Alumna Claire Ye

Facts about Claire Ye

Born: 1986 in Hangzhou, China 

Interests: reading, mostly fact books about anything from science to philosophy. I don’t read much fiction; I prefer to see movies instead. I also take languages courses, at the moment I study Swedish and French. I also like to travel. My dream for the coming few years is to visit Africa for the nature and Israel for the Hebrew language and the religion.   I am also very interested in music too and I am taking guitar course now. And will start horse riding when the temperature gets a bit higher in Shanghai. 

It was none other than Alfred Nobel himself who awakened biologist Claire Yes interest for Sweden and Karolinska Institutet. And her curiosity paid off. Just two months after completing her studies in bioentrepreneurship, she was offered a job at Swedish Getinge in Shanghai.
In the fall of 2008, 22 year old Claire Ye looked down from her airplane window and saw Sweden for the first time. She remembers it very clearly.

- It was so beautiful! says Claire Ye over a surprisingly clear phone line from Shanghai. There were so many trees and lakes. It was such a contrast to China where everything is grey. 

Walking out from the central station in Stockholm, she was struck by how the people also differed so much from her native country.

- In China, everyone looks the same and wears the same clothes. Here, I saw people with different ethnic background, skin color and clothes that expressed themselves as individuals. It was wonderful.  

Claire had just finished her biotechnology studies at Fudan University and was now going to live in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, to take part of at two year study program at Karolinska Institutet. She first heard about the university when she took a course about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize. Being curious about the distinguished institution that elects the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Claire started browsing the internet for international courses given there. But back then, in 2005, there were none. But Claire could not let go of her dream to study in Sweden. Two years later, she searched the internet again and found the newly started program in bioentrepreneurship. She decided to apply for the program right away.

I was attracted by the practical set up of the program which included internships at different companies in the life science sector. I really wanted to get to know the industry so it was perfect. 

Claire remembers her years at Karolinska Institutet as a very pleasant and of her life and she had the opportunity to take part in the student life on and outside campus. Once she got to know the Swedes, her first impression of them was strengthened. She describes the people in Sweden as very sincere; no one is trying to be someone else.

- The Swedes are very nice people, even though they are a bit shy, especially the guys, she says laughing.
But the thing she appreciated the most was the close connection between the university and the industry.

Besides the internships people from the industry also gave lectures during the courses. This gave me the real life experience that I was looking for.

Today, Claire lives in Shanghai. She is a product manager at the Swedish company Getinge. The company focuses on products for infection control in the healthcare sector and contamination prevention in the biotech sector. Her first contact with Getinge was right after she got back to China after she finished her studies at Karolinska Institutet. She did an external consulting project for the company and got in touch with the people working there.

- The evening after I gave the final presentation and turned in the report, they called me and offered me a job. It was just two months after I got home from Sweden so I was very happily surprised! 

Her work includes everything that concerns the product, from sales to customer support. Since Getinge is an international company, she also gets to travel a lot which is one of her passions in life. It also gives her the opportunity to keep in touch with her former class mates. Every year when she visits Stockholm, she meets some of them over a drink. 

- I really enjoy doing what I do, it is exactly what I pictured when I started my studies. I think there are good career opportunities for me at Getinge, I think I will stay for at least three more years although I have not made any specific plans for the future yet, she says before we say goodbye and Claire and goes to bed on the other side of the earth. 


Interviewed by: Camilla Wernersson, Karolinska Institutet