A fantastic place to make friends

After coming to Norway from India, the one thing Swati Sharma appreciated the most was the people she met at BI.


Position: Head of digital product development

Employer: Telenor Norway

MSc in Leadership and Organisational Psychology

If you move to a new country, making lifelong contacts is important. And BI is a fantastic place to make friends.

– What made you choose BI?

– Two things happened: I was about to get married to my husband and move Norway and Oslo. And no, we were not coming for the weather! I applied for several schools, but BI was definitely near the top of my list. I was also awarded BI's Presidential Scholarship, which made BI the natural choice.

– How would you compare Norwegian student life with where you come from?

– I think the biggest difference was in my field of study. My background was very technical, so most of my fellow student in India were men. It was nice to join a class with 80 % women. I also see a big cultural difference between India and Norway. I like the culture of cooperation that exists at BI.

– How did you land your current job?

– I graduated in 2015. In India there were lots of jobs waiting for me when I graduated from university. In Norway, things were very different. I hoped to find a part-time job while studying here, but not speaking the language made it very difficult. I have never received so many rejections in my life! I managed to find a job as a research assistant at BI in my first year, and the following summer I got an internship at Opera through BI's internship programme. In the second year of my masters I worked as an intern at Telenor, and I ended up working full-time, while completing my master's degree. Those were hectic times!

– What are the most interesting challenges you are facing at work right now?

– I am a so-called tribe leader (i.e. project manager) for several projects at Telenor including Min Familie (My Family), Min football (My Football) and a handful of products currently in the development phase. I was fortunate to have professional experience in business, technology and management, all of which are very useful.

– What is the most valuable thing you learned while studying at BI applicable to your current profession?

– If you move to a new country, making lifelong contacts is important. And BI is a fantastic place to make friends. I met people in my study programme, but I also met nice people outside the classroom; I was also the president of the Graduate Student Society. For me, it was also great that BI has such a strong focus on cooperation with the business community. When you finish a master's degree, those contacts are often decisive for your professional life.