Maxim Kan. Photo: Daniel Rossetti/SU
Maxim Kan. Photo: Daniel Rossetti/SU

What are you doing now?

I started a Ph.D. in Sociological Demography at SUDA in September 2019. My friends from our Master’s Programme cohort 2010-2012 such as Linus Andersson, Nicholas Adjei, and Sebastian Ruiz who all got the “Dr” prefix last year inspired me to match them and come back to academia. My research is focused on gender equality and reproductive behaviour in post-Soviet Central Asia under the supervision of Sunnee Billingsley and Sol Juarez.

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

The Master’s Programme in Demography helped me learn a lot of methods to strengthen analytical and critical thinking. It was a foundation for further professional development. I got my master's degree in 2012 and since then I have worked in different roles such as researcher, regional research manager, and regional monitoring and evaluation advisor for the public health initiatives in Central Asia of the non-governmental organization Population Services International (PSI) as well being involved in the project management of the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Kazakhstan Office.

Different demographic approaches that we learned during the Master’s Programme helped to fulfil my duties in such fields as conducting cross-sectional surveys among different populations and doing quantitative analysis. It helped me being “obsessed” with data and making data-driven decisions in project work.

After 7 years of working in Central Asia, I decided to come back to Stockholm to get my Ph.D. degree because I knew that this was one of the best places to learn and grow as an individual and a demographer.

How did you like living and working in Stockholm?

This is my second spell in Stockholm after I lived here in 2010-2012. Prior experience of living in Stockholm was one of the reasons to come back here to continue working in academia. This is a great place to live, study, or work. Ecology is great here, raw nature is almost everywhere, and you are surrounded by people who can prioritize work-family balance.

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

I read about Sweden and the country’s policies and about the developments that have been achieved in the social sphere. So, it was natural to search for institutions to study demography in the country. Then I checked and get acquainted with work and projects that were done by SUDA and I was impressed that all the three pillars of demography such as fertility, mortality, and migration were well covered by the Unit.

Initially, I started a one-year Magister’s Programme, but after one month of interactions with lecturers and because of the great atmosphere in the university, I immediately prolonged it to a two-year Master’s Programme.