The Shooting Star in New York

Just six months after completing his master's degree at BI, Fredrik Våland Fusdahl is now working as an analyst in Manhattan, on a team managing staggering sums for the Oil Fund.

Position: Analyst, Norges Bank Investment Management

Place of residence: New York

Education: BI – Master of Science in Quantitative Finance

Tall skyscrapers, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park—and billions of Norwegian oil dollars. That suddenly became the work environment for the 24-year-old Rogaland native, who just over a year ago submitted his master's thesis in quantitative finance at BI.

Almost directly from the classroom, Fredrik Våland Fusdahl secured a permanent position at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) in the autumn of 2021. Three months later, he boarded a flight bound for the Oil Fund's office in New York, where he is one of five analysts working on one of the world's largest bond portfolios.

-What actually happened?

-It's been an almost absurd transition from student life. And I didn't really grasp that it was real until I was actually sitting in the airplane seat on my way to New York.

What does it take to get such opportunities so early in one's career? For Fredrik, it began with an internship right after completing his master's degree. He secured a position as a summer intern at NBIM, located in Bankplassen in Oslo. After the internship, a position in the Central Bank's research department was initially in line. However, it turned out that the doors to the job market were wide open, and he was offered the position in New York instead.

-How does it feel to have a new job?

-It's really exciting! The transition has been hectic, with a steep learning curve, but it's motivating. If you want to work in financial markets and asset management, and with the most talented people in the world, there's only one place, and that's here.

-What kind of tasks do you have on the New York team?

-Everything revolves around the portfolio. It's a continuous process where we need to stay informed about the market, constantly make evaluations and analyses to build a portfolio based on our view of how the market will perform.

-They're essentially sending you straight from the classroom to New York. What qualities do you think they saw in you?

-I think I realized during the internship that I had something to offer. I also put myself out there, and I think that's the most important thing. Of course, you have to deliver, but you also have to show that you're genuinely motivated and eager to learn as much as you can.

"Of course, you have to deliver, but you also have to show that you're genuinely motivated and eager to learn as much as you can"

Fredrik Våland Fusdahl, Analyst

Thrives Best Outside the Comfort Zone

He inherited his determination from home. Fredrik was active in football and has stood on Rogaland Theatre's stage as an actor several times. His mother has not given up on the dream that one day her son will see the light and choose a career in theater. He describes his academic performance in middle school and high school as fairly average.

-I was very ordinary and only did what interested me. If you had told me that I would pursue a master's degree in quantitative finance, I would have laughed and said, 'I don't believe that at all.

-But I have been pushed; that's the philosophy at home," he smiles. "I was forced to do things that I may not have initially wanted to do, but they turned out to be great experiences afterward. Especially in theater, where my mother pushed me to do many things I didn't really want to do, but now I greatly appreciate them.

-That philosophy stuck with me. I try to push myself and embrace discomfort. I often say that I thrive best when I'm a little uncomfortable.

Couldn't Work at a Better Place

After high school, the plan was for Fredrik to take a gap year, but fearing boredom, he started a bachelor's degree in finance at BI. The choice of finance came after being inspired by his father and his interest in the risk involved in gambling and poker.

One can view the financial market as a large casino; many people compare finance to that. I also read about all these figures in finance, the big gurus. I became curious about what it entailed and found the risk aspect fascinating. I developed a fascination for the 'game' within it. Once I discovered the interest, I knew I wanted to work in financial markets and asset management.

-You must have been determined to end up where you are now?

-Yes, I became determined as soon as I opened my eyes to this field. It's also much bigger in the USA than it is back home in Norway. I believe that I couldn't work at a better place than I am now. There's a different type of dynamics that I appreciate, and I'm perfectly positioned to learn more about what I'm involved in.

-What are your thoughts on the future path?

-Now I need to get started here first, and then we'll see what happens later. I want to be in this job for a good while and excel in it.

-Your mother must be glad that she pushed you, then?

-Well, she still hopes that I'll become an actor. She still dreams," Fredrik laughs. "Every year, she sends me a link to apply to drama school and says, 'You just have to apply; it's never too late!'