Mikkel works at Economics Norway (Samfunnsøkonomisk analyse)
Photo: Economics Norway
How did you get the job?
I was offered this position after working part-time as project assistant during my time as a student.
What do you think were the most important factors for being offered the job?
My education was important as it showed that I had the necessary skills to carry out the tasks.
My impression is that the project assistant job was important because it allowed me to demonstrate relevant work experience. It also helped the company to get to know me in a way that a short interview just does not allow.
In addition to this, other types of work experience is appreciated. Through experience with teaching seminars at UiO, I could show that I am good at sharing what I know about economy with others. General work experience and extracurricular activity such as volunteer work is valuable to employers. It shows initiative and that one manages to balance multiple activities.
What are your tasks in your current job?
We work on a project basis, delivering analyses and investigations to public and private companies.
As a consultant, it is my job to help our customers and partners access the necessary knowledge base to make good, informed decisions. Therefore, it is key to be able to show which social consequences different measures or decisions may have.
I often work with data collection, modeling, implementation of analyzes and dissemination of process and presenting results through written reports and oral presentations.
Communicating economic insights to our customers is one of the best parts of my job.
How is the knowledge you acquired through studying economics relevant to your current job?
I have made good use of my education, although some models and theories are not always as relevant.
Economy courses on statistics and econometrics have been the most useful in my daily work life. Knowledge from these courses is priceless when we try to answer a question related to developments in the Norwegian economy or the effect of an action or instrument.
I have also had great benefit and enjoyment of courses on demography and public finances. Much of what I learned in these courses is directly transferable to issues I encounter in my work.
Most importantly, my education has opened my eyes for possible explanations of phenomena we observe in society, and has provided me with the tools for analyzing them.
Do you have any career advice for new students?
Grades are important, especially when applying for a sought after position. Yet not everyone can be best in that regard. My advice is to show that you think economy is engaging! Employers look at more than grades when considering applicants for an interview.
My advice is to get relevant work experience: whether voluntary or paid, it will help set you apart. In the beginning of your studies, it may be difficult to find relevant part-time positions, but there are several other ways to show professional involvement and interest. A voluntary organization or network can offer many possibilities for new students who are also looking for social and fun activities.
I also recommend looking at the possibility of writing a master's thesis on behalf of a company. If you are curious and on the lookout, it will surprise you how many doors open!
(The interview was originally conducted in Norwegian, and is translated to English).