Jobbsprånget and JIBS help newcomer academics build a professional network and career in Sweden

Taking the first steps into the Swedish labour market can be challenging for academics who are new to Sweden. The internship programme Jobbsprånget (The Job Leap), run by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), aims to speed up this process and act as a door-opener. Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) is actively participating in the successful program.

Jobbsprånget is a nationwide government-backed internship programme that provides employers with an easy way to make use of the skills and experience of academics who have recently arrived in Sweden. All candidates must have an academic degree in sciences, business, architecture or engineering and they must be able to speak English.

Since its inception, in 2016, 800 graduates have been placed in an internship. 70 per cent of these received a job offer after their 4-month internship, according to IVA. One key to the programme’s good results is that it matches employers’ needs for skills and experience with newly arrived engineers, architects, scientists and economists. For the intern, the programme creates new contacts, a validation of their skills and opportunities to fill any gaps in knowledge.

Opening the door

Olga Li is originally from Kazakhstan but after her MBA degree, she won an Erasmus Mundus and moved to Portugal. She stayed there for almost 10 years before moving to Sweden in 2019. With a high academic degree, you wouldn’t expect it to be difficult to find a job that is relevant to her education. But that turned out to be the case. Being unable to speak Swedish and with few or no connections in the country, it was hard to get the chance to show her potential.

Olga Li, Jobbsprånget intern

Olga Li is signed up to Jobbsprånget, completing a four-month-long internship as a research assistant at CeFEO.

“I tried all possible ways to find a job,” Olga says. “I made job applications and contacted several companies, but without any results. The problem is you that need Swedish experience to get a job here but at the same time, you need a job to get the experience. The employment situation wass even worse than usual due to Covid,” she says.

Today she is signed up to Jobbsprånget, completing a four-month-long internship as a research assistant at the Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO) at Jönköping International Business School (JIBS). She supports the researchers at the centre by collecting data and working closely with Timur Uman, Senior Associate Professor in Accounting and an active member of CeFEO.

“Finally I get to showcase that I have the skills to be employable and, at the same time, learn more about Swedish society and culture,” she says.

A win-win situation

JIBS has been participating in the Jobbsprånget programme since 2020, and the three research centres in the school have run several successful internships since then. The interns support research and outreach initiatives carried out by the research centres in coordination with the centres’ leadership team and some senior faculty members.

“The objective of the internship, from our point of view, is to involve the intern in practical tasks that support our efforts in further developing our knowledge in the field of family businesses and ownership, and to generate practically relevant findings that will support the development of the industry and society. At the same time, it is a unique opportunity for experiencing academic life here at JIBS and connect with our faculty,” says Massimo Baù, Director at CeFEO.

More information about Jobbsprånget can be found here


Jobbsprånget is a four-month-long internship programme run by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

The purpose of the programme is to utilise the expertise of newcomers with an academic degree in engineering, architecture, science, pharmacy or business/finance and accelerate their introduction into the Swedish labour market.

The programme is financed by the Wallenberg Foundations and the Swedish government, and administrated by Tillväxtverket.

Quick facts:

  • 7 out of 10 get a job after completing an internship.
  • 4 out of 10 participating interns are women.
  • 5 months to get a job, instead of 5–10 years

Source: Jobbsprånget