Name: Javier Zambrano
Programme: Business analytics BI
My name is Javier Zambrano, I come from Monterrey, Mexico, studied BSc. in Mechanical Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey, and now I’m studying the MSc in Business Analytics at BI. Let me tell you how my story in Norway starts.
At the beginning of 2014 I was planning my bachelor’s exchange semester. Little did I know what was going to be the result of it. My dream from a long time ago was doing an exchange in Europe. For some reasons that my parents had, they told me that my only option was going to the United States. I mentally prepared to do so. Unfortunately (for my parents). The only available option in the US for me was a university in a border city next to Mexico. Which completely defeated the purpose of doing an exchange semester. This meant going back to the European plan, where I quickly found out that from the available options. The only one with courses in English was “some” university in Oslo, Norway. BI Norwegian Business School, it felt like I was chosen by that country to go there.
I convinced my parents that it was a good idea. Applied for a spot and got accepted. Success! I had an exchange destination and was very excited. It was only after my celebration ended when I realized that my knowledge about Norway. Its people and culture, was basically non-existent. “I know it’s in Northern Europe” / “it is probably cold during winter” / “is salmon common there? I guess so” were my initial thoughts about the country. Maybe not entirely wrong, but far away from the complete picture.
It was mid-August 2014 and one day. After many hours of flights and waiting in airports. I finally arrived in Oslo. I quickly fell in love with the city. It has the attitude of a big city but without being too big or too crowded. You can easily access nature if you want to and travelling internationally is always an option. I believe that I fit quite well with Oslo’s vibe. It is a place where I can live.
After getting to know many people from multiple countries. Discovering the unique Norwegian culture. Travelling inside the country (Trolltunga and Kjeragbolten hikes are a must). Trying a different approach to education. I just knew that I wanted to come back to Norway someday in my life. When and to do what? Who knows! Although this new goal was already in me.
I went back to Mexico to graduate and work. Using the time to discover how I wanted to develop my professional career. It turned out to be focused on data analysis. Meanwhile I never lost track on what was happening at BI. I found out that they were starting a programme in Business Analytics. The stars started to align.
Fast forward after language tests. BI admission essays, residence permit applications and a year-long delay due to the pandemic. I'm back. This time as a master’s student. This time for at least two whole years, this time with new goals… This time I chose Norway.