Alumna of the year has rehabilitation of the unemployed close to her heart
The award Alumna/Alumnus of the year at Halmstad University is this year awarded to Rebecka Larsson. Her innovative contributions to her workplace and her ongoing involvement in the University’s Health Education programme makes her a true ambassador for the University. With fervour and enthusiasm, she inspires students to be curious and to dare.
It is a humble and surprised winner of the award Alumna/Alumnus of the year that receives her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Nelson. Rebecka Larsson has had a few weeks to digest the nomination. Now that she has been able to take it all in, she finds it really great and honouring.
“When I saw that the phone call was from the University, I did not think that it would be me that would be named Alumna of the year”, says a happy Rebecka Larsson.
“The award Alumna/Alumnus of the Year is a way for the University to show how important our students are, also after they have graduated, and show what significant contributions they make in society”, says Anders Nelson.
The road to graduation
Since she was young, Rebecka has always wanted to help people. She had a longing to be able to be a support to others, but she felt that she herself was stuck with no way forward. So, she set up a meeting with a guidance counsellor at the University, who advised her to study Health Education.
“The guidance counsellor really sold it to me, and the fact that the program was about health and change management on an individual, group, organisation and society level made me interested. And the education was a success”, she says.
Rebecka Larsson is a true ambassador for her education, the Health Education Programme at Halmstad University. She did not sever the ties with the University after finishing her studies. Instead she has kept in touch to develop the education and create good experiences for future students. She is a part of the programme council for Health Education Programme and contributes with knowledge for the continued development of Halmstad University.
Rebecka Larsson is an appreciated colleague and a good person with a passion for humanitarian work. She is passionate about giving a helping hand to her fellow humans. She is a role model for women and advocates the importance of standing up and fighting for who you are. She shares the journey that she herself is on to be able to live a healthy life.
According to Rebecka Larsson the strength of the Health Education programme is that it provides a solid base for entering the labour market.
“What helped me the most was the pedagogical foundation. I also learned to be solution-driven. Things do not always turn out the way you thought they would, so you have to rethink fast. All the knowledge that I have received has helped me get to where I am today.”
Rebecka Larsson has only been an alumna for three years as she now receives the award Alumna/Alumnus of the year, and she has already managed to make a valuable impact on her workplace. She got a job during her final semester at Halmstad University and then moved on to a job at the municipality of Halmstad the year after. While working with the labour market, she was asked to help start up the work with pre-rehabilitation with the team for individual collaboration in Halmstad/Hylte.
”During my studies I focused a lot on a psychosocial work environment. That is also what my bachelor’s thesis was about. Now instead, I help those who do not have a work environment to be in.”
The work that the team for individual collaboration does is focused on supporting individuals that have ended up outside the labour market and need to be rehabilitated. The team helps the individual with contact with the involved authorities and strives to create sustainable and long-term solutions based on the needs and preconditions of the individual.
“I never thought I would end up here. During my studies I focused a lot on a psychosocial work environment. That is also what my bachelor’s thesis was about. Now instead, I help those who do not have a work environment to be in. They are individuals who are easily forgotten, so it has been a very rewarding task to engage in”, says Rebecka Larsson.
Continued contact with the University
Rebecka Larsson has made great contributions to the University even after graduating. It was not planned, but just happened to unfold that way, and it all begun with an email conversation with her former teacher.
“I contacted my teacher to tell him about my new job and how it was connected to my studies. After that he asked me if I wanted to come and hold a lecture for the students in the Health Education programme, which I did”, she says.
Rebecka Larsson thinks that during her guest lectures, she has been able to communicate what she has experienced while in the labour market.
“I get new inspiration myself by keeping the contact with the University and I feel that I have a lot to give to the students.”
A link between education and the labour market
Beyond the lectures Rebecka Larsson is also a member of the Health Education programme council. The programme council is a valuable place to reflect on what is going on in the field of health together with teachers, students and other representatives of the labour market.
“It has given me a lot to keep the contact with the University. I see other ways of thinking and keep myself updated on the progress within the field.”
During the spring Rebecka Larsson has also had two students from the University at her workplace. They did their internships at her workplace and took part in the project that she runs.
It is not only her knowledge of the labour market that the Alumna of the year wants to share. She also wants to inspire a new generation of students. What Rebecka Larsson encourages most is to challenge yourself during your education:
“The most important thing as a student is to be curious and to dare. Take an active part in group tasks and do not be afraid of groups or contexts that you are unaccustomed to. In the work life you constantly work with new people.”
To keep challenging yourself after the education, is the advice that she wants to give to the students that now graduate.
“Do not lose your spark, keep being solution-driven. Dare to do things that you feel you do not dare and believe in yourself. You will learn a lot from it.”
Text: David Sveder
Photo: Dan Bergmark
Film: Hilda Liberg