Per Fredrik works for Leth Agencies.
What does your job consist of?
Leth Agencies offers services related to the passage of ships through the canals and straits around the world. We work with the Danish Strait, Panama, the Bosphorus, Singapore and the Suez Canal. I work at the head office in Oslo and manage a department working on the authorities' discount system in the Suez Canal. I coordinate and delegate tasks to employees in our offices in Norway, Denmark, Singapore and Egypt. I also contribute with reports, project development and analysis.
What do you like most about your job?
The shipping industry is a very exciting industry and makes up the wheels of the global economy. As a small company with large resources, we can capitalize on the opportunities that arise in the ups and downs of the economy.
You work with customers from all over the world and with people from other cultures.
If you build trust through good efforts, you can participate in a great deal of varied work, which makes the work day stimulating.
How do you make use of your education in your job?
I use much of what I learned through five years of studying economics. For example, being able to acquire information, analytical thinking and having a good overall understanding of economic mechanisms. To make use of statistics and understand what a single number can tell you is also very important in my job.
How is a typical day at work?
It is my responsibility to coordinate the offices and continuously decide what must be given priority on any given day. I update customers around the world about our work and what we need from them to move forward.
Most things happen via mail and phone, but travel and customer visits often occur.
I also work with data and information collection in conjunction with current and potential customers, conduct analyses and disseminate results from my department's work. I also work on introducing new computer systems to our department.
How did you get the job?
I started working for Leth Agencies in parallel with Master's studies at UiO. I got the job through a friend who encouraged me to apply. After completing my studies, I was offered permanent employment and shortly thereafter a management position.
What is your advice for students who want your type of job?
The shipping industry is quite small and not very transparent. Positions are not always advertised and there is a lot of internal recruitment, so getting a foot in the door can be challenging. I recommend asking companies for an internship or a part time job. You can also request a research question and write your thesis for a company you find appealing. Companies often have large amounts of data but lack the tools and capacity to process them.
International experience is a major advantage in shipping. I went on student exchange stays in Melbourne and Shanghai. I also spent six months as a trainee at the embassy in Singapore.
These experiences gave me a great deal in terms of cultural understanding, personal development and networking skills.
Display an active interest in economics. Keep an eye on markets, politics, international relations and how it applies to your studies. This way you can more easily discover what you want to pursue once you have your degree.
What do you think is the best thing about studying at UiO?
I remember great lecturers and exciting subjects. The master's degree requires hard work, but you and your fellow students are in it together, so you pull through.
The faculty of Social Sciences is good at organizing events, which adds a lot to the student everyday life. I have fond memories from the friday quizzes at U-1.
I would also recommend the Career Services at the university. They give good advice on planning and preparing for employment and I received valuable help from them.
(This interview was originally conducted in Norwegian, and has been translated to English.)