Name: Marina Selivanova
Home country: Russian Federation
Programme: MSc in Business Analytics - QTEM
I landed a job in Norway before my studies began. To be fair, I started to look for a job in March and signed the job offer only in July. It was a long journey with ups and downs, but it was all worth it. I am working as Jr. Data Analyst at a Norwegian logistic company, Xeneta. That enables me to implement the knowledge I gain at my masters, straight to practice. But let me go back to the start.
Once I received an offer of admission and scholarship that partially covers my living expenses. I realized that I needed to accumulate all my energy into finding a job in Norway. To relieve the financial burden on my parents. I was lucky because a few of my friends who studied at BI managed to find a job. So I had a model to follow. First thing to do was to update my LinkedIn profile and CV. I was surprised how popular LinkedIn is in Norway. Because in Russia it is blocked, so I had to use a VPN all the time. I also set up notifications for data related positions. Checked new offers every week and applied to those I was interested in. I must mention that, despite the fact that I was looking for part-time positions. This is because we are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week with a study permit in Norway. I didn't hesitate to apply to full-time positions. Actually, my position was full-time initially. But they ended up taking 2 part-time employees instead, so keep that in mind while applying.
The most challenging part for me was the cover letter. I applied to 25 positions and had to adjust the cover letter for all of them. There was a moment when I was constantly receiving rejections. Even though I thought I was a good fit for the company. So, I decided to get help from the career counselling service at BI. They gave me useful advice. Which helped me better understand the Norwegian job market. Also pointed out the strong and weak points of both my CV and cover letter. I think that boosted my self-confidence in my qualifications.
I started working in September, 2 weeks after my studies started. I must admit that it was a bit overwhelming in the beginning. New city, new people, new language, new job - all happening at the same time. Norway is famous for its encouragement of work-life balance. A part-time job is no exception. My manager keeps saying that studies come first. He allowed me to take a break during the exam period. He doesn't mind that I will be working remotely the second semester. As I'm going on exchange as a compulsory part of my QTEM program. We have already discussed that I would be able to do the official BI internship with them. So, I would say that combining a part-time job with full-time studies is challenging, but it certainly pays you back.