How to get onto Norway’s career ladder

17 March 2015

Finding work in Norway as an international student may be hard but it is not impossible. The key is commitment, willingness to learn and a touch of bravery, says Head of BI’s Careers Service, Adriana Jansen.

Whether you are looking for internships or are planning to stay in Norway after graduation, the prospect of competing against those with Norwegian as their mother tongue can be daunting. However, armed with the right skills and talent, the knowledge of how to utilise opportunities may be all it takes.

Focus on personal development

Adriana Jansen, Head of Careers Services at BI, says that job-seekers first of all try should try to learn Norwegian. While it may seem an obvious task to suggest, it is one that may be tempting to go without.

- Norwegian is often very important, especially in positions where there is client contact or where they are expected to work in teams. Show the employer your keen interest in improving your Norwegian language and cultural competences. Highlight your skills, motivation and uniqueness. Do not forget that your international background can be an advantage and an important selling point, says Jansen.

Meanwhile, a spring-clean of a CV, attending company presentation days and signing up for free career advice sessions with the Careers Service at BI would make a good foundation for stepping onto the career ladder, she explains.

Explore globalized companies

While studying, it is useful to keep track of company news from companies with a globalized mindset, where goals go beyond borders and the employee body is multinational, Adriana explains. As well as having ‘hard’ skills where language is not much of a barrier, such as coding or data analysis, fluency in a language other than Norwegian can be an attractive addition to the ‘softer’ skills, particularly where business development and marketing is concerned.

- On a smaller scale, startup companies should not be overlooked. It is often the case that salaries in this area are not competitive but by the same token, startups are usually approachable, foster fast learning and accelerate personal growth, Jansen tells.

Create opportunities in unusual places

Networking also comes in many forms and it is possible to find a unique method to fit with equally unique personalities and styles. Those new to networking can try dipping their toes by joining an international or interest-group such as the BI Case Study Club or BI-inner. Alternatively, for a more formal approach, attend trade fairs when they are open to the public or networking ‘after-work’ events armed ready with an elevator pitch about yourself.

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