From Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Vendula is curious by nature. Her curiosity about people, about lifestyles and societies, sparked her interest in living in different places all over the world.
“I moved to Norway in August 2014 to do my Masters at the Center for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo.”
She confesses she honestly did not have any expectations from Norway. “All I knew was how beautiful nature is here. I sort of had a rosy picture of Scandinavia that’s often portrayed to the rest of the world.”
We ask her if that picture has altered, since she has moved here. She smiles and says, “This picture does have subtle differences now, as I have learned about the many pressing social issues that need to be tackled.”
For example, she believes that getting a job here isn’t that easy. “I expected, quite naively, to find an interesting position after my course. But I quickly realized that getting into the job market can be challenging and that the job market works differently.”
Vendula also understood that having a network is equally important here as in any other place. The curious person that Vendula is, this only made her more curious about her own potential and how she can thrive professionally.
“I still don't understand how Oslo can be so bad at cleaning the snow and ice from sidewalks during the winter”, she laughs.
She believes Norwegians are quite tolerant and considerate. “I love that Norwegians are used to hearing their language being spoken on various levels so they don’t make you feel silly when you give it a try.”
“A good friend of mine, who herself has worked with refugees and social entrepreneurship, told me about Skillfugees.”
Volunteering at Skillfugees with a team of diverse professionals has been super interesting for Vendula.”Jyoti and her team of volunteers aren’t scared to put their heads together to contribute to a change in a well-established job market system.”
“It’s been very fascinating to look “behind the scenes” of a recruitment process. I’ve always wondered what really happens after you send your CV or resume in. Now, I sorta know!”
Culturally, Vendula says she has never really had a clear picture of the Czech culture, nor does she now have one of the Norwegian culture. “When moving to another country you are exposed to new situations and bureaucratic requirements that you would not have to face in your home country. This bit about Norway could be frustrating.”
She cheekily adds, “I grew up having warm lunch every day so I'm still struggling with the bread-with-cheese-and-two-slices-of-cucumber kinda lunch that so many Norwegians love!”
She advices all newcomers to try and be part of groups or organisations here in Norway and grow a network.
“There is lots to do in Oslo! The city is very international and the people are awesome.”
Through our recruitment system at Skillfugees, Vendula now works part-time as an Executive Assistant at Kongstein. Kongstein is a consultancy company which provides services in Marine Engineering, Asset Management & Operations, Project & Risk Management as well as Business Development support in the marine and offshore wind industry.
Vendula supports her boss, the country manager in Norway. “I support with practical tasks around customer management, among others assisting with event organisation. Recently the company organised Floating INsight 1.0 an after-work meeting for 70 floating offshore wind enthusiasts.”
Vendula has extensive experience in event and project coordination which she is able to leverage in a company characterised by engineers. “I have a lot to gain from this. From knowledge about the industry, to insight into business management!”