Heidi Sinclair Christoffersen is a 29 year old Masters of Management student from Larvik, Norway. She holds a bachelors degree in Economics and Business Law from BI Norweigan Business School in Oslo, Norway.
"I am very excited to step back in to the labor market bringing with me lots of new knowledge and many valuable experiences."
Q: You've been in Australia for a few years now, what are some of the highlights of your time here?
A: Where should I begin? I have so many good memories from Australia, but a few of the most unforgettable moments must be when I saw a kangaroo for the first time during my visit to Red Hill in Canberra, or got the feeling of being a real Melbournian at the Australian Open. I might have to return to Australia because the list of amazing things to do here just goes on and on.
Q: How did you find education different in Australia than back home in Norway?
A: Australia has a much higher emphasis on group work and participation in class then what I am used to from back home, so that certainly took some getting used to in the beginning and forced me to get out of my comfort zone. During the four years I studied back home I think I held maybe one presentation, while here I have at least one in each subject. In Norway there is typically just one assessment, a final 5 hour written exam that counts for 100 per cent of your grade.
Q: What’s a phrase in your native language that you try to always remember, and why is it important to you?
A: “Alle disse dagene som kom og gikk, ikke visste jeg at det var selve livet”. This basically means that life is nothing more than a collection of days, so you should try to make the most out of each day. This is something I try to live by, as you never know what tomorrow will look like. Although I must admit, with exams closing in, I sometimes forget.
Q: What’s a culture that Melbourne or UniMelb has opened your eyes to? What do you like about that culture?
A: The cultural diversity that you find both in Melbourne and at UniMelb has really helped shape Melbourne as the amazing city that it is. Getting to know people from so many different cultures and ethnicities and to learn about all the unique stories they have to share has really enriched my perspective in life. The people I’ve met are all so friendly and welcoming and that is what characterizes the great culture at UniMelb.
"I might have to return to Australia because the list of amazing things to do here just goes on and on."
Q: Did MBS change your perspective on what you want to do after graduation? Is there an industry or career path that’s more attractive to you now?
A: MBS has definitely changed my perspective. Before I started at MBS I wanted to become a project manager, preferable within business development, but I didn’t want to become a leader because in my perception all the required appraisals and other “HR stuff” that comes with being a leader seemed dreary. However, during my time at MBS I’ve learned the importance of interpersonal dynamics and its positive effect on corporate culture, which has triggered my interest in the HR field. I believe this will be a very valuable lesson to bring on my future career path.
Q: You are graduating this semester and heading back to Norway, why not stay in Australia and what do you plan on doing when you get home (work-wise)?
A: It is with mixed feelings I’ve decided not to stay in Australia, but it is just too far away from home. Being on the opposite side of the world from my friends and family has been challenging at times, although I am very grateful for all the friends I’ve made here, which I like to think of as my Melbourne family.
My professional plans are not cut in stone, but given my prior work experience and that I’ll soon be able to add an international masters degree to my CV I am very excited to step back in to the labor market bringing with me lots of new knowledge and many valuable experiences.
Q: What was the class at MBS that inspired you the most or made the biggest impact on you?
A: I think that must be my capstone, Strategic Management, because it allowed us to apply all the theories and frameworks that we’ve learned throughout the course in a much more practical way in terms of a simulation where we had to take the role of leading a company in a competitive environment. It definitely triggered my competitive instinct, and it was heaps of fun, but I also feel it has enabled me to also think more strategically rather than solely understand the notion of strategic management in theory.
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Q: What will you miss the most about UniMelb?
A: What I will miss the most are all the remarkable people I’ve met. I’m really going to miss all the good times I’ve had together with my teammates working on interesting projects together during my time here. This is where I’ve met most of my friends, who I will miss very much, but also look forward to go and visit wherever they decide to settle down across the world.
Q: You’ve done some travelling since coming to Melbourne, what’s your favorite destination you’ve been?
A: Can I mention two? Initially I wanted to say without a doubt Rottnest Island outside of Perth. As it is the home to the quokkas, the world happiest (and cutest) animal, how can it not be a favorite! But I recently also travelled to Queenstown in New Zealand and the nature and the atmosphere there was just amazing! And it felt good to feel the snow under my feet again. So I must say it’s a tie between these two destinations.
Q: How will you remember your time at MBS and in Melbourne?
A: I will remember MBS as the greatest playground to practice my skills before entering the real work life, and I will always love and cherish Melbourne for its friendliness, but the weather could be better.
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