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Silvia Kakembo

Meet Silvia Kakembo – Head of Operations at the PR and communications firm Arena Opinion. Silvia is an SSE graduate from the BSc program in Business & Economics.

Describe your role and what you do.

As Head of Operations at the PR and communications firm Arena Opinion I do a little bit of everything. I work together with our clients, who are mostly non-profit organisations, to solve challenging problems on how to influence decision makers and the public opinion. I also work hard to find skilled colleagues. Finally, I spend time updating myself on trends within communication, politics and societal issues. My ambition is to find out how to navigate our firm but also to give good advice to our clients.

What inspired you to work with civic engagement and opinion formation?

Social injustice. Once you start to see it, then it is everywhere. Throughout life I have been part of social and political movements and organisations. I get inspired when people come together to bring about positive change, whether it is in the local community or in a global context.

How did your education at SSE help you get to where you are in your career?

SSE gave me a basic orientation of Swedish, and partly global business life. A little bit of economics, a little bit of business strategy, some management, finance and then some marketing. It was also a stepping stone to my first workplaces after graduation, the management consultancy firm Centigo, writing columns at Dagens Arena and working for the Minister of Finance. Apparently it is a good education if you want to prepare yourself for many different sectors.

What have you learned in the past few years that has contributed to your success?

Tons of things! Both contextually, through working in different sectors, but also specific things related to the roles I have had. For example, just seeing from a close distance how the government and its ministers function during a health crisis and economic crisis has been valuable to me and my understanding of society.

What advice would you give to students considering applying to SSE?

Go for it. You will not always see the value of your courses while you are in the midst of your education, but afterwards I think it all comes together quite well.

SSE does have a couple of weaknesses, one of them being the homogeneity of the student body and teachers at the Bachelor level. So, if you are someone who differs from the majority, the greater the reason to apply. You will probably contribute to widening the perspectives of many of your classmates and the school as a whole.