"Curiosity and nerdiness are my driving forces"

If someone had told Magnus Alnesjö ten years ago that he would one day study for a master's degree, he would have laughed. But sometimes life takes unexpected turns, and today he loves the academic world. So much so that he has his sights set on a career in research.

Magnus' path to higher education and GIH has not been entirely obvious. High school was never his thing, and he had a hard time finding the motivation to continue studying after that. In the end, it was his interest in sports that made him open up to applying to the world of higher education.

"For quite some time, I had worked in American football, including various national assignments, at the National Sports High School in Uppsala, and as responsible for an NIU education. But I came to a point where I felt that I was stagnating a bit in my development, and then I started to think about whether I should take the chance to start studying," he says.

Growing academic interest

No sooner said than done. Magnus started studying at GIH's coaching program, and during the course of his education he became more and more interested in the academic world. So it was therefore an easy decision for him to apply for the master's programme at a later date.

"During my last year of the coaching programme, I got the chance to help out in a research project and I was completely absorbed. I just wanted to dive deeper into academia," he says and continues:

"I think it's fun to keep developing, and from that perspective, the master's programme is perfect. There is a different academic interest than when you study at the undergraduate level, with higher demands and expectations, which is both challenging and fun," he says.

Curiosity – a driving force

But even though the expectations and stakes are higher on the master's programme, Magnus doesn't think you should be deterred from applying.

– I mean, I dropped out of high school twice but I've still managed to get here, haha! But, joking aside, in the grand scheme of things, it's a lot about being a person who wants to learn more. In my class, there are all different types of geekery, from those who want to investigate how sports can help students who have different difficulties in school, to those who want to sit in the lab and look at biopsies. But our common denominator is that we are all driven by curiosity and the desire to find out more. If you have that drive combined with a strong interest in something specific, I think the master's programme can be a good way to go," he says.

Aiming for studies abroad

GIH's master's programme consists of compulsory courses in sport science, methodology/design and analysis, as well as a number of elective courses. The latter can be studied either at GIH, or at another university in Sweden or abroad. For Magnus, it is not entirely foreign to look outside Sweden's borders, across the Atlantic to be a little more precise.

"I myself have a background in sports that are mainly about power and explosiveness, and would like to study it more closely. And sports in the U.S. are very focused on power, so it feels like an obvious option if it were to come up. Regardless, it's good to be able to have the opportunity to study abroad," he says.

Well-stocked idea bank

An independent degree project is also on the agenda before Magnus can add a master's degree to his CV, and there is certainly no shortage of ideas.

"I have like 43 ideas that have been with me and built on since I studied at the coaching program! There are so many things that would be interesting to dig into. So we'll see what I end up with.

And then what? Is Magnus' time in academia over? Hardly! If everything goes as Magnus wants, a doctoral education is the next stop, followed by a position as a postdoc, and finally a title as a professor.

"Yes, I'll probably be pretty stuck in the academic world for a while longer! But I don't think I'll ever be able to let go of the practicalities completely. As a researcher, I want to contribute to the development of new knowledge, but for me it will be important not only to sit in a lab and pulk, but also to get close to the field to see how my research can be useful in practice. Then I can have one foot in both worlds, which would be the very best!

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Magnus Alnesjö

Student at:
Master's Programme

Last modified:14 Nov 2023