Ida Marie Gildestad works as an advisor in the Climate Department at the Norwegian Environment Agency
Photo: Silje Robinson
How did you get your current job?
I applied for a vacant position.
Why do you think they chose you for the job?
I think I was an interesting candidate both because of my educational qualifications and because of my work experience. I already had some experience working with climate change adaptation before I got my current job. I also think my background from human geography was interesting. Human geographers are used to and able to deal with both physical science and social science knowledge. That is important in my current job.
What are your main duties?
The Norwegian Environment Agency has a coordinating role on climate change adaptation. This means that we, among other things, contribute to the strengthening of climate adaptation work in Norway, by increasing the knowledge base for climate adaptation. Most of my duties are related to this.
What are you working on just now?
I work on a lot of different things – right now I try to plan next year's activities and I report on completed activities from 2019. Among the completed activities is a new guide on climate change adaptation in local planning. I am also currently working on updating our webpages so that it is more relevant and useful to the users.
How do you apply your qualifications from the Department of Sociology and Human Geography in your work?
I'm quite sure my background in human geography comes in handy every day – but it's not very tangible. I think a "human geography approach", is ways of thinking, ways of working, and ways of approaching an issue. Human Geographers are good at thinking holistically, and we are concerned about how places affect people and vice versa. This is useful in any job – also in mine.
What is your top tip for students who want to be attractive in the job market?
It's a good idea to think of career opportunities when writing your master's thesis. Through your thesis, you become an expert in a specific field. This can make you stand out from the rest of the applicants for a job. Furthermore, key for human geographers is to be able to communicate what we know and can do.