BI Case Alumni

Nicoline Nygård Carlsen

Interview with Nicoline Nygård Carlsen

Picture and Personalia

  • Name: Nicoline Nygård Carlsen
  • Born (year): 1997
  • Degree: Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management at BI & Computer Science at UIO 
  • Position: Social Media Specialist in a start-up company.

When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?

I was an active case student during the third year of my bachelor's (2021/22) at campus Oslo. 

Why did you decide to join BI’s case activities?

I have always been involved with student associations during my time as a student. I found Case as a great opportunity to practice my English and develop my communication skills, but also as a good way to put my technical skills to the test and my classroom knowledge into practice. I thought it would be refreshing to be surrounded by other like-minded and motivated students with unique skill sets and diverse experiences. I saw it valuable to get out of my comfort zone and test my ideas in a risk-free environment while getting exposed to real-world problems, evaluating how implementable they are, and being offered feedback.

What was the name of your Case team and how did you find your teammates?

My team’s name was Bridge Consulting and consisted of myself, two good friends I met through another student association at BI, and one last teammate who reached out to us after the first training session. 

Did you have a specific role on your team?

It depended on the case, but I wouldn’t say I had a specific role as we did not have any predefined, absolute roles in our team. We all did research, developed hypotheses, conducted analyses, drew conclusions, and created slides. Coming from different study backgrounds we collaborated on most domains using knowledge across disciplines to solve the case. 

Which case competitions did you take part in? 

BI National Case Competition (BINCC)

Central European Case Competition (CECC)

What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?

It’s hard to choose, but I think the best memories would have to be from the BINCC week. Our team placed second in the competition solving a case for Posten (the Norwegian postal service). The case was to come up with a solution on how to organize the “last-mile” delivery to secure the best possible sustainable society in the future. 

We only had 13 hours to solve the case and in a weak moment right before we were to present our solution to the jury, we felt anxious and unsure about our solution, left with the impression that we could have done much better. We were almost considering withdrawing from the competition. Nevertheless, we decided to present what we had in the best possible way. Later, at the award ceremony when the jury announced we placed 2nd we were completely shocked. This experience did really put the phrase 'done is better than perfect in perspective, and because of our achievement in BINCC, we got to represent BI in the Central European Case Competition. 

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

  • Personal development: The learning curve is steep, and I learned a lot about myself and how I approach problems, my role in a team - and how I cope with stress and conflicts. I got to improve my hard skills in PowerPoint and Excel and strengthen my soft skills in critical reasoning, teamwork, analytical thinking, presentation, time management, and other personal and professional skills. This has helped boost my self-confidence and shown me that I can achieve more than I thought I could. 
  • Focus on the problem instead of the solution: You have to focus on the problem to fully understand it. You should not be too quick to settle on a particular solution but instead, constantly refer to the problem to make sure the solution you are proposing makes sense when compared to the problem you are solving.

For example, if a car doesn’t start it could be several things in a logical chain, therefore you should focus and find out which part of the chain has the problem instead of just jumping to a conclusion. When we start to think of more ways to overcome our problems, we can grow from the situation at hand by being more prepared for the next problem we will face down the road.

  • Networking with like-minded students and professionals: Being a member of BI Case allows you to network with like-minded students and speak with professionals from different industries and learn from their valuable insights and perspectives. Receiving feedback from highly skilled professors and industry experts is very interesting and instructive. You will also get access to exclusive corporate events, workshops with external speakers, and other social events that have helped me expand my professional network. 

What skills did you learn from participating in case which were relevant to your development/career and how?

BI case helped me become better at converting theory into practice, working in teams, using knowledge across disciplines to solve problems, working under time constraints, application of class knowledge, and presenting in front of an audience and jury. 

I think some of the most useful skills I got from Case are to think more critically under pressure and my ability to look through «tons of information» and find the most crucial elements. Even if you make mistakes or don’t get it right the first time those become experiences you can tap into in the future. There is no such thing as “fail” if you get something out of the experience. 

These are all important and relevant skills that will aid me in the future!

Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?

Be curious, don’t be overthinking, jump out of your comfort zone and just try it out!! You may benefit in more ways than you can imagine.

If you’re dedicated and want to challenge yourself academically, there is no better place to join than BI Case. I’m a firm believer that to grow and develop (both in a personal and professional capacity) it is essential to step out of our comfort zone and continually challenge ourselves both physically and mentally. This way you will allow yourself to have new experiences and to engage in activities that you haven't before, all while opening up to meet new people. Retrospectively, I wish I joined BI Case earlier.