Hi, my name is Tone, and I study UX and informatics at the University of Oslo. During the last year I’ve been working as a student ambassador alongside my studies. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, future career opportunities, and the tech business. Let me take you through my year at Schibsted!
Usually, when applying for part time jobs or summer internships in tech I feel like you are asked to have “a master’s degree and 5 years of working experience”. How do you even start getting this? For me, that answer was the Student Ambassador role at Schibsted. Last year I had this position in Oslo. Looking back, this has given me a lot more experience and opened more doors than I thought it would.
Firstly, what is a Student Ambassador? Well, it’s a kind of fancy name for a contact person between students and the company, with different responsibilities tied to the role. Mostly it’s about spreading the word about Schibsted as a potential workplace through different events and activities. During my year at Schibsted I have done a variety of different things such as organizing and facilitating company presentations and workshops, making Instagram takeovers, joining stands where I talk to loads of students and assisting in coding camps for children.
When I first started, there was a lot of information to take in. Schibsted is a big tech company, with many small and big brands within itself and it might feel confusing at times. But I quickly (ish) got a grip of what Schibsted is, and how everything works thanks to my boss and coworkers who were happy to answer all my questions. These people stand out to me because they have all taken me in with open arms, encouraged me, gotten to know me, and helped me out from the very beginning. This has made it easy for me to sell Schibsted in as a great place to work when I talk with other students because I really believe in it myself.
I was surprised at how quickly I gained trust, autonomy and encouragement from my superiors to initiate my own ideas. My competence as a student was really valued. They trusted that I knew what students would like. This trust was my greatest asset this year. If I found a cool event I wanted to join, contribute to or cover, the answer was very quickly, “of course, that sounds great!”. This enabled me to chase the opportunities I met along the way and made me feel like I was not simply doing a job but actually developing my own knowledge and experience simultaneously. It felt like it was only my personal capacity that set the limits for what initiatives I could make. Of course, I met many challenges along the way as well, but this gave me great experience in handling unforeseen events and thinking outside the box.
An example of a task that personally gave me a lot was when I was doing my first Instagram takeover. I thought it would be cool to cover something about UX designers because I myself study UX design. I got a thumbs up and some tips on who to contact. Soon I was actually following the UX designer Kévin Scotet and the whole VG Live team, and joining their research activities for a whole day. They were developing their football application at the time. I got to listen in on user tests and see how they analyzed and implemented the results of this. How cool is that!? It gave me real insight into what I hope will be my future career, and sparked my interest in and motivation for my studies.
Now I can see how all the big and small tasks I did during the last year, and the people I’ve met along the way have given me great experience and insight in the tech business and the subject of UX quite early on in my studies. Even though my time as a Student Ambassador is coming to an end I am fortunately not done with Schibsted!I have joined Schibsted Connect (Schibsteds mentorship program) where I have a fantastic mentor whom I can discuss subjects, career opportunities and participate in activities with. So even after my role in Schibsted, my experience building continues.
I will miss the people in Schibsted, but I really hope that other students get to see, grab a hold on and have the same experiences as I have had in this company for many years to come! And hopefully this will spark their interests and careers.