Got internships in Paris due to student engagement

‘At NHH, I developed good analytical skills which I use every day with the OECD,’ says Victoria Somdalen. She has now taken a one-year break from her master’s degree to work as an intern for the OECD in Paris. Photo: Ingrid Aarseth Johannessen, NHH.
NHH By Ingrid Aarseth Johannessen

9 April 2019 13:25

Got internships in Paris due to student engagement

Victoria Somdalen's engagement in the student association led to two international internships in the OECD and Innovation Norway. ‘NHH opens many doors both in Norway and abroad,’ she says.

‘At NHH, I developed good analytical skills which I use every day with the OECD. We worked a lot with presentations and communication in the programme, often in teams. I’ve also been able to use this a great deal in my work,’ says Victoria Somdalen.

Last year, she graduated from the BSc Programme in Economics and Business Administration at NHH. She is now taking a one-year break from her master’s degree to work as an in Paris for the OECD and Innovation Norway. She got the intern positions partly due to her work in the student association NHHS.

‘Through the various offices in NHHS, I learned to set targets, define tasks and put together teams to solve these in the best way possible. I was able to try out different leader roles in an environment where you are encouraged to try and fail,’ says the 23-year-old.

Somdalen was head of the Career Fair in 2016 – NHH’s most important arena for recruitment of students to future employment. Under her leadership, a record number of businesses took part, with 98 businesses registered. 

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MET THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER

The OECD is an international organisation working for financial cooperation and development. As intern, Somdalen works to strengthening the cooperation between the OECD and the social players in and outside the organisation’s member states.

The job also entails meetings with businesses and organisations from across the world, where they listen and share experience and opinions on a diversity of topics, such as responsible business conduct, differences in income, new technology and global warming.

‘I work on preparing analyses, reports and strategies in connection with these meetings. The information is then used to create a forum where countries and organisations go together to address these challenges,’ says Somdalen.

The OECD is an international organisation working for financial cooperation and development. As intern, Somdalen works on strengthening the cooperation between the OECD and the social players in and outside the organisation’s member states. Photo: Private.

She describes the environment at the OECD as unique and inclusive. She has attended a number of conferences and met important international politicians, business leaders and economists.

‘On one occasion, I coincidently sat next to and talked to key persons from ICAN (the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons), which was the Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2017,’ Somdalen says.

Many CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The 23-year-old is looking forward to her internship with Innovation Norway in Paris after Easter. She believes that international experience is an important factor in standing out from other applicants, even though she has lived in a number of countries and speaks fluent French.

‘I’ve always been interested in languages and travel. I think that linguistic and cultural experience is very useful if you want to work in international organisations. Among other things, it provides a good basis for mastering communication and cooperation across national borders,’ Somdalen believes.

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Last autumn, the government set a requirement for more practical training in education. NHH has taken steps to meet this requirement and is now sending students abroad to give them relevant work experience.

The student from Eastern Norway encourages others to apply for jobs abroad. As an NHH student, you can now take an international internship and be awarded credits for your work.

‘NHH gives you the flexibility to choose between a diversity of careers and opens many doors both in Norway and abroad. By working in an international organisation like the OECD, you can help to influence society in a positive direction. That is my motivation,’ she explains.

Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Linda Nøstbakken, thinks it is very positive that Somdalen is gaining relevant work experience early on in her studies.

‘By working in another country and experiencing another culture, you learn new ways of communicating, thinking, cooperating and solving problems. Being independent and settling down in another country also contributes to great personal development,’ says Nøstbakken.

‘I’m also sure that this experience will be of great value later, regardless of whether Victoria wants to work in Norway or abroad,’ she concludes.