Written by: Meagan Leber
I first heard about BI Norwegian Business School through their website. After studying abroad in Italy, I wanted to experience life in northern Europe. Once I decided I wanted to study in Scandinavia, I started to do my own research to find the best program that suited my academic and career goals. I found that BI’s accreditations, course offerings and central location aligned perfectly with my goals. However, since my undergraduate university was not one of BI’s partner schools I had to study abroad through BI’s Free Mover Program. I am so grateful for the Free Mover Program and the experience it gave me, as my study abroad semester led to my decision to pursue a full-time Masters degree at BI.
I decided to go to BI because I was so impressed with the school and the city after my study abroad semester. I was also impressed with the variety of Masters programs that BI had to offer. After looking carefully into each of them, I found that the MSc in Strategic Marketing Management was the perfect opportunity for me to apply my marketing degree in an international context.
I believe this will help my career by strategically positioning myself in the international job market. Given that BI’s education system is focused on real-life business challenges, BI has prepared and will continue to prepare me the global job market. Regardless if I want to stay in Norway, go back to the US or move to another part of the world, I know that the Scandinavian leadership style, approach to innovation and productivity will follow me wherever I go.
The best piece of advice I can give to a new student about my program is to start off strong. Staying on top of your course load early in the semester will not only instill good study habits, but it will also make exam prep less stressful and will provide you with a solid foundation for future semesters.
I have been challenged by the amount of active participation expected by professors and fellow classmates. Coming from a typical American university, I was used to large lecture halls with one-way communication. However, at BI my classes are much smaller, communication flows both ways and I am challenged and encouraged to express my ideas. Although challenging at times, this style of teaching has improved my understanding of the material and enhanced my critical thinking skills.
It is hard to pinpoint one defining moment or experience that has shaped my time here in Norway. Instead, I think my experience is defined by small acts like going to the grocery store, exploring a new neighborhood or finding new study spots around the city. My current favorite place to study is the PS:Hotell located near Mathallen in Grünerløkka.
The one thing you absolutely must do while living here is try to explore nature as much as possible, especially during the summer months. The great thing about Norway is that you don’t even have to leave Oslo to experience great hiking spots. There are a few great outdoor areas, like Sognsvann, that are located right by a metro stop, making them easy and accessible for a day trip. If you want to experience even more Norwegian nature, try booking a weekend trip to Trolltunga, Preikestolen, the Lofoten Islands or even Tromsø.
The most interesting thing I learned about myself at BI so far is that I am more capable than I originally thought. Whether it’s learning a new language, moving to a new apartment, starting a new job or making new friends, I have been able to adjust to life in Norway much easier than I expected.
My career goal is to help accelerate the globalization of small and medium-sized companies. More specifically, I would like to help Scandinavian brands expand their influence via digital marketing to other parts of Europe and the US.