Right place at the right time
In the coffee queue at a networking event for alumni, Karen Marie Gunnerud met her new employer. Today, she has her dream job at KPMG, one of the largest consultancy firms in the world.
Karen Marie Gunnerud arrives at the KPMG building at Majorstuen in Oslo, after a wet morning walk through the city. Currently, Karen Marie is employed by KPMG in Stavanger, but is often in Oslo in connection with her job, where she also takes time to catch up with classmates that are based in Oslo.
- A good opportunity to keep in touch with old friends, smiles Karen.
It was an alumni networking event that led Karen Marie to KPMG. She was looking for new opportunities when she got talking to a fellow alumnus in the coffee queue.
Karen learned that KPMG were looking to recruit. She decided to get in touch and successfully landed a new job with them.
- Almost all opportunities have come from people around me, Karen says. By being open about what interests you and what you wish to work withcan provide new exciting opportunities
Karen works as a consultant in the Advisory Department at KPMG, under People and Change. A stimulating position where she gets to work interdisciplinary with different customers, getting to use both her academic background and human skills.
Karen often participates in alumni networking events at BI. Here she gets relevant professional input, meets old classmates and makes new connections.
- I like to meet people who are doing something completely different from me. It provides new and different perspectives, both personally and professionally. Networking events are also a good venue for keeping up with what is happening in Stavanger, and it is exciting to meet all those who are creating their own jobs in today's difficult job market, says Karen with admiration.
How to become better at networking
Karen is an experienced networker and here is her advice to those who are less experienced with networking:
1. Attend events with topics that engage you, and you will always have something to talk about.
2. Bring a few friends if you do not want to go alone, but remember to include others.
3. Talk with 2-4 people each time, instead of trying to reach everybody.
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.
It's about giving back
It has been five years since Karen graduated from BI, but she still wants to engage. She participated on the team that represented BI at the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition in Canada in 2011, and has been a coaching the BIcase competition team in Stavanger the last three years.
Standing on the roof of the KPMG building to take photographs for this interview, with panoramic views of Oslo, Karen reminices that she also stood here as a student during a KPMG Case Competition in 2011.
- I remember thinking that this is where I want to work, and it is almost a bit unreal that I am now standing here as an employee, Karen reflects with a smile.
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"Be open about what your interests are and what you wish to work with. This can provide new exciting opportunities"