Alumni of the month: Lene Bergman
As a student, Lene Bergman dedicated herself to concerts, writing fanzines and working at Hulen. Nevertheless, she spent her time at the university learning about studying and writing. Today, the former UiB student is general manager at the communications agency Mannheimer.
What made you pursue a Master in literature?
The choice of studies was based on my interests. I was going to be a journalist and chose Literature in addition to Media Studies to develop a valuable foundation for the journalism profession. If I had to choose again, I would have made the same choice, even though I ended up starting my own communications agency instead of continuing as a journalist.
Which part of your education have you enjoyed the most as a professional?
Interpretation is probably what I use the most on a daily basis. To read what happens between the lines, as we do with the texts we work with at Mannheimer and when meeting with the customers. Reading the customers’ needs and interpreting what it takes to solve the job is highly valuable to a communications adviser, especially when the customer him- or herself is not able to put something into words. It is valuable to have knowledge of interpretation when we have to understand whom our customers are going to communicate with, and what they need.
What do you remember best from your student days at UiB?
I spent a lot of time going to concerts, writing fanzines and working at Hulen (a student-driven rock-club), - and less time on studying. In my memory, it is my social life and the nice people that are most evident. The never-ending breaks at “Tidshullet” (the canteen at Sydneshaugen), time spent at Hulen, the nice moments at the shared student apartment, and that I met those who are some of my best friends today- and last, but not least: that I met my partner (also at Hulen!). From the academic point of view, it must be the intermediate level subject lectures by Dag Solstad.
What are you most pleased to have achieved as a general manager at Mannheimer Communications Agency?
Creating jobs for people with the same background as me has been a great driving force in running the company, the same as creating value based on communication skills. However, I am most pleased with having built up a customer base and a working environment from scratch – having created a network of great clients, colleagues and collaborators who I look forward to meet and work with every day.
Could you say something about what has been challenging in the job?
Being a humanist in business is not always perceived as a matter of course, and I had neither a network nor much experience in business when I started the company. Nevertheless, it is about daring and claiming space with the skills you have.
Do you have any advice to other alumni when it comes to career development?
Claim space! Make yourself and your education relevant. Be aware of your own innovative skills!
What plans do you have for 2017?
Now, the plan is to take a truly well-deserved summer vacation before launching new projects in August. Among other things, I am looking forward to lecturing in communication planning for the Norwegian Communication Association this fall/winter.