It’s hard to believe that just last week walking into BI felt like walking into a building full of strangers. Now, after orientation week, so many faces are already familiar and I feel much more prepared to tackle my journey as a BI MSc student.
Orientation week got a head start for my cohort, incoming Strategic Marketing Management students, with a get-to-know-you event on Sunday arranged by SMA (Strategic Marketing Association). Walking into that first meeting, I felt so nervous! But once I was surrounded by my new classmates and realized were we are all equally nervous and eager to get to know each other, excitement replaced my nerves. By the end of the evening, after sharing pizza and speed “dating” to meet as many people as possible, I was genuinely looking forward to what the week would bring.
Lessons from Pippi
The week officially kicked off with the MSc matriculation ceremony. Even though we had come from 43 different countries and taken many routes to get here, there was a powerful sense of unity in that auditorium as we joined together to acknowledge this huge new step in all of our lives. Dean Master Janicke Rasmussen, perhaps summed it up best when she quoted Pippi Longstocking in her speech to us: “I’ve never done it before, so I’m sure I’ll manage it!” We were all here because we had adopted that same attitude. We had stepped outside our comfort zones and acknowledged that we wanted something more from our lives, a now, with a welcome handshake from Inge Jan Henjesand, President of BI, we were well on our way!
And of course, I can’t forget to mention the memorable grand finale from the BI Men’s Choir. Even not understanding a lot of their lyrics, their sense of humor and skills shone!
Å, ø, æ
It was with this inspiration and sense of camaraderie that I approached the rest of the week. I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of social and academic activities offered by BI, SMA, GSS, SBIO and SIO. (Norwegian students: You should feel very lucky that this is normal for you!). It made it fun and easy to find activities that captured my interest and to connect with my new classmates in all sorts of settings. Some of my personal highlights were practicing making the sounds of å, ø and æ (and laughing at ourselves a lot) with my fellow international students at the “Learn Norwegian in 90 Minutes” lecture, relaxing with my Strategic Marketing Management classmates on a craft beer pub crawl around Oslo organized by our SMA buddy and checking out Oslo’s museums for free as part of the Studentslippet event organized by SIO.
Ready to Get Started
But the best part of the week by far was just feeling more and more confident jumping into new situations and environments, at school, around the city and with lots of different types of people. I feel more sure now that this coming semester will be challenging, but also that it will be fun. I feel more inspired than nervous that I will be forced outside my own comfort zone. And I feel a real sense that my classmates and I are truly all in this together. Now, I can’t wait to start classes and get the semester started!