A Career Fair Beyond the Ordinary

I had seen advertisements for and heard talk about Karrieredagene in the weeks leading up to it, but I still wasn’t quite prepared for what a huge deal this career fair is!

BI’s Karrieredagene career fair is the largest of its kind in Norway and one of the largest in Scandinavia. It attracts the leading Norwegian businesses and international firms doing business in the country. And Karrieredagene is more than just the bustling career fair, it also consists of three days packed with dynamic lectures and workshops from luminaries in Norway’s business community.

A Fresh Perspective

The lectures and workshops this year covered a wide range of topics from multiculturalism in the workplace to interview tips. I was particularly inspired by Trond R. Knudsen’s lecture “The Attacker’s Advantage: Why Joining a Start Up is a Great Career Choice.” He told his own story of moving from a long-time career at McKinsley to starting his own company that helps Nordic startups get off the ground. He stressed that Norway has a reputation of excellence in traditional business models and that the time is ripe to apply that same energy and skills to its nascent start-up community.

View a brief interview with him here: https://youtu.be/cAad9v-vIFI

Job Prospects for International Students

For international students wanting to stay and work in Norway after their studies, the career fair is the perfect opportunity to get an overview of which businesses have a footprint in Norway. From big-name consultancies (McKinsley, Deloittle, PwC, Accenture, and many more) to leaders in technology, shipping, energy, food and agriculture, it was an inspiring mix.

The only caveat for international students is that most Norwegian workplaces do require you to speak Norwegian. While most of the firms I spoke with stressed that international applicants should apply regardless, adding Norwegian language to your CV will greatly increase your competitive edge. (Luckily, next week’s blog will focus on resources to learn Norwegian!)

For International students who want to keep moving globally after graduation, a company with a large global reach, like Microsoft or Google can be a good bet. I arrived early to have a chat with each these major players before their booths were mobbed with students.

Microsoft

microsoftMicrosoft’s full-time positions are often part of virtual teams with other members from all over the world. As such, English is the most useful language and communication skills are key. The BI alumnus I spoke with emphasized how much he enjoyed the responsibility immediately handed to him at Microsoft. This is clearly a place for eager minds to embrace new challenges and grow.

Google

googleGoogle is another solid option for International students who might want to work globally after graduation (although they also have a strong presence within Norway). In particular, they are always seeking bright business and marketing students to play vital roles in their Adwords departments.

Whether you want to stay and work in Norway, join a global firm or maybe start something completely new, BI’s Karrieredagene is without a doubt the place to go for inspiration, networking and advice from top business leaders.

Advice to Remember

I close with Trond Knudsen’s advice to students looking to craft a dynamic career in today’s global economy, no matter the type of job you are seeking!

  • Aim to be world-class in your field (make sure you are passionate about what you are doing in order to stay motivated to keep learning and improving)
  • Be proactive in going after what you want to achieve
  • Learn what sort of leader you are and develop those skills
  • Think globally (don’t underestimate your impact potential)
  • Study technology (business and technology will only become more interconnected)

Best of luck in your job hunting!

– Jennifer

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