Bård Ola works for NHO.
What does your job consist of?
The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) is the largest organization for employers and the leading voice of business and industry in Norway. Our main objective is to create and sustain conditions that safeguard the competitiveness and profitability of the business industry in Norway. This involves working with policy issues such as wage formation and international trade. Working for one of the most influential organizations in the Norwegian society is both challenging and meaningful.
My main job is to observe and analyse what is happening in the global economy. Lately, rising trade tensions and the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU have been on the agenda. How these issues affect the economy and the Norwegian business sector are of great importance. Additionally, we produce macroeconomic projections for Norway and the wider global economy.
What do you like most about your job?
The global economy is constantly changing. As a result, my tasks are varied and challenging. Moreover, we keep in close contact with the business community providing an insight into the diversity of Norwegian business sector, which is interesting and exciting.
How do you make use of your education in your job?
Economics is a methodical approach that can be applied to a wide range of issues. As I am often confronted with trade and industrial policy issues, my economics background provides me with a framework for understanding and evaluating these types of issues. Economic theory and the understanding of economic mechanisms are also fundamental when working with business cycle analysis.
How did you get the job?
Before joining NHO, I worked a few years at the department of national accounts at Statistics Norway. My previous job provided me with useful knowledge and work experience with statistics and economic analysis, which I benefit from in my current job.
What is your advice for students who want your type of job?
My best advice is to be committed to, interested in and curious about the topics your are studying! These are important qualities even after graduating. Economics is a flexible education, which provides basic knowledge that can be used in many areas. I have especially benefited from the macroeconomic and statistics courses in my current job.
What do you think is the best thing about studying at UiO?
Studying at the University of Oslo provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a field of interest. The master's thesis provides you with an opportunity to apply theory and research methods in practice, as well to communicate your knowledge and reasoning.
The freedom you enjoy as a student is unique. I encourage students to participate in extracurricular and student activities - they are fun and instructive at the same time. I also recommend applying for a student exchange programme. It shows commitment, broadens horizons, and gives you perspectives that are valuable when applying for a job.
(This interview was originally conducted in Norwegian, and has been translated to English.)