Owner and founder

Harriet acquired an invaluable network through her exchange visit to India, which later allowed her to set up her own company.

Portrait photo, woman, smile, light brown hair, outside, winter, grey scarf

Harriet Olaisen

Photo: Private

- What are the most important aspects of your job?

– Hoi Cottage Wool is a social entrepreneurial company which is engaged in wool production in small villages in northern India where we work closely with the workers and have a transparent, full production line in each village.

How is the education from The Faculty of Humanities relevant to your job?

– It has obviously been invaluable. As a result of my Master’s studies I acquired a network in India which has enable me to build up a company - something which would not have happened without the background I acquired during my studies. My India studies have also opened up this world to me in a way which would otherwise have been extremely hard to gain access to. I simply would not have been able to start an Indian-based company without having been familiar with the area - I am convinced that it would have been almost impossible. Thanks to my studies I was also offered a job with the Immigration and Consular Department at the Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi, something which enabled me to develop my own company in India while I was working.

- What  is your best memory of your exchange visit?

– Well actually it was a feeling rather than a memory: about the day when I really felt that I belonged in Delhi. The day when I felt that “this is my town now, just like Oslo”. It was lovely to be able to move around the city when I arrived there in the same relaxed way that I would when going from Oslo S to Blindern. To be quite honest, I never really thought that that day would ever arrive.”

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

– My advice is to make the study your own, especially when you reach Masters level. Find your own direction - it doesn’t need to be inspired by Spivak or by women’s and caste issues. There are many options and opportunities available. I progressed from writing about South Asia as an Indocentric region for my Bacherlor’s thesis to embarking on a career in wool production after I completed my studies. The choices are endless and the road becomes apparent as you proceed - generally in the area around Lodi Colony and Khan Market.

By Torunn Nyland, Career and Employability Coordinator HF
Published Oct. 11, 2018 5:27 PM - Last modified July 1, 2022 1:04 PM