How to land a job in Norway!

This post is written by Olga Mozhayskaya, Aiza Aidekova  and Ha Thu Pham – First year MSc. students.

Getting hired in Norway is not impossible!

Masters students from BI are becoming more sought after and in 2017. A total of 77% of all Masters students were employed before finishing their degree (information from BI official website). There are more and more companies in Norway, especially in big cities (Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen), which demand international graduates. Therefore, why not dream big and have a clear strategy for your two-year studying in Norway? Getting hired is not impossible anymore!

Tips to increase the chance of landing a job:

Understanding Norwegian recruitment process and employer’s need

Big companies in Norway support the hiring of foreign students. Please note however that many employers require at least some Norwegian language skills, especially in the public sector. In the private sector a good command of English will be sufficient, but many will require Norwegian skills as well.

Norwegian recruitment process is quite similar to other countries’: online application, interviews, and assessment day at headquarter. However, one thing to keep in mind while searching for job opportunities is your personal network. As companies put a lot of effort in training and developing a new employee, they take recruitment very seriously. Specifically, they usually check references and listen to your reference’s opinions. Furthermore, information about many positions are first spread among internal networks before being published in the Internet. Based on speeches from many companies visiting BI, requirements for fresh graduates usually include analytical thinking, adaptability, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills.

What should we do while studying at BI?

First of all, grades do matter and are often the bottom line in graduate recruitment (at least at the screening level). So do your utmost to make the best of the studies and maintain a high GPA. Second, try to get relevant experience – a part time job, summer internship or BI internship. It will help you to understand the industry better, make your CV stand out and build useful connections. What is more, in case you prove yourself as an efficient worker, the company may be willing to offer you a full time position once the internship is over. Since the competition in big firms can be really tough, explore all the options – for example, join a startup. Also, do not neglect social activities and volunteering. There are plenty of student societies that fit every taste and where you can develop your communication and leadership skills. Take part in a student competition – it is a great and fun way to learn a lot and even get a fast track in landing a job in case you perform well. The last tip for international students – try to find time to learn some Norwegian. Don’t be shy to show the employer your skills, even though Norwegian is not a must in some companies, it will be a sign that you are really willing to stay in Norway and get on well with your colleagues. All in all, enjoy all the opportunities you have as a student and be active!

Where can you find a job?

We have pulled out five sites we think are the most useful for your career search in Norway:

  •     Karriere.bi.no: BI Career Portal publishes many part-time and full-time positions for BI students.
  •     FINN.no: The biggest job portal in Norway.
  •     NAV.no: The Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration has a large pool of positions.
  •     highered.global: The global career platform presents many job positions in Norway and abroad. Log in by your student email at BI
  •     Social media: Many companies advertise positions in their social media pages.

www.sbio.no – learn about various opportunities at the Student Union at BI

Successful stories of an international student

Irina Kvashennikova, MSc in Business major Finance (QTEM), full-time offer in Bain & Company:

Problem: Norwegian language!
For sure, the biggest pain for foreign students searching for a job in Norway is the language. The mistake that most of us do here is to think that you either need to master Norwegian to the flawless level of a native or it does not count. This “all or nothing perception” is wrong! No Norwegian employer expects you to speak perfect Norwegian after a couple of years here.

Cure: Here is the trick. One – invest your time into learning Norwegian early on to achieve the level when you can do a very simple conversation. No perfectionism here! Two – put your Norwegian level as “conversational” in your CV. Three – make sure you say at least few sentences in interviews. Take the initiative to show that you can speak at least a bit! It will be enough to show your motivation and commitment to work in Norway.”

Elena Zadorozhnaya, MSc in Strategic Marketing Management, graduate program in Statoil:

“Don’t forget that people who interview you look for a new colleague, a person whom they can trust, rely on, make a project with, laugh, share a coffee break. It is not only about your grades, but also about your personality. What do you know and do besides school? What are your interests? Beliefs? We spend so much time at work, so we all want to be surrounded with friends, and those who can inspire and support us. I would definitely recommend engaging yourself into some extracurricular activities – join a club or a society, run your own project, start boxing or swimming, do camping, search for volunteering, write a blog – any of those will pay back for sure.”

Stay Positive

It is easy to become frustrated while job searching, particularly if you’ve been doing job hunting for an extended period of time. However, it is important to keep your chin up and continue moving forward. Remember that life is full of interesting adventures!

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