Bureaucracy is a lot about reading, learning and writing. The main difference is that at work, the deadlines are tighter and documents must be shorter and more to the point than academic papers, says adviser Gry Asp Solstad at the Ministry of the Environment.
Gry Asp Solstad
- Describe the most important tasks you have in your job today
- I work with The Government of Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative at the Ministry. My tasks are mainly related to following up a UN programme - the UN-REDD Programme - and our support to the civil society which is administrated through Norad. I also have some tasks related to our support to Latin-American countries.
- More concretely, this means attending meetings, reading documents and work plans, writing e-mails, et cetera. I also prepare background papers for the Minister of the Environment, and draft texts to budget resolutions and write papers.
- What do you like most about your job?
- I am almost never bored at work. I am very privileged to work with an issue that is so highly prioritized and that is still being developed on the global arena, and that is so exciting and relevant for my education. I also have very nice colleagues.
- How is the education from The Faculty of Humanities relevant in this job?
- The issue of climate and forests, REDD+, links environment and development - and this inter-linkage was at the core of my education at Center for Development and the Environment (SUM), which was also an interdisciplinary education. I think that gives me an intuitive understanding of most of the issues that we work with, from biological diversity to inclusion of stakeholders.
- I also work to some extent with Latin-America, and therefore get to use the Spanish that I learned through my bachelor in Latin American Studies at the University of Bergen. Working and studying are not very different activities. Bureaucracy is a lot about reading documents, learning and writing. The main difference is that at work, the deadlines are tighter and documents must be shorter and more to the point than academic papers.
- Your best tip for new students who are thinking about job opportunities after graduation?
- Do not worry too much about getting a job! I spent a lot of time worrying about the future and the relevance of my studies, when I should have been enjoying myself - which I also did a lot though. However, it may be wise to explore all the possibilities that you have for an education as early as possible, in relation to your interests – maybe there are possibilities that you do not know about.
- There are also many possibilities for applying as an intern at a Norwegian Embassy or in an international organization, which I think is a good opportunity to travel and learn at the same time. I also think that when looking for your first job it could be important to remember that all experiences are learning possibilities. My first work experience was as a student counselor at SUM, which was the best possible introduction to professional life I could have had. Finally, I think that the University could do even more to prepare students for their professional life, such as oral presentations, group work, shorter assignments and deadlines, et cetera – although that may have changed in the five years that have passed since I graduated.