As long as I can remember, people kept asking me: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Deciding what you want to spend your time doing for the rest of your life is not something you do when you’re 16. Here in Norway, you have to make certain choices already in that age. I had no idea what I wanted to be. Perhaps a racedriver. Or a teacher, like my father? I flunked my senior year. So I had to retake a few subjects and take an entire year over again in high school.
I needed this time to think about what I wanted to be – or as I rather came to understand: what I wanted to do. As the nerd I am, I took a stroll down the aisles the last day in high school. “Marketing 101” by Philip Kotler caught my eye. I borrowed it and read it out in 3 days. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up – but I certainly knew what I wanted to do with my life.
I applied for several colleges, and got into Oslo School of Management. I started my first year with joy – August 2011. I loved it. The subjects, the teachers, and the students – this was it! But still, I felt I didn’t to enough. I got great grades, but still – something was missing.
I decided to take this into my own hands. I created a Twitter profile, registered a blog, and started building my competence within social-media marketing. I read dozens upon dozens of book ordered from Amazon, as well as several scholar articles on the internet. Now, I had always been fascinated by computers – my dad got me my first one back in 1997, when I was 6. Computers and technology was my life, so studying social media marketing was absolutely the right path for me.
I basically understood one principle. When you are going to enter the labour-market, you have two choices:
- You can get a high degree and get straight A’s.
- You can prove your competence through references and earlier work.
That’s what I wanted to do. I was doing great in school, but I was still missing that references-and-earlier-work-part. Damn. I have to get a job. I studied the art of job applications, and I think I cracked the code. I sent out 20 applications, and got accepted for a interview 20 times. But I had no earlier references or competence to show to – remember, I was still a student. I didn’t get any of the jobs. Hell – I have to do something. I haven’t got the time to sit back and wait for school to end.
I started blogging. I would spend hours reading up and researching several subjects I would blog about. I started a blog where I stated my opinions. And soon enough – I’d even dare saying I got noticed in the marketing-businesses in Norway/Oslo. I attended allt he conferences I could, to be able to build a network. I followed these on twitter, and started interacting in conversations on all the digital networking sites.
Now, at the age of 22, I work as a Marketing Designer for Fanbooster, one of Europe’s most emerging SaaS businesses with focus on Facebook. I absolutely love what I do. The catch? There are no catches. I am still a student – studying at Oslo School of Management, finishing my last semester. I have been working at Fanbooster for over a year now.
Heres my tips for future “go-getters”:
- Dare to challenge teachers and the industry.
- Be social. Go to events and lunches with interesting people.
- Don’t be afraid to brag. Stop being humble.
- Remember to give more in value than you take in payment.