Headlines 2018

"Now I have a good understanding of a researcher’s job"


Data processing is a major and central part of a researcher's everyday life, which Helena Hernnäs and Viking Waldén have learned during the summer of 2018 when they worked as research assistants at IFN. Both are happy with their time at IFN. They say that the atmosphere is open and welcoming and that they have gained good insights into what it means to be a researcher.

Helena Hernnäs, born in Stockholm, currently lives in Paris and has one year left of her master's degree in Economics at the Paris School of Economics. She heard about the summer job at IFN through her sister's friend who previously worked as a research assistant at IFN. Viking Waldén, who grew up in Sandviken, starts with a Ph.D. in Economics this autumn at the Stockholm School of Economics. He also heard about the summer job at IFN from former assistants.

What happened during the summer at IFN?

“IFN is a nice and open workplace. I felt welcome”, says Helena.

She considers a career within research and explains that the summer job has been a great way to experience what research means. She has, among other things, become aware that much of the researcher's time is spent on data processing. A job that is central to research, but rarely seen.

"It has been a lot of fun. The researchers have really been willing to share their work”, Viking explains, who appreciated that the researchers have taken their time to drink coffee and have lunch with him to talk about their work.

Viking says that he learned a lot about research as such at academic seminars that he has been able to attend during his time at IFN. During the summer he has also gotten a great respect for the work with extensive data volumes and he has realized what "enormous amount of work it entails".

"Many people probably think that a researcher mostly is sitting on his or her chamber and thinking, but it's largely about hard work that has to be done. It is not enough to just be a genius”, Viking supposes.

Which field can Helena and Viking consider to research in the future?

“Policy evaluation”, Helena says. She wants to work with this regardless of whether she later places a doctorate in her education or not.

Helena explains that she realized the value and importance of policy evaluations when she practiced at the Swedish OECD delegation in Paris.

Viking's course is determined for the next few years, as he begins doctoral education at the Stockholm School of Economics this autumn. He says that he would like to continue studying how competition affects risk-taking – which was the subject of his master's thesis. And regardless of the subject he chooses, empirical research is what attracts him.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se