“Go on an exchange visit! Being in India for a long time, on several occasions, has provided me with knowledge and experience that cannot be acquired by studying at Blindern,” says Gudrun C E Helland, who has a Master’s degree in South Asian Culture and Society.

Gudrun C. E. Helland

- What are the most important aspects of your job?

– My duties as a Personnel and Study Consultant and Project Coordinator are many and varied. One of the most important aspects of my everyday duties is to ensure that everything is under control. In my capacity as a Personnel Consultant I am responsible for appointments, contracts and other HR work. As a Study Consultant I am primarily responsible for educational planning and working on study information, and as a Project Coordinator for Renewing the Nordic Model I am responsible for all odd administrative jobs - ranging from booking trips to planning PhD courses in conjunction with the relevant research groups.

- What do you like best about your job?

– I love working at SUM (the Centre for Development and the Environment). I have a lot of responsibility and freedom, along with highly varied duties. I have developed a lot during the two years I have been here. We have a great international working and student environment and I think that what I like best is the contact I have with students and colleagues. SUM only offers one Master’s programme, so we get to know the students well and I think that is brilliant! I also like learning so many different things and the fact that no two working days are ever the same.

How is the education from The Faculty of Humanities relevant in this job?

– I am constantly making use of my background in Indian studies (South-Asian Studies), both at SUM and elsewhere. The experiences I acquired as a student involved in field work and my Master’s thesis are useful when I meet our students, who often have a lot in common with the India students, i.e. they have an interdisciplinary approach and they are heading “out into the world”. The interdisciplinary nature of the Bachelor’s programme and all the time I spent in India are useful because I have learnt to adjust and to take challenges in my stride. Cultural understanding is also essential. Studying other cultures in depth and visiting other places in the world enables you to understand that there are many different realities and ways of living one’s life.

- What’s your best tip for new students who are concerned about their job opportunities after graduation?

– Go on an exchange visit! Being in India for a long time, on several occasions, has provided me with knowledge and experience about both India and myself that cannot be acquired by studying at Blindern. This is useful when you start working. You also assimilate the curriculum in a totally different way. I have been to India nine times, and each time I learn something different.

By Torunn Nyland, Career and Employability Coordinator HF
Published Oct. 10, 2018 4:31 PM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2021 2:32 PM