Meet Iver

Photo: Iver from Bergen Chamber, taken by Study Bergen

Meet Iver

Written by: Study Bergen

Photo: Iver from Bergen Chamber, taken by Study Bergen

Meet Iver, a business policy advisor in diversity, inclusion and education at Bergen’s Chamber of Commerce. Iver not only has a Norwegian business insider’s perspective on how to become part of the job market in Bergen, but he also knows first-hand what it is like to be an international student, including its challenges and advantages.

The international student perspective

Although Iver has a Norwegian background and speaks Norwegian, he has a clear perspective of what it is like to be an international student. He was one! He attended an American high school in Mexico City before returning to Norway to study psychology at the university and graduate level. When he exited his studies, the jobs he had initially hoped for related to his psychology degree were not manifesting. His journey ended up including post-studies (up to a year of study after completing a degree), starting unfunded work on a PhD project with a great advisor, and ultimately finding an exciting opportunity with Bergen Chamber of Commerce.

The struggle to find the first job

In Mexico City, Iver had his plate full with full time studies and didn't have time to get work experience. When he retuned to Norway Iver found himself with a similar disadvantage entering the Norwegian job market that many international students face. It is common for Norwegian teens to start working part time at age 16 or 17 years. They therefore often have some job experience to cite on their CVs. This may be one reason that Iver initially had trouble getting interviews for positions he applied for using ‘standard’ channels, despite having a Norwegian background and language skills. His first luckily break finding a job was through a staffing agency. As he studied he found most of his jobs by reaching out directly, and often in person, and to applying for work at psychiatric institutes, drug rehabilitation facilities, as a substitute teacher, as an academic research assistant, and more.

Creative job-seeking

Iver believes that Norwegian businesses can do more to build their international competencies, including increasing their retaintion and recruitment of international students studying in Norway. But, until they improve their recruitment techniques for international talent, you can get some guidance on how to show these types of companies how valuable you are. Iver's advice for finding that all important first job is to be more creative, rather than purely relying on applying for positions advertised on websites such as FinnClick here to read some Norwegian job-seeking guidance based on Iver’s wisdom.


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