Hélio Manhica.
Hélio Manhica.

What are you doing now?

I took my doctorate degree in public health science at Stockholm University in 2017. Right now, I am a postdoctoral fellow in social epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet. My research focuses on identifying risk factors for alcohol and drug dependence in young adults and examining the long-term consequences.

How did our Master’s Programme in Demography help you realize your professional goals?

During the time I was a doctoral student, I got to use much of the knowledge I gained during my master’s education (for example: the migration process, mortality, register data and quantitative research methods). This knowledge was the basis for my PhD, considering that my doctoral education was primarily about using the existing register data to study risk and protection factors for mental health, and the labor market of certain groups of migrants in Sweden. As a social epidemiologist at KI, I still use the same base of knowledge – that is, migration, registry data, quantitative methods; etc. I would say that thanks to the master's programme in demography, I am who I am today and do what I do as a researcher.

How did / do you like living and working in Stockholm?

I love life in Sweden and especially in Stockholm. Stockholm is a multicultural place where different cultures and values meet. I’m happy to be able to work and live in this nice city. In addition to the multicultural side of Stockholm, I think the city has a lot to offer such as: good communication between different parts of the city, a lot of nature and water, and a vibrant cultural life especially during the summer.

How come you chose SUDA and Stockholm University for your master studies?

I came to Sweden in 2008 and lived 2 years in Västerås. During my first years in Sweden, I became interested in migration issues, health and the labor market. That was the reason why I moved to Stockholm to continue my studies. When I read the description of that master's programme in demography, I noticed that it was the right one for me and today I am happy that I made the right choice. Had I had the chance to start over and choose something new, I think I would still have chosen SUDA and the master’s programme in demography again without hesitation.