It is useful to find inputs from people within different areas. Many are open-minded and provide room for discussions regarding everything from career to specific issues. In addition to all the meetings and contacts, the environment at SSE is in itself inspiring, since many of the students are so driven. It makes you spurred to perform and challenge yourself, constantly. And of course, I have received a stir degree of valuable understanding of the business industry.
Your best SSE memory?
They are many, but something I specifically think of is when I, during my first semester, arranged the Noble Night Cap together with SASSE, the student association. It was challenging, and so much fun!
Your best advice to our new and current students?
Questioning things! SSE is fantastic and the school has very fine traditions, but it is equally important to have the ability to challenge your mindset, both concerning your own choices and why you are making them – and also what you learn and how you learn it. It is easy to be book smart, which also takes you far, but do not forget to think outside the box – even if the box can be very, very good. It is also important to remember that equality in working life starts within education and the standards schools like SSE and its' students set. Finally, always remember to seek opportunities right away. Do not wait until you’ve earned your degree. Live life as a student – as a part of life itself!
Text: Malin Johansson