Jesper Barenfeld - How Networking Paid off
Jesper Barenfeld describes himself as a happy, social and ambitious person. In his childhood, he wanted to become a deep sea diver or a formula one driver and he has indeed spent his free time both diving and driving formula cars, but as for most people his professional career ended up far away from his childhood aspirations — in his case in the field of tax law... .
Jesper chose to study law because of an inspiring law teacher and JIBS was his first choice since it was the only law program at the time that offered a true international law degree. During his final term he received an offer to start the doctoral programme at JIBS.
“For me it was an opportunity to get into a professional area with a different background. My intention was always to go out in practice after finalizing my dissertation and not to stay in academia forever."
Jesper found his time at JIBS to be rewarding and fun and he felt he received both an academic and a social education.
“You really grow and develop both intellectually and as a person when you study at a university", he says and continues, “Even though life as a doctoral student is hard work, it is also a privilege that someone is willing to hire you to do research and develop your professional skills."
A privilege at JIBS, according to Jesper, was that you had a great deal of opportunity to go abroad. You were encouraged to go to conferences and to stay abroad for longer study periods. Jesper went to Australia, USA , Netherlands ,Germany , Denmark and Norway amongst others. He thinks that JIBS really lived up to its international profile.
As a doctoral student you can also build a strong professional network. During his studies Jesper had met the Head of Tax at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, several times and at the verge of defending his thesis he received an offer to start working at the confederation.
“Krister was appointed chair of Business Europe´s Tax Committee in Brussels and needed someone that could help him out in his new capacity. Krister got the position on a Friday and I started at the Confederation the next Monday", says Jesper.
Jesper worked for the Confederation for three years and his responsibility was within EU tax law and international tax law. The work focused on representing Swedish and European business in discussions with politicians and decision makers in Sweden and Brussels.
“Working as a lobbyist in Brussels was indeed an extraordinary experience", says Jesper. "Apart from learning a lot about the political and legislative processes, it gave a great opportunity to develop a strong professional network in Sweden and throughout the world."
Jesper is currently working as a tax lawyer at AB Volvo´s headquarter in Gothenburg. He started his position as Director for International Tax in March 2008.
“ I loved working at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and wasn't looking for a new job but when you start working at a rather young age it is good to change jobs after a while to gain experience and a job offer from AB Volvo is hard to resist", Jesper says.
On a more personal note, Jesper is married and in his spare time he likes to work on the house and in the garden, meet friends, exercise and travel. His hopes for the future are to live a good life together with his family and friends. By the way — he drives a Volvo....