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Sara Kukka-Salam

BSc in Business and Economics alum and Mayor of the Opposition in Solna shares how her business background has been a huge asset in her political career.

For as long as she can remember, Sara's motivation in life has always been her desire to change the world and make it a more equal place. She believes that change comes from people, power, and a political system that provides equal opportunities for everyone. Sara has been politically active since the age of 15, at first on a voluntary basis and then at age 21, as a member of her local parliament, to begin implementing the change she wishes to see in her community and in Sweden as a whole.


While visiting her relatives in Pakistan, Sara witnessed how the new democratic system there failed to create economic prosperity for most people. Her beleif of the strong link that is found between efficient public institutions, successful, entrepreneurship, and economics growth led her to explore the opportunities SSE could provide for her political aspirations:

"I have always known that I want to make a large positive impact on society and in order to do so, I needed to equip myself with the best possible tools. I wanted to be sure that I would never be rejected to any position due to my lack of formal education. My cause, to change the world, is too important."

Sara was confident that what would be taught at the best business school in Sweden would be beneficial for her future, and thus enable her to take the path of changing the world. And so it did. 


Not only did SSE foster a mindset where knowledge is highly valued but it also proved that diversity in the student population enriches students themselves and allows them to see themselves in the greater societal fabric. SSE's international community means that classrooms are filled with students that bring different perspectives foward, due to their unique backgrounds and experiences. But the common thread that runs through them all is a passion to conribute to a better world, in one way or another. 

"My studies taught me that the environment we come from shapes us, but it is where we aim that unites us."

If she could give advice to her younger self with all that she now knows, it would be to claim more space, even from the first day on campus. "Ask questions, dare to disagree, start a discussion – it will only be appreciated! A diversity of people equals a diversity of opinions, which leads to fruitful discussions and new insights" she adds.

And for students consifering applying to SSE, Sara leaves you with this advice:

"Just do it! You will not regret it. When I applied, I was afraid that I would not "fit in" at SSE due to my political views (I thought everyone would be conservative at SSE) and my family background with two immigrant parents. I could not have been more wrong! The professors were crystal clear from the first day: SSE values diversity."


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