Found a job quickly
The former international UiB student Astrid Haderlein uses skills attained during her education every day at her job at DNB.
Working with life insurance is perhaps not an obvious path for a graduated physicist. Yet the master’s degree from the University of Bergen (UiB) gave a broad range of possibilities, and resulted in an interesting job for 25-year-old Haderlein, originally from a small town close to Frankfurt, Germany.
“After my master’s, I considered applying for a PhD at UiB. But at the same time, I wanted to try something completely new. I wanted to stay in Bergen, and was lucky enough to get a job as a risk analyst at the financial services group DNB Liv in January 2018”, she says.
“Even though my degree is not in a subject seen as “typical” in insurance, like finance, I use what I learned during my education every day at work”, Haderlein continues, explaining that mathematics and calculations, analysis, modelling and computer simulations are just a few of the tasks of a risk analyst.
Moving to Norway
Moving to another country to study, without knowing anyone there, can be an unnerving experience. Today Haderlein does not regret she took the chance, first as an exchange student at UiB, later for her master’s degree in physics.
“It was exciting to move to Norway. There are many similarities between Norway and Germany, but also differences, especially in the small things and gestures. But I immediately felt welcome and included in Bergen and at the university”, she says.
Although most Norwegians speak English well, she wanted to learn the local language. Haderlein quickly signed up for a Norwegian course, and started practicing in everyday situations.
Now she speaks the language fluently. To meet new people, she partook in the welcome programme for international students and other social events, both on and outside of the campus. Later she became a volunteer at the student place Kvarteret.
At the Birkeland Centre for Space Science, a UiB Centre of Excellence, she became part of an outstanding research environment. She enjoyed the closeness between the students, and between students and researchers at the Department of Physics and Technology.
“In addition, the ideal mix of urban life and surrounding nature is just outside of the campus”, states Haderlein.
A survey from 2016 found that 80 per cent of former UiB students have found relevant work two years after graduating. It also found that the education at UiB gave the students the skills needed at work.
Here are Haderlein’s top five advice for international students seeking to find a way into the Norwegian labour market:
- Sign up for a language course as soon as possible. Even if you struggle, everyone will welcome the fact that you try to learn the language. Knowing the language helps integration and is highly beneficial when looking for a job.
- Don’t sit at home waiting for someone to knock on your door, just jump into it. People in Bergen will take good care of you.
- Voluntary work is a great way to improve your chances of getting a job, as well as getting friends and valuable experiences. Voluntary work is an important part of Norwegian culture, and appreciated amongst potential employers.
- Attend the career day in Grieghallen in October. Introduce yourself to the companies.
- Be proactive when you search for a job. During your studies, apply for summer internships and part-time work in companies you find interesting.