Emma Björner is a graduate of the master’s progamme in marketing, management and society, and the author of a dissertation dealing with the marketing of countries. Her thesis focused on the branding of Sweden during the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and she was able to get valuable insight by also working in the Swedish pavillion during the exhibition. She later returned to the School as a Research Assistant and has now initiated her studies as a PhD student with the School. Her thesis will focus on the strategic and global positioning of Chinese mega cities.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
- I graduated with a master’s degree in June 2010 and after working with more practical tasks during the Expo in Shanghai I am very pleased to be back in the academic world, which I find both exciting and rewarding. Before being accepted to the doctoral programme I spent six months working as a Research Assistant with the Marketing section. This was a very rewarding time since I was able to get familiar with the world of research while at the same time focusing on areas of great interest to me personally.
What is the best thing about the School of Business?
- I really appreciate the dynamic and inspiring atmosphere that is created by all the interesting, friendly and ambitious people who work and study at the School. The great variety of people with diverse experiences and expertise creates a very interesting mixture.
Do you have any advice for today’s students?
- Get involved and look for valuable experiences outside of your studies! Why not get involved in different networks, organisations or associations where you can apply your theoretical knowledge, make new contacts and have fun – all at the same time. Participate in the activities that the Career Centre arranges for students and study abroad if you have the opportunity. I would also recommend students to write their dissertation in a developing country if they have the opportunity, for example through a MSF-scholarship.
Can you tell us more about the focus of your PhD studies?
- As a PhD student I will study the strategic and global positioning of Chinese mega cities. Today more and more people move to large cities, a trend that is evident in China and globally. The competition for investments, tourists, and inhabitants among cities around the world has also increased substantially. Although the branding of cities is being more and more acknowledged in research today, it is still a fairly young research area which has been focused mainly on Western cities. My research will instead look at the strategic and global branding of some of the Chinese mega cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing and Guangzhou.
Do you have any plans for the future and what do you think you will be doing in ten years?
- I have recently begun my doctoral studies and over the next few years I will study a topic which will give me the opportunity to develop my interest in the branding of Chinese cities as well as the Chinese culture and language, which feels really exciting! Ten years from now I hope to be working internationally with marketing and leadership, with close ties to both the academic and business world and alongside people from different countries and cultures.