Before coming to GIH, Mikaela studied at the sports science program at the University of Gävle – a three-year education that gave her a bachelor's degree and a broad perspective on the subject. Pretty quickly, however, she decided that the broad perspective wasn't enough – she wanted to dig down and specialize even more!
"A basic education is very broad and you are quite controlled in what you can read and learn. Unlike the master's programme, where I quite quickly had to start thinking about what I would like to specialise in. It's great to be able to build my degree more based on the areas that I'm particularly interested in and passionate about," she says.
During the first semester, the programme's compulsory courses have been on the schedule, including Sports Science Methods and Design, which Mikaela thought was particularly interesting.
"It was a very clear course where I got a lot of useful things with me, such as a different picture of research and structure, and how to combine different methods. What I learned will really come in handy when I'm writing my master's thesis.
Lots of ideas
During the second and third semesters, the master's students take elective courses, either at GIH or other universities, and the last semester is dedicated to the independent project. Mikaela hasn't really decided what she wants to focus on in her essay, but is thinking of continuing on the same theme as for her bachelor's thesis.
"At the time, I wrote about motherhood and elite sports, and that's something I can see myself looking into further. But at the same time, I get new ideas all the time, so we'll see! There are so many things that would be interesting to dig into," she says.
Research – an ambition
It is clear that Mikaela is passionate about acquiring new knowledge, and as her studies in the master's programme progress, the desire to immerse herself further only grows stronger.
"I've always been interested in research, and the master's programme is really a good step to get a closer look at that world. I definitely have an ambition to start doing research myself after I've finished this education. I always want to continue to learn more and develop," she says.
Knowledge that provides security
Mikaela has always had a great interest in sports, and has a background as both a figure skating coach and dance teacher. In addition to her studies, she currently works as a personal trainer and runs her own business, and she is convinced that her master's studies will be of great importance for her future working life.
"What I learn in the master's programme gives me a solid foundation and knowledge that is scientifically grounded, which in turn will make me more confident in my professional role. I feel that as a personal trainer I get better conditions to coach others, than those who study a PT education in just a few weeks.
Added value on campus
For Mikaela, whose undergraduate education was entirely remote, one of the major advantages of the master's programme at GIH is that it is largely campus-based. Not only because it's nice to meet fellow students and teachers IRL, but also because it provides a different kind of closeness to knowledge, skills and learning.
"When you're on site, everything you learn is put into context in a completely different way than it is when you're at a distance. There are so many exciting things happening all the time at GIH, and it's a luxury to be able to be here and take part in everything," she says.
With that said, Mikaela's advice to those who are considering applying for the master's programme at GIH is to take advantage of all the opportunities given to learn and develop.
– Attend the lectures, even if they are not compulsory, participate in discussion forums, attend seminars and dissertations, take the opportunity to ask questions to professors and teachers, network – it will benefit and inspire you and give a great added value to your studies!