Edvard Haugland

Systems Engineer, Cisco Systems


As a Master of Science graduate from BI, Edvard started working in a field not directly related to his education, IT networking. He started as a trainee, and after a successful completion of the programme he is now working as a Systems Engineer, a pre-sales role. During the trainee period he had to learn a lot of new concepts, but many of the skills he learnt at BI have proved crucial for his career.

- My job is completely different from what I imagined it would when I was at BI. I never thought I would have a technical role in an IT company. But since I also have to look at the business needs and the challenges of our customers, it is not completely unrelated to my studies.

Choosing a career path that differs from his education has involved extra work for Edvard. To perform in his job, he had and has to study new concepts and technologies.

- In my case, I can say that my education at BI helps me both very little and very much. Little in the sense that much of what I work with daily was new to me when I started as a trainee, since I spent my years at BI studying business, finance, economics and politics.

However, Edvard is still very happy for choosing like he did. Throughout his time at BI he learned several important skills and gained many friends.

- There are so many skills from BI that help me every day. Like the business courses I had, the exposure to so many cultures, the international environment, and the fact that I did so many presentations have been very important for me. Not to forget work ethic and tools to evaluate courses of action, Edvard says.

During the years at BI, he also acquired the tools that allow him to embark the challenges of entering the IT world.

- I must say the specialization in finance, and the years as a master student were quite tough. After succeeding in both, there is not much, from a study point-of-view, that can make me scared. I think new challenges are fun, and my years at BI prepared me to face them with the right mind set.

At BI, you are literally only limited by yourself.

A helpful environment

Edvard claims that choosing BI was an easy choice.

- I chose BI after hearing very good things about the school, and I was impressed with the quality of the infrastructure and the building. – It was a no-brainer, he says.

Looking back, Edvard has many good experiences from his years at BI. He especially points out the international environment.

- I met many other international students and really learnt a lot about other cultures and how it is like to work in a multi-cultural environment. That helps me very much now at Cisco, which is a very international company, with presence in more than 165 countries. In my team, I work daily with people from all over the world.

Besides the international environment there is another two things he misses from his time as a BI student.

- The first, of course, is my classmates. The second is the possibility of learning as much as I wanted about anything I wanted. The school and the professors will always be willing to help you move forward in your career and knowledge ambitions.

Becoming a Norwegian

After moving to Norway, Edvard discovered that he changed his mind set somewhat. He embraced Norwegian values and learnt several things from the culture, both from a professional and personal perspective.

- I was influenced in several ways. I found that Norwegians are very hard workers and set the value of work very high, which made me conscious of the importance of it. The way I see people from other cultures and their issues also changed, he explains.

Edvard is now a Norwegian citizen and he has several advice for international students who are considering studying in Norway.

- First of all, stop considering it and apply to BI. The school just keeps getting better and better, which is a testimony of how serious and how much importance to feedback from students, and the community, the board gives – they consistently strive for ensuring the highest standards of quality for all students. Second, try to learn some Norwegian, either before or soon after you arrive to Norway, it helps, a lot! Third, don’t believe everything you read about Norway, especially about how close people are. Norwegians are very friendly, trustworthy and they love partying, so just take your time to get to know them and you’ll see, he says.

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