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"The Master's programme gave me skills to work within the field of international business"

Massiel Carolina Henriquez Parodi (photo)

The academic level is very high and the students that come to study at UiA will have a quality education guaranteed that will enable them to reach their potential.

Massiel Carolina Henriquez Parodi

Former student at Business of Administration

Massiel Carolina Henriquez Parodi is a PhD-candidate in the PhD-program at the School of Business and law at UiA. Massiel completed her Master's of Science in Business Administration here at UiA and has since continued to love her time here in Kristiansand and at UiA.

Why are you interested in Business Administration? Why did you choose UiA?

I have two bachelor's degrees, one in Business Administration from a Colombian University and another in Sciences of Management from a French Business School. Right after I finished my bachelor studies I thought that I wanted to do an MBA. After having worked in France and Colombia in firms and projects with international elements, I decided to apply to the Master of Science in Business Administration at the University of Agder, in the specialization of International Management. I chose UiA because I heard that it was an excellent university and it was located in a city with a very nice weather. For a person coming from the Caribbean region in Colombia to have sunny days is important.

What does Business Administration mean to you? What did you learn in the courses?

Business Administration means to have the opportunity to work and develop yourself in many areas. It is a career that gives you the skills and versatility to work in any field, country or context you desire. Through this master I was left with a complete overview of the firm and the dynamics that occur within and between companies at a local, national and global level. I could study corporate finance, marketing, strategy, research methods, emerging markets and other subjects that gave me a very good tool kit and skills to work within the field of international business.

What are the lectures like?

The professors are excellent and the lectures are well structured. During the lectures the students have both traditional teaching sessions were the students just need to listen to the teacher and take notes and sessions where the teaching method is very interactive, where you are expected to present, discuss, debate and be an active part of the lecture. Also, many times you will be required to solve real cases, meeting with company managers, hearing their concerns in order to bring solutions to the firm’s problems.

How has your stay in Kristiansand been? 

My stay in Kristiansand has been excellent, I really like the city. It is not too big and not too small, you find everything you need, distances are not big and there are many cultural activities. I have been on trips to Oslo, the south and west part of Norway. One of the extracurricular activities I was involved in very often was the Coffee hour organized by the Erasmus Student Network – ESN at UiA. My international classmates and me where there almost every Tuesday, met other international students and shared waffles and coffee together. It is a very nice activity where all international students can participate. Also, I was involved in extracurricular activities outside the University: I was part of one of the oldest amateur orchestras in the city, Ynglingeforeningens musikkorps, where I played the transverse flute.

How is your relationship with other students? Do you come in contact with international students? 

Very good. Everybody is friendly. In the Master in Business Administration I had the opportunity to meet and study together with people from other countries and cultures. Making friends with international students is very easy, especially at the international management specialization where many students are from outside of Norway. 

Apart from studies, what experiences are you left with?

I have learned about other cultures, especially about Norwegian culture. I have seen their solidarity and kindness, how much they care about others and how the sense of community prevails over the individual. I have been able to see the contrast and differences with my own Colombian culture, as well as the similarities we share.

What have you experienced that has challenged you or your way of thinking?

During the third semester of the Master I decided to sign up for a subject called Innovation through design and entrepreneurship. In this subject we worked as real consultants during one week, together with design and architecture students from another university in Norway. It was one of the most challenging things that I encountered during my Masters because of the different working styles of the group members. At the end we agreed and delivered good results for the company we were consulting during this subject. This was a challenge that I could have encountered in a real firm and the University of Agder gave me the opportunity of having that enriching experience.

Why should students from outside of Norway come study in Norway?

Norway is a beautiful country with beautiful people. The nature in this country is very unique and the respect they show for other cultures and beliefs is remarkable. Everybody speaks English, so not speaking Norwegian is not a problem for foreigners to make friends and interact with Norwegians. Above all, the academic level is very high and the students that come to study at UiA will have a quality education guaranteed that will enable them to reach their potential.

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