Started company in Asia following international degree

NHH-alumni Ronny Waage.
ENTREPRENEUR: With a master’s degree in international business from NHH and a CEMS master’s degree in international management, Ronny Waage started his own consultancy company in Singapore. Photo: Flickr/Private.
NHH By Sigrid Grøm Bakken

23 October 2018 10:44

Started company in Asia following international degree

Ronny Waage sold everything he owned, packed two suitcases and flew to Singapore on a one-way ticket. ‘CEMS played a big part in that decision,’ he says.

‘I grew up near Statoil Kårstø, which was a busy port with around 700 arrivals a year. From our living room window, I could see the ships coming and going. I was always curious about where they came from and where they were headed. Over the years, my interest in shipping has just grown even greater,’ says NHH graduate Ronny Waage.

Since he was a child, the 35-year-old from Tysvær knew that he wanted a career in shipping. Waage has also had a longing to travel and live abroad.

‘I went on a student exchange to the US in upper secondary school, and ever since, I have had a desire to travel abroad. During my studies at NHH, I’ve lived in Spain and Italy, and now I live in Singapore. I like challenging myself, to meet new people and jump at any opportunities that arise,’ he says.

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NHH-alumni Ronny Waage.
INTERNATIONAL CAREER: In an increasingly globalized world, Waage thinks it's wise to choose an international study program. ‘CEMS has played an important part in my life and is crucial for the job I do in Singapore today,’ he says. Photo: Norwegian Business Association Singapore

Sold everything

When his wife was offered a job in Singapore three years ago, Waage was not hard to persuade. Together, they sold everything they owned, packed two suitcases and hit the road.

‘Singapore is among the most advanced maritime nations and offers a wealth of career opportunities. For this reason, it felt natural to go there. It’s now become our home,’ he says. 

Waage has now started his own consultancy company in Singapore aiming at new technology in the shipping industry.

With a master’s degree in international business from NHH and a CEMS degree in international management, he was well-prepared for the working culture he would encounter in Southeast Asia.

‘CEMS is a practical study programme where you get to work with actual international companies and the issues they face. This gives you a good impression of their reality,’ says Waage.

‘You also get to study with people from different countries. This helps you get better at adapting to different languages and cultures. In this way, the programme prepares you well for the international working life you’ll encounter,’ he says.

Among the top ten in the world

In 2009, the CEMS programme was ranked Europe’s best master’s programme and was voted ninth best in the world this year.

NHH student Julie Marie Markussen (22) from Lier is following in Waage’s footsteps. She also seeks an international career.

‘I think CEMS combined with my master’s in finance from NHH will improve my chances in the labour market both in Norway and abroad,’ she says.

‘Why is that?’

‘The programme holds a high academic standard and when people from different countries meet, you acquire new perspectives and can benefit from the experiences of others. I think that’s an advantage,’ says Markussen.

CEMS students graduate with competency in a third language, and have completed an exchange semester, as well as an internship period abroad.

‘I think that both Norwegian and foreign employers appreciate this because it shows that you are able to adapt and that you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone,’ she says.

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Builds a global network

In an increasingly globalised world, Waage thinks it wise to choose an international study programme.

‘CEMS has played an important role in my career and in other major decisions. It has given me a large international network and the degree is invaluable for the work I do in Singapore today,’ he says.