From internship to new position as Market researcher
- It can sometimes be challenging to define my own work, but I enjoy great liberty, and my position is continuingly evolving, says former student Einar Aaby Hirsch. He started in a brand new position as Market researcher at Tomra Systems after finishing his Master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation management.
Einar Aaby Hirsch (foto: Merete Granlund).
The reason Einar got this position was that he had an internship at Tomra, and then conducted a market survey on customer satisfaction for Tomra as part of his master's thesis. That customer satisfaction became the subject of his thesis was therefore quite arbitrary.
- Many people claim that it is important to write your thesis about something you are really passionate about, but that's not neccesarily so. I had no special interest in customer satisfaction before, but for me it was important to choose a theme that was useful for Tomra. This was also the reason why I got my current position, says Einar.
Tomra Systems is based in Asker outside Oslo. Overall, the company has 1800 employees in 50 countries. It's core business is sensor-based solutions for optimal resource productivity. This includes recycling of industrial waste and sorting of foods. Still, most people know Tomra because they make the reverse vending machines we use in grocery stores.
Tomra made a new position for Einar so he could continue to do market surveys among customers and competitors. Innovation is a core value for Tomra, and Einar's main task is to monitor developments in the market and come up with ideas for how Tomra can evolve to meet new challenges. Because no one has had a similar position in the company before, Einar mostly defines his tasks himself.
- One of the things I like best about my job is the opportunity to influence the decisions taken at Tomra about what new products to develop, or which markets to enter, says Einar.
He finds his job very relevant to his education, and says that he sometimes looks up topics in his old curriculum.
Before starting at the MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Einar studied math. But after completing his bachelor's degree, he didn't wish to continue the theoretical math courses. He took a break from his studies and embarked on a three months long journey in the United States and Mexico. He liked the idea of starting his own business, but began searching the UiO web site for an interresting master's degree. It is not surprising, then, that he noticed the master's program Innovation and entrepreneurship.
Einar finds it is exciting to work in an international company, and in the future he may be doing market research on the international market, for example in Germany, USA or South America.
- One of the best things about my master's program was that we got to go abroad with Gründerskolen. To study and get work experience abroad is of great value if you want to work in international business, says Einar.
The Master's program incorporates work experience in various types of businesses. When Einar had finished an internship in a start-up in Houston, he began searching for an internship in an established business in Norway. Einar contacted many types of businesses, and it was quite a coincidence that he came to contact Tomra. Like many other companies, Tomra isn't that well known to private consumers because they mainly provide products and services to the business sector. Einar says that to get in touch with the appropriate professionals, and not just the HR department, was crucial for him getting the internship at Tomra.
- I still have a dream of one day starting my own business, but I think it is of great value to gain experience from the established businesses first, says Einar Aaby Hirsch.