The right place, the right time

10 May 2016

In the coffee queue at a network event for alumni, Karen Marie Gunnerud her new employer. Today, she has her dream job at KPMG.

Karen Marie Gunnerud arrives at KPMG building in Majorstuen, Oslo, on a wet morning. She is currently employed by KPMG in Stavanger, but is often in Oslo in connection with the job and has often borrowed a guest bed at the home of former classmates in Grünerløkka

- A good opportunity to keep in touch with old friends, smiles Karen.

It was s a networking event at BI campus in Stavanger that resulted in Karen joining KPMG. She was looking for new opportunities when she got talking to a person in the coffee queue during a course at Lederskolen. Karen discovered that KPMG was looking for people. She got in touch and ended up with a new job.

- Almost all the opportunities have come from people around me, says Karen.

Interdisciplinary perspective

Karen works as a consultant in the Advisory department at KPMG, under the field People and Change. An exciting position where she works interdisciplinary with different customers, this role allows her to use both her academic background and human knowledge. She belongs to the Stavanger team, but is in Oslo about once a month.

Karen often participates in networking events at BI. Here she gets professional input, catches up with old study friends and gains new acquaintances.  

- I like to meet people who are doing something completely different. It provides new and different perspectives, both personally and professionally. Networking events are also an arena for keeping up with what is happening in Stavanger, and it is exciting to talk to anyone starting jobs in today's difficult job market, says Karen with admiration.

Become a better networker

Karen is an experienced participant in networking and here is her advice to those who are less comfortable with networking:

  1. Go to events with themes that engage you, so you always have something to talk about.
  2. Bring a few friends if you do not want to go alone, but remember to include those you don't know so well.
  3. Talk to 2-4 people each time, instead of attempting to reach everyone.
  4. Go to several events and you will often meet the same people again.
  5. Do not put too much focus on networking, let it happen naturally.

She also gave the advice to see what events your friends are attending through Facebook and to be active on various networks. Tell those around you what you want. It can provide new opportunities.


Karen grew up in Eidsvoll, but the desire to live and study in the oil city took her to the BI campus in Stavanger. She was instantly in love with studying and student life, and enjoyed the close contact with lecturers and staff.  

Commitment and the desire to influence has always been strong in Karen and she exploited the possibilities.

- I witnessed BI boost up the students, and that there was a genuine desire that we would accomplish things, both on the personal level and for BI, says Karen.

It's about giving back  

It has been five years since Karen graduated from BI, but she still wants to be engaged and has coached at the BI case competition in Stavanger for the last three years. She also participated on the team that represented BI at the international final of the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition in Canada in 2011.

When we take photos on the roof of the KPMG building, with panoramic views of Oslo, Karen remembers that she also stood here as a participant of the KPMG Case Competition 2011.

- I remember thinking that I will work here, and it's almost a bit unreal that I stand here as an employee today, says Karen with a smile.

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