Simon has always had a great interest in sports, exercise and health. Growing up, he tried several different sports, and finally got hooked on football, where he would stay for many years. Gradually, however, he began to take an interest in more than just what goes on on the pitch.
"Over time, my interest in the effects of training, that is, how it affects the body and performance, grew. So I started studying physiology at Karolinska Institutet, and then sports psychology at Halmstad University, and realised that I wanted to continue to develop my knowledge in those areas," he says.
No sooner said than done. A little research later, Simon had decided that a master's degree was the right way to go, and shortly thereafter he moved back to his hometown of Stockholm to immerse himself in sports science at GIH. Now, in his second year of the master's programme, he couldn't be more pleased with his choice.
"It's really a great education! Above all, I like the width, and that you have the opportunity to shape your path depending on what you are passionate about, says Simon and continues:
"But above all, the teachers are incredible! Everyone is so open and willing to help, and if you are interested in participating in a particular project, you are really given the conditions to do so.
Drive that opens doors
According to Simon, being a driving force and taking the initiative to participate in projects is a good way to get the most out of the education. For example, he was an early adopter of planning for the independent project, and already during the first year he began to lay out hooks for the GIH researchers. Something that turned out to be a stroke of luck.
"Already in the first semester, there was a lot of talk about the independent project, so I was quick to contact different teachers to investigate whether there were any projects where I could participate and that could form the basis for my thesis. That's how I came into contact with researcher Elin Ekblom Bak, who invited me to participate in a project on beta-blockers and oxygen uptake, which fell completely within my area of interest, and now I've already started my data collection," says Simon.
A research career in sight
When asked which course has been the most interesting so far, Simon is quick to answer.
– The course in research methodology. Our teacher was great and I got a really good foundation for what I want to do in the future, which is research.
Although Simon sounds very sure of what he is doing today, it was not initially a given that he would aim for a research career.
"No, it's really something that has dawned on me since I started at GIH, and especially when I got the opportunity to work with Elin Ekblom Bak on her project. Then I realized that there are so many exciting areas to immerse yourself in, and that I want to contribute to the development of new knowledge. So now I can't really see any other option than to do research, and the master's programme really lays a good foundation for that," he says.
Best place for learning
In addition to the fact that Simon is very satisfied with the content of the education, he also enjoys working at GIH. Above all, in the Laboratory of Applied Sport Science, LTIV, where he has had the chance to spend a lot of time.
"It's really cool to be in the lab and learn about all the tests and how they are used in research. And the lab staff is great! I feel that I can ask any question, even the stupid ones, and that they go in wholeheartedly for me to get answers and learn. It's consistently at GIH, which means that I get so much out of studying here.