Two and a half years ago, Vilde Nyrønning Strøm obtained a master's degree in mathematics and information technology from the University of Oslo. Since then, her career has really taken off and she meets us at what has become her second home – DNV's magnificent campus at Høvik, outside Oslo.
The Veritas Centre is DNV's head office at Høvik, outside Oslo, and is located in a beautiful scenic area of around 30 hectares.
After a handful of interviews, she chose DNV, formerly called Det Norske Veritas and DNV GL, where she went straight into a permanent job as a Graduate in Cyber Security.
She was in no doubt that this was the place for her. Her good impression of DNV started early in the process and has not changed.
"The interview process was very good compared to other places. My gut feeling was definitely that this was the best place," she admits.
In 2019, DNV climbed to the top of an independent ranking of Norway's most attractive employers, ahead of several well-known companies. Exciting tasks, an excellent working environment and good career opportunities were stated to be the reasons for this.
"I particularly liked the focus on professional development, and that improving your technical skills is just as acceptable as taking the normal management route. They made a good impression by talking about all the different opportunities that exist within the company and they've definitely lived up to their promises," confirms Vilde.
The company is best known for its core activities relating to the classification of ships, certification, testing and advisory services, and is currently actively making efforts to digitalize its own services and the industries it is involved in. Key to this is a combination of traditional technical expertise and new opportunities in the field of applied IT.
Since Vilde's education was not specialized within a specific field of IT, the company's internal flexibility has been worth its weight in gold.
"After all, we're a company that provides services to handle and minimize risk, and IT and digital solutions comprise an increasing part of our everyday jobs. Learning about the safety aspect relating to critical infrastructure and digital threats has been very useful and exciting. As a consultant, you're involved in many different projects, and in my first six months I also noticed a different expertise that we have in DNV.
Vilde is still working in the same business area, Digital Solutions, but in a new section called Data Services and Insight Solutions. Digital Solutions builds bridges between all the business areas and delivers software and digital solutions across industries and professional areas. The Data Services Section focuses on data analysis, simulations and machine learning that will be useful and provide insight to the entire value chain.
"I spend a lot of time on data quality and the representation of knowledge in a structured manner that the computer can understand. This is a subdomain of Artificial Intelligence (AI) known as 'knowledge representation and reasoning'. We work on large, comprehensive projects where the potential for automation is huge," Vilde tells us enthusiastically.
She says that this was also the topic of the 2019 summer project, for which she was the project manager – a role that was completely new to this mathematician.
"It was very exciting to be allowed to try something completely new – management and 'soft skills' in general are incredibly useful to a consultant. The summer project was also very valuable to us as a company. It gave me a lot of input for my further work, but I must admit I was itching to do the technical work," she says.
Here are Vilde's five tips for jobseekers
#1– Be clear about what you want!
Of course you must be attractive to the employer, but remember that as a student you are also attractive, so don't be afraid to ask questions. I think that's very important. "The company has to suit you just as much as you have to suit the company."
#2– Make it clear who you are as a person!
A slight cliché, but you have to appear to be who you are and show your interests during the interview situation so that you get a job that is as suitable as possible for you. As a student, the labour market is incredibly new to you, and I too very much felt I had to make a favourable impression.
#3– Have all the formalities in place!
When I was responsible for recruitment to the summer project, I noticed that very many people had forgotten to enclose the normal things such as their CV, grades, etc. That can happen to the best candidate. So you can't check too many times that you have provided everything requested in the job advert - otherwise you might lose out on a good opportunity.
Once you have finally got the job, Vilde thinks you should...
#4– Follow your interests, as that benefits both you and the employer!
For example, here in DNVthere are so incredibly many internal opportunities and you are in no way tied to certain tasks. As long as you seek new challenges, find a path that is exciting and state what you want, I think you will get a fantastic job.
#5– If you don't say how you want to shape the job, no one can read your thoughts!
I think a lot of new graduates feel that, as new employees, they can't say what they want or wish to do, but that's not the case. Although it can of course be both scary and unpleasant, you are the one who shapes your own job.
A unique career model
Hanna Moen has a background in organizational psychology and works for the DNV Group, developing various learning arenas for managers and other employees. She says the company has a unique career model that allows employees to change direction professionally.
Hanna Moen in DNV says the company has a large internal labour market and employees can seek new challenges at one of DNV's more than 80 offices. Photo: Delta V
"What makes DNV's career model special is that all careers are regarded as just as valuable. That means choosing a management direction is not more valuable than choosing a technical career, or vice versa. Also, if your job is technical, you can still have a management career, and we have some engineers who are working in administrative jobs."
She adds that, depending on what you do and the direction you choose to take, the company has various learning arenas based on the 70-20-10 learning philosophy.
According to DNV's career model, all career paths are equally valuable. The model is flexible and it is fully possible for those who want to change their career path to do so. (Illustration: DNV)
"The learning philosophy is based on most of the learning taking place through your job, then we have what you learn through your network of mentors and colleagues, while the last part is what you learn from courses, studying and conferences. We have management development and technical training courses lasting for several years, some of which are in collaboration with leading institutes. We also have various mentor programmes and something called the Next Generation Summit, which gives young employees the opportunity to build their networks and careers."
She also says they have a large internal labour market which allows employees to seek new challenges at one of DNV's more than 80 offices.
"This career model is intended to be favourable to all employees, and it's fully possible to change track irrespective of where you are in your career. Such flexibility is attractive and it's not uncommon for our employees to change track several times during their career," she concludes.