Warm and soft-spoken, Susanne seems to glow ‘Norwegian-ness’ in the most elegant sense of the word, although she’d probably disagree. Her proof is probably the decision to pick up roots, leave family and friends to complete her last three years of high school in France even before knowing the language.
It’s about as brave a move as any 16-year-old could make. And while the results of her math and chemistry exams didn’t exactly cooperate with subsequent plans to be a doctor, she nonetheless stuck with her international path, completing a Masters in International Business at the acclaimed University of Maastricht.
“Even though I decided to go back to Norway after being away for nine years, it was important for me to work in an international environment, not just with Norwegians.” When her mother called to tell her about an ad for Hydro’s Graduate Trainee Program, Susanne wasn’t sure she wanted to work in an industrial company.
“It didn’t sound very exciting to begin with, but when I looked at their website I saw they had some interesting positions…and that they were much more international than I thought.”
Susanne’s experience in Hydro was definitely on fast-forward from Day One. “After starting in Procurement in Oslo, I was sent to Baltimore three weeks later to work on a special project in supply chain management. Three months later, I worked on a project for the downstream businesses, traveling around Europe, and then after the split of the oil and gas business, I got to see what it’s like in a big company when they go through reorganization.”
Today, after completing the Graduate Trainee Program, she has a position as Market Analyst, tracking the worldwide production of alumina to support the trading team. It strikes an interesting contrast with her first experience with Hydro at age 12.
Would she do it again? “I love my job! It’s really interesting. I get to look at how the world economy and things like politics, a strike, Chinese policy or something else can affect our business, even in the space of a few hours. The work I do is actually pretty strategic for helping Hydro make decisions.”
That’s an understatement.
Published: January 31, 2008