What can I do with my degree?
A Young and Up-and-Coming Manager
Hard work during her studies paid off: Renate Berenett is 25 years old and a senior product manager at Orkla.
Position: Senior Product Manager
“I have a great time at work. Even after all these years, I look forward to Mondays,” says an energetic Renate Berenett from Orkla’s new offices right next to Skøyen train station in Oslo.
Renate has studied a total of five years at BI, earning an MSc in strategic marketing management after having completed a bachelor in marketing.
”I started at BI directly after high school, and then I got a job. I was interested in marketing already as a high school student and chose it as part of my elective courses. Orkla held a company presentation during my first semester at BI and I became interested in working there. The company has a portfolio comprising Norway’s best known brands and also has one of the country’s largest communities of branding professionals”.
Her first year at BI left her with no doubt that she wanted to work with marketing and sales. Orkla was her first choice, as she wanted to work with brand products, and the company had made a great impression through their presentation.
”Orkla offers all of the products we all have grown up with here in Norway, from Grandiosa to Jordan and Idun. I also heard that it was a good place to build a career. Many people have worked their entire careers there, because they can move between companies or change their field of work. There is plenty of opportunities for professional development at Orkla.”
– How was your education at BI?
“The education at BI is very business-oriented, especially at the master’s level. The professors often come from the business sector and have a lot of experience in what they teach. When entered professional life after completing my studies, I saw that education was a good fit with the actual challenges you encounter in the workplace. Naturally, there is a bit of an adjustment period going from being a student to working full time at a company, but BI made that adjustment period easy.”
– Can you tell us about marketing and your work at Orkla?
“Marketing is divided into two areas at Orkla. The first one is focused on daily consumer products, and the second one focuses on all other customers, for example restaurants and cafes. I am responsible for a product portfolio. Right now, I am working with marketing our pizza products. In our marketing department we are closely involved in the launching of new products, for example a new Toro soup or a new pizza, or when a completely new concept is launched, for example vegan food products.”
– How are new products launched?
”The launching of new products or substantial changes to products originates with ideas from marketing specialists at Orkla, who then receive help from other colleagues to develop and execute those ideas”
– What other duties do you have?
“We work with communications as well as with traditional advertising. It is important to get products to stores and to scale up sales. As a product manager I get to see the entire value chain which I have to take into consideration.”
– What is a value chain?
“A value chain is the entire journey a product takes from A to Z. It comprises everything from factories and warehouses, to dispatching products to clients. The entire product chain at Orkla is largely in-house, including the design department and further on. I do not need to know absolutely everything about every part of the chain, but I have to make sure that the projects are well executed internally within the company. As product manager, I have the main responsibility for a product portfolio. That means that I have responsibility for the launching of new products and communications, that is to say, develop the portfolio.”
– How did you get your new job?
”I got my job in the traditional way, through a job posting, and then sent an application and went to a job interview. There are many employees at Orkla who got their jobs through internships, very often through the BI internship program. There is a young environment within my field of work at Orkla. There are many social events, for example cabin trips and other social opportunities. It is a very good environment. I learn a lot and am able to development myself professionally.”
– How were your studies at BI?
”I am satisfied with the opportunities that my education at BI has given me, but I cannot deny that my master’s studies were very demanding. However, that taught me to handle a lot of different responsibilities at the same time while maintaining the right focus, just as one must do in professional life.”