What can I do with my degree?

Making employees believe in change

Maren Grønås Birkeland’s projects as an IT consultant involves making alterations in employees’ workday and routines. To make it work, she needs to use a specific technique.

Maren Grønås Birkeland

Position: IT Consultant

Employer: Itelligence

MSc in Business - major in Leadership and change

Every morning, Maren takes the local train from downtown Oslo to Lysaker to arrive at Itelligence, where she got a job as an IT consultant after finishing her business degree.

“I liked how the subjects were structured and that there was a lot of interactivity. The teaching was both theoretical and practical,” Maren remembers about her not-so-distant days as a student.

From business to IT

Earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Aarhus sparked Maren’s interest in change management. This lead Maren to choose this field as a major for her Master of Science in Business at BI.

The IT company where Maren now works offers HR solutions that benefit employees in terms of recruitment, development and learning. But what does IT and change management have in common?

“Continuous learning is one of the keys to business success,” says Maren.

Much of her work involves implementing a learning system in companies so that they can tailor learning processes in their businesses. She configures HR solutions and builds structures that companies fill with content. It enables employees to learn and develop through online training, videos, online classrooms, articles, or questions and answers.

Leveraging change management

“I have benefited from what I learned at BI about change management. When people fear and avoid change, it is helpful to have an understanding of how employees think about it. Sometimes the frustration can go beyond us, who only deliver the systems.

Maren also participates in demos for potential new customers. Knowledge of change management is useful in both sales and development as most people may be skeptical of changes, especially new IT systems and new training programs.

“Sometimes there is nothing wrong with the systems themselves, but there is resistance because some people do not want change. There may be reactions to the alterations in their workday or routines.”

Embracing the digital workplace

Maren says there will be some travelling in the job, not only within Norway, but also to Europe.

“It's fun to meet customers. We hold workshops with the companies that use our systems, and it is important to meet our customers where they are located.”

Maren's workdays consist of a good combination of meeting people physically and having virtual collaborations, so it does not always matter much where she is.

“I also meet some people on-screen when I Skype. I appreciate that the job is quite flexible, and I can work from home or from the cabin,” Maren concludes, before she has to prepare for a workshop with a customer.