BI Case Alumni

Kristian Vervik Salte

Interview with Kristian Vervik Salte

Picture and personalia 

  • Born: 1993
  • Degree: MSc in Finance (University of Edinburgh Business School) and BSc in Business Administration (BI)
  • Position: Vice President at Lockton Norway

"I thought the workload would be challenging, but joining the case competitions should be high on your priority list."

When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?
I was part of the BI Case Competition team at BI Bergen in 2016, my final year at BI.

Why did you decide to join BI's case activities?
It was a bit of a coincidence that I joined the BI case team. I was active in the lectures, and Johnny Olesen, who was a Professor in Finance, volunteered me in front of my class when the case teams presented that recruiting was opening. After being called out in the auditorium, it was hard to back out. I was accepted into one of the two case competition teams that BI Bergen had, following an interview with Eric.

What was the name of your case team and how did you find your teammates?
Our team was called Enigma Consulting, a bit contradictory, given that we were trying to solve problems, instead of hiding them. My teammates and I were put into a larger group and then divided into two teams based on our different skillsets and fit. I only knew one of my teammates when we got together to do the first case.

Did you have a specific role on your team?
I was the team leader for one of the two teams in Bergen. I usually worked on the financials section, valuation and gathering market data, not so different from what I do today.

Which case competitions did you take part in?
I participated in the BI National Case Competition in Bergen, and parts of the group also participated in another competition hosted by Econa.

What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?
I think the best memory from my case journey was presenting the final case in BIICC. I believe our case was for Kavli and Orkla if I remember correctly, and we gave the advice to increase the product portfolio within lactose-free and vegan products. We made an excellent case to the jury and answered the questions well, after having worked throughout the night.

What are your top three takeaways from case training and competitions?

  1. Being comfortable presenting in a professional environment and to senior executives.
  2. Learning how to solve a case, which is very important for job interviews. There is no right way of doing it, but a lot of wrong ways. Learning how to approach new problems in a structured manner is crucial when going through application processes today.
  3. Getting to know other students from not only BI but from across the globe. We did not participate in the internationals, but were there as spectators, and got to meet students from all across the world.

What skills did you learn from participating in cases which were relevant to your development/career and how?
We did a lot of training on 3-hour cases before the competition, which has proven valuable in my current position. Getting familiar with new industries and technologies is a time-consuming part of the job. However, during cases, I learnt how to draw parallels to similar projects that we had done before and simplifying business concepts. You cannot advise a business if you can't explain what they do in a single sentence.

I would also like to add that building professional confidence was a big part of the experience. If you started studying right after high school, few have been given the opportunity to perform in a professional environment before. In cases, you are allowed to fail in a low-stakes environment. If you are going to blow a case, you want to do it while practising with your friends, not during the interview for your dream job.

Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?
Meet up and go to the information sessions that are being hosted. I thought the workload would be challenging, but joining the case competitions should be high on your priority list. Looking back at my three years at BI, I would say that ‘cases’ was one of the best “classes” I ever took, despite not getting any marks nor credits for it.