Kristin Hansen works as sustainability coordinator at Møre and Romsdal county, department for sustainable development.
Kristin Hansen Foto: Åsne Kummeneje Mellem
What is your job description?
My job is to coordinate the sustainability work in the county of Møre and Romsdal. This involves engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in the county, such as regional public sector bodies, municipalities in the county (kommuner), the private sector, academia and so on. We also work on the national level through the sustainability network for the public sector (Bærekraftnettverket), where we learn from and share ideas and knowledge with counties and municipalities throughout Norway. The most important part of my job is to support and connect different stakeholders, as well as to facilitate and initiate projects and developments that help us reach the sustainable development goals by 2030.
What is the most exciting thing about your job?
The most exciting part of my job is that I get the chance to meet such a wide range of partners and people who have insightful and interesting contributions on how to meet the 2030 agenda. On one day I’ll be in meetings with local start-ups, and the next I’m engaging with people from the UN. It’s also exciting to see how fast things are changing in relation to sustainable development and I feel privileged to be able to follow that process so closely.
How do you use your educational background at work?
My educational background is very useful in this job. Delivering the 2030 goals will require huge societal changes. Specializing in social transformation has provided me with a solid foundation in understanding processes of change. Furthermore, studying Human Geography has given me a particular understanding and awareness of how different levels of society interact with each other (local, regional, national, international). This is useful because I work across all these levels simultaneously in my daily work. Finally, the awareness of local context that Human Geography has provided me with is also useful. While the sustainable development goals are global goals, it is important to “translate” them to the local context and realize that sustainability will necessarily be different from place to place.
What is a typical day at work?
I have rather varied days at work. Some days are typical “office” days, which involves a lot of emails and online meetings. Other days I travel throughout the county, to meet with a variety of stakeholders. I also attend some conferences, seminars, and workshops.
How did you get the job?
I think it was a combination of several factors. My educational background – understanding change processes and having a holistic understanding of sustainability was important. Furthermore, understanding the role of the county as a facilitator and coordinator for societal development processes was important. Although I had not worked in this county before, I had some experience from ByKuben in Oslo where coordinating sustainable development initiatives was key.
What are your best tips to students who are looking for your type of job?
Be specific about why the job interests you – if you are interested in a job it is usually because you have knowledge and/or relevant experience for that job. Therefore – don’t underestimate yourself and what you can “bring to the table”. The resources at “Karrieresenteret” can be very helpful in this process. I would also encourage students to either look for relevant part-time jobs, apply for summer internships or use the internship opportunities the master program provides. Not only does this give you relevant job experience, it also gives you the opportunity to figure out what kind of job suits you. And finally, don’t be afraid to apply for jobs outside the Oslo-area after you finish your master – there are great opportunities in places across the country!