Career interviews

“I never expected to be working for the Police, or that my education would be relevant here, but it actually is,” says Camilla Eriksen Andreassen, who has a Master’s degree in South-Asian Culture and Society.

“Choose a subject according to your interests and abilities - and you will get a job when you have completed your studies,” recommends Iselin Stensdal, who is a Researcher at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute and has a Master’s degree in Chinese Studies.

“Without my semester in India I would have had neither the language skills nor the network that I have today,” says Tora Toreng, who has a Bachelor’s degree in South Asian Culture and Society with Hindu and works for Norec (FK Norway).

“If you want to be work in the field of emergency aid you should acquire an internship and learn an extra language in addition to English,” recommends Annelies Ollieuz, who coordinates education on emergency situations for the Norwegian Refugee Council/UNICEF.

“I acquired an invaluable network through my exchange visit to India when I was studying for my Master’s degree in South Asian Culture and Society. Without that I would not have been able to set up my own company,” says Harriet Olaisen, the owner and founder of HOI by Cottage Wool.

“Go on an exchange visit! Being in India for a long time, on several occasions, has provided me with knowledge and experience that cannot be acquired by studying at Blindern,” says Gudrun C E Helland, who has a Master’s degree in South Asian Culture and Society.

The competence I have in Chinese affairs and the perspectives that my education at HF gave me are now the defining factors in my daily work at the embassy in Bejing, Sunniva H. Abrahamsen says. She holds a master’s degree in Chinese Society and Politics and is a member of the political team at the overseas station.

The media crave expertise on China, and journalists who can read Chinese and who have a Chinese network are very much in demand, explains Ragnhild Sofie Selstø. She works as a journalist for Aftenposten, Stavanger Aftenblad and Framtida.no.

A Bachelor's degree in Japanese was the first step on the path to a job in the field of international trade and tourism, says Kristoffer Bolsø. He is currently working at Wilhelmsen Ships Service in Japan.

Academic knowledge from the Faculty of Humanities is an excellent background for my work as a political adviser to the Labour Party, says María T. Hevzy, who has a master’s degree in Asia and Middle East Studies.

Former teachers and counsellors form a major part of the professional network of Geir Juell Skogseth, who has a second-level degree in arabic and is the national adviser for the Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre, Landinfo.

If you want to work in Japan, it’s smart to take some business-oriented subjects in addition to Japanese language; that’s the recommendation from Yngve Johan Larsen, who is teaching Norwegian at the Tokai University in Japan.

At the Faculty of Humanities I learned to be critical of sources, think analytically and pose the right questions to obtain good answers, says Kjersti Johannessen, who is newsroom manager at tv2.no and has an MA degree in South Asian Studies.

The language skills and region-specific knowledge that he obtained through his East Asian Studies are essential for Pål Johansen, who is an Adviser at the Directorate of Immigration.

Language skills are important, but it’s even more important to have something to say. Language studies should therefore be combined with another discipline, Henrik Thon Bardum, information advisor at the Embassy of Japan in Norway, recommends.

It could be a good idea to combine theoretical subjects with practically applicable ones, such as languages and regional studies, according to David Hansen, Associate Professor at Bjørknes College. He chose to take a PhD in South Asian Studies.