What can I do with my degree?
Life behind the runway
Adam Duong used to have to sneak in to see fashion shows. He never thought it would be possible to have a career in the industry.
Today, Adam is the Deputy Director at Oslo Runway. For the most part the job consists of public relations, communications and marketing to businesses and consumers.
“The work is intense and it always feels good when a project is completed – I can feel a few pounds lifted off my shoulders when it’s done,” says Adam.
His projects require him to stay focused on a wide range of tasks simultaneously. He has to find sponsors, locate designers, visit shows, attend meetings, and other office work like writing emails.
“Fashion has always been important to me - I grew up with creativity, music and drama. At first, I did not think of the fashion industry as a possible career because I considered it unstable. But after studying, I saw that there were opportunities there.”
Adam opted for an international bachelor in Business Administration. To begin his studies at BI, he had to move from Lillehammer to Oslo. He had no network and very little support, but he managed to learn where the fashion shows were being held so he could sneak in. Before even finishing his degree, he legitimately made his way to the inside of the industry.
“I started as a volunteer assistant in a fashion company and then it just grew and grew while I was studying.”
Broad skill set
As Adam was not sure if it was possible to get a real job in fashion industry, he had chosen a bachelor he figured would give him flexibility.
“Vocational education would have been too narrow. I wanted a course of study that would give me more opportunities - and at BI, I learned a bit about everything. That way I could choose to work in any industry.”
Throughout his bachelor, he has gained knowledge in a wide range of subjects such as management, marketing, finance and administration.
“First and foremost I have brought with me the academic skills I gained at BI. I also gained an international network over the three years. Seventy percent of the students in my class came from countries other than Norway.”
Building a network
Adam has always had an interest for languages because he enjoys connecting with people from other countries, so it made sense to study in English. Getting to know people in his class was easy as many of the 120 students were in the same situation as him – new to the city and eager to build a new network.
“I feel that BI offered a safe place for me to be exactly who I am, precisely because many of my fellow students came from different countries - so no one culture became dominant over the others.”
The most challenging part of Adam’s study period was combining the part time job at the fashion company with school, as it amounted to two full time jobs. Transitioning to work life, however, was not a big problem as Adam has maintained jobs since he was 11.
“It’s super intensive work, but I love it,” says Adam about the dream job finally landed at Oslo Runway, that he once thought would be impossible to get.