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Sara Boork: "I feel like my heart and I have grown so much through my time and experiences in San Francisco"


Sara Boork is among the first people ever to have graduated Berghs Bachelor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. After having completed one semester at Berghs in Stockholm and then confirmed her studies for three years over seas, and finally getting her bachelor in December 2010, we wanted to hear her story.

September 1, 2011

Hello Sara, how are you enjoying the last days of summer?

Hi! I’m working, working, working. We are in the middle of shooting fall campaigns so I get vacation time in October when it’s all over!

Can you tell us a bit about why you chose Berghs Bachelor?

First of all I had heard great things about Berghs if you wanted to get into advertising/design. Having Berghs on your resume weighed heavily when job applications were to be sent out later. I was 20 when I started Berghs, but turned the (for the US) crucial age of 21 before I got over to SF. What really sold me was the possibility of spending -3 years in California. I wasn’t at all sure of what I wanted to work with in the future, but figured a couple of years in a new exciting environment with new people carrying all different thoughts and ideas would help me figure that out.

The first semester you studied at Berghs in Stockholm. What are your strongest memories from this semester?

Watching Metropolis with Clas von Sydow. Doing the I am STHLM project with the lovely design teacher Christian Altmann. I wish I’d spent more time really getting to know Photoshop + InDesign while I was doing graphic design. It’s proving to be useful in my work now.

After the first semester it was time to go abroad! You chose to attend Academy of Arts University in San Francisco. How come you ended up there?

Choosing between the States and Australia was a piece of cake. New York would probably have been more interesting had it been a school in Manhattan/Brooklyn. But California had my heart from the start. I started out doing Graphic Design at Berghs and continued with that for one semester at AAU. I then realized it wasn’t right for me, and decided to instead try the Fashion Merchandising program, which is what I 3 years later have my degree in. It’s a pretty broad program where marketing, buying, styling and visuals are in focus. A great thing about AAU, which is similar to Berghs, is that most of the teachers are only teachers part time, they’re usually also working in their fields. For me, that gives them credibility.

So, tell us, what was it really like studying at an American university?

I very much enjoyed my years there. American universities has its pros and cons of course, one con I feel is the American mentality to stick their kids in college right after high school - it’s hard to pick your life’s calling at age 17. AAU (along with a lot of other American schools I’m sure) has a really high first year dropout rate because of this reason. Sometimes that meant a lower level of creativity, interest and interaction in some classes; 18 year olds not really knowing or caring to know what they were doing. This was mostly the first year though.

San Francisco is such a beautiful city, inside and out. It has a great spirit. I feel like my heart and I have grown so much through my time and experiences there.

I was there for 3 years and sure I got homesick for my family a little now and then but as cheesy as it may sound Skype works wonders.

And now you finally finished your bachelor. What’s happened since?

I graduated in December 2010 and moved back to Sweden. I now work full time at Monki head quarters in Gothenburg. I assist Fashion Director Emma Wickström and handle production of all our campaigns as well as e-commerce that is starting this fall. It’s an extremely fun job that has me traveling and meeting so many creative, driven people everyday. I’m a happy camper.

Photo: Azin Ashourvan