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International network through PhD research

Being a PhD student at UiA and the School of Business and Law offers a lot of opportunities for proactive candidates.

Stine Øyna

PhD, specialization in International Business

Stine Øyna is from Norway, and has completed a PhD with a specialization in International Business at the UiA School of Business and Law. She defended her thesis in 2019.

What did you conduct research on, and why?

My field of research is international entrepreneurship, and my PhD focused on internationalizing start-ups – so-called “born globals”. These are firms that start out with an international, or even global vision for their company. I specifically investigated how these firms develop and mature over time.


Why did you choose the University of Agder?

I chose UiA because the School of Business and Law is very strong on research topics related to international business, with several excellent academics to learn from. Also, being part of a doctoral program means having colleagues and friends from around the world to share the experience with, making the PhD journey even more rewarding.


How was the PhD experience at UiA?

Conducting a PhD is highly challenging. Yet at UiA you have a strong community cheering you on, consisting of your colleagues in the program, your supervisor and the program administrators. My everyday life during the PhD consisted of a lot of hard but interesting work together with a lot of talented and nice people. I also did a lot of traveling, taking courses at institutions such as NHH and Cambridge, and going to conferences in Milan, Vienna, Poznan and Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, I did three external research stays in College of Management (Tel Aviv, Israel), San Diego State University (USA) and American University (Washington D.C., USA). Being a PhD student at UiA and the School of Business and Law offers a lot of opportunities for proactive candidates.


What is the most important experience you have made during your time as a PhD candidate?

I have learned that even in academia the most distinguishing factor is the ability to work hard, and that the key skill is not being able to anticipate every scenario, but the ability to cope when stuff does not go as planned.


What kind of network and career opportunities has the PhD period given you?

I believe a PhD from the UiA School of Business and Law make you an attractive candidate both within and outside of academia.

The PhD has given me a wide network both within the Agder region, and internationally. In Agder I have gotten to know the various people and institutions that make up the entrepreneurial ecosystem, while internationally I have now several contacts within entrepreneurship research and education across several universities.


Have you got any tips for other PhD candidates?

The key determinants for your PhD process are your topic, your supervisor and your colleagues. Invest in all three in order to get as much as possible out of the experience. Finally, I would recommend taking the PhD as part of a program or cohort any day of the week. Having someone who gets the process you are going through makes a big difference.