Photo of Raya Zamil at her job in lab environment wearing laboratory safety attire

Meet Raya Zamil from Swedish Internship Programme Jobbsprånget

14/05/2021

Raya Zamil, Engineer and Trainee through Jobbsprånget in Sweden

Raya Zamil was born in Iraq and fled to Syria during the war, where she later completed a degree in petroleum engineering. Now she lives in Sweden, where she is doing an internship at AFRY though Jobbsprånget, a programme that allows newly arrived academics to connect with Swedish employers.

Jobbsprånget is an initiative programme that aims to introduce newly arrived talents to the Swedish labour market, a chance for the participants to start or continue their career within their area of competence. AFRY has collaborated with Jobbsprånget for many years and has benefited from the wide-spread competences the programme has brought. One of the people doing her internship at AFRY through Jobbsprånget is Raya Zamil, who we have had the pleasure of interviewing.

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“As a woman, it is hard to get into the engineering business and the situation in Syria did not make it easier. Ultimately the situation in Syria forced us to move once again. This time we moved to Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden. It is safe to say that I was shocked when we arrived. The climate and cultural differences were extensive, but in the end we were relieved to be in a peaceful place where we did not need to worry about whether we would live or die tomorrow”, she says.

 

In Sweden, Raya studied a master’s degree in environmental chemistry at Umeå University and applied for Jobbsprånget after her graduation. Shortly thereafter, she was contacted by AFRY.

“My internship at AFRY started in February this year and will continue for two more months. At the moment I am working with research engineering for a Life Science company called Cytiva, which was the client selected for me via AFRY. A normal day at work for me consists of being in the lab and analysing chemical data.”

The journey from the war in Iraq to Raya’s internship at AFRY is remarkable, and not easy in the slightest. It is not until now that she has had time to reflect on her life background, and she wants to use her experiences to inspire people in similar situations.

“My best advice is to keep positive and never give up. This worked for me, although it was a long road to get to my current position. I can now say that I am comfortable and pleased, it feels like a new beginning”.