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Wanted more expertise

"I chose the international business direction because I find the international aspect to be more and more relevant in most fields."

Mette M. N. Seldal

PhD fellow

Why did you choose your study program?

"I was in my 30’s working as a general manager with next to no education and felt that I needed more expertise to be able to do my job well. When I found a study program that looked relevant, I got three years student leave from my job to take a bachelor’s in economics and administration. A while into my bachelor’s I found studying to be so interesting that I quit my job and switched to the five-year master’s program instead. I chose the international business direction because I find the international aspect to be more and more relevant in most fields."


Why did you choose to study at UiA?

"UiA was the most natural choice for me since I was already settled in Kristiansand. It also had the type of study program that was relevant for me."


What was it like being a student with us?

"I really enjoyed being a student at UiA, which is probably not surprising seeing as I continued with a PhD here as well. I had some very interesting subjects, and some not so interesting – although useful. Since I chose an international masters, I also had a chance to team up with students from several different countries, which made group discussions much more interesting. There is also a really good canteen and coffee bar at UiA, so my coffee budget kept increasing."


How was the transition from study to job?

"This was not difficult for me, as I had been working for years before starting my studies. I also treated my studies as a job, sitting in the library every day from 8am, and putting in full workdays. When I got my first job after my studies it was basically just a continuation of that, only with different tasks and more responsibility. The biggest difference to the work I did before my studies was that I now felt more confident in my abilities."


How do you use your education in your job today?

"Working as a PhD fellow means that I need to use, and build on, a lot of what I learned during my five years of studies. Even though I chose a field I find interesting, some of the subjects I did not find so interesting (like statistics) are equally important. I am happy that I worked hard on all my subjects so that when I started my PhD, I knew that I had this understanding as a base to build on. I would not have been able to do my job without this."


What decisions or actions have had most significance for where you are today?

"For me I believe the decision to structure my work and my time was the best decision I made from the start of my studies. Without that I doubt I would have been able to get through five years of studies with good enough grades to get into the PhD program."


Do you have any tips for future or current students?

-          Structure your work and your time. This way you can get through the curriculum and take time off with a clear conscience.

-          Team up with students from other countries. It will make group discussions much more interesting and might help widen your perspective. 

-          Prepare for lectures. This makes it much easier to follow the lecture, and to realize what you need help with so you can ask relevant questions.