Where They’re Headed: Gillian Miswardi ’17

The anthropology major is continuing her streak of success at the Stockholm School of Economics this August.

When Gillian Miswardi ’17 heads to Stockholm to pursue a master’s degree in business and management from the prestigious Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), she won’t be a stranger in a strange land. The anthropology major from Singapore already lived in Sweden for six months in 2015 while interning at International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. (She even met HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.)

The two-year master’s program at SSE includes practical, real-world experience baked into its curriculum with projects and internships integrated into the courseload. The competitive program promises to help Miswardi build the confidence and leadership skills necessary to succeed in an entrepreneurial future.

“I was really drawn to SSE’s master’s program in business and management because it is the best business school in the Nordics and part of the program is targeted towards those who don’t have a background in business,” she said.

Only after returning from her first stint in Stockholm working with International IDEA (an internship she was awarded by winning the political organization’s 20th anniversary essay competition) did Miswardi begin to consider a future in business. With the encouragement of a friend, she applied to several business schools in Scandinavia before finally deciding on SSE.

“If you had asked me after I left Cambridge, [where I studied abroad] in my junior year, whether I would be attending business school in Sweden after Haverford, I would not have believed you,” Miswardi says.

On the other hand, the academic achievements she racked up during her undergraduate career certainly suggested future success. While abroad at the University of Cambridge (where she singlehandedly established a partnership between Haverford and Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College), Miswardi received the Annabelle Dixon Prize for academic achievement. Along with the International IDEA essay contest, Miswardi also won a contest sponsored by the Swedish recruitment organization Sqore, promoting SSE, which landed her another trip to Stockholm during her senior year.

Though the fields of anthropology and business may seem like strange bedfellows, Miswardi thinks they are complementary and is “excited to draw upon my anthropology background as I think about business and management problems.” But what she really hopes to utilize are the intermediate Swedish and the machine-learning courses she took at the University of Pennsylvania thanks to Haverford’s Quaker Consortium.

Likewise, Miswardi is hoping that SSE will be excellent preparation for an international business career, perhaps even in some kind of intergovernmental organization.

“A lot of the problems associated with these organizations have to do with management skills and my combination of anthropology and management would be useful,” she said.

Photo by Patrick Montero.

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.