Hong works for Norges Bank.
Photo: Nils S. Aasheim, Norges Bank
Why did you choose to study economics?
I took economy classes in upper secondary school and it sparked my interest. I wanted to gain more insight and understanding of the economic mechanisms that surround us in everyday life, and thought that studying economics would give me a good foundation for achieving this.
How did you get the job?
I was employed temporarily with Norges Bank when I was a student and got a sense of what it would be like to work there. A vacancy as a currency analyst appeared in the Unit for Market Operations and Analysis around the time I was finishing my degree, and I applied.
What does your job consist of?
My unit is Norges Bank's contact point towards the market and our main task is to obtain information about what is happening in the financial markets and share this with the management.
We also carry out currency transactions where we buy and sell currency.
Most of the transactions are carried out on behalf of the state, but we also trade in international currencies based on a market view.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, much of the analysis work is concentrated on the next Monetary Policy Report. In this process, we contribute with analysis of relevant movements in the foreign exchange market, as well as assessments of future prospects. Norges Bank also performs currency transactions on behalf of the state, which are linked to the state's use of oil revenue.
Currently, we buy and sell currency worth NOK 900 million daily.
In addition to this, I work on a project that tries to quantify through which channels monetary policy affects financial prices.
Do you have previous work experience?
I have had student engagements in Norges Bank and a summer internship in Storebrand.
How do you make use of your education in your current position?
Several of the courses at Blindern are directly linked to tasks I perform daily. I think that the analytical approach I acquired throughout the study has been useful. This approach gives me confidence when I encounter topics that are not directly related to the courses I have taken.
Do you have any advice for Master's students who want to position themselves for future employers?
Work hard. Grades are still important for many employers.
I found it helpful to be engaged in activities outside of the studies as well - whether it was through voluntary work in student organizations or through part-time jobs. It shows employers that you have the ability to juggle several tasks successfully. It also extends your social and professional network. I would also recommend a semester abroad as an exchange student.
(This interview was conducted in Norwegian and has been translated.)