Adviser for East-Asian languages and language options

Humanities specialists have some of the most varied and interesting careers – because our studies enable us to work in practically all fields, Øystein N. Øksenvåg says. He has a master’s degree in East Asian Studies and works at the Foreign Language Centre.

Øystein N. Øksenvåg

- What are the most important aspects of your job?

– As a staff member at the Foreign Language Centre, my job is to “work for high quality in education* and to “contribute to increase motivation and interest in foreign language learning”.

In practice, this means that I compile educational resources, arrange seminars, attend education fairs, am a contact person, cooperate internationally with ambassadors and via language institutions, compile statistics and analyses and much more. The Foreign Language Centre is a national hub, and I am responsible for everything that has to do with East-Asian languages and language options in Norway. I have enough to keep me busy!

- What do you like best about your job?

– - Diversity and meaningfulness, and particularly the opportunity to tell people how important it is to know foreign languages. My job is to make more people aware of the importance of language and cultural competence in working life and in society. In a global world, it is no longer sufficient to know only English. Those of us who work at the Faculty of Humanities are very aware of this.

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

–To put it very simply, you might say that my job is to get more people to choose the same educational programme as I took. This gives me a closeness to and an understanding of my own competence, which I then continually try to convey to others. I am proud of my education and proud of my fellow students. It is a pleasure to see so many talented people who attended the Faculty of Humanities and who work in so many different fields today!

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

– Relax, remain calm, don’t stress! We will not try to hide the fact that students in the humanities sometimes have a harder time getting into working life. You will not always hook the largest fish on the first cast. To push it to an extreme, you might say that a humanities student can become “all or nothing at all”. “Nothing”, of course, is a frightening thought, but “all” more than weighs up for it. Humanities specialists have some of the most varied and interesting careers – because our studies enable us to work in practically all fields!

A more practical tip I can give is to get fully involved in an academic specialist committee, in student politics and so on. When you are ready to write your master’s thesis, it is a good idea to check to see whether some organizations might be interested in providing financial support. Talk with people in the same academic field as yours and who have a career you might like to pursue. How did they get where they are? Don’t be afraid to ask and to make yourself stand out! All of us who have gone through the humanities study programme have had the same feelings of uncertainty as you are having about “what they want to be when they grow up”, but the vast majority of us have actually been able to use the education and training we chose to take!

By Torunn Nyland, Career and Employability Coordinator HF
Published Oct. 11, 2018 5:06 PM - Last modified Oct. 11, 2018 5:06 PM