Åslaug, the Director of Finance and administration at Energy Micro, describes her typical work day at Energy Micro and gives some advice to both international applicants and companies in Norway
Country of Origin
Economics (MBA), Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration 1989
Current Job Position
Director of Finance and Administration
Q1. What made you apply for a job at Energy Micro?
I saw an advertisement for an open position in Aftenposten which is the major newspaper in Norway. The job was immediately attractive. I liked the area of responsibility, the size of the company which was quite small at that time, and the innovative technology business. Meeting with Geir, the CEO, and the others during the interview made me even more interested in working at Energy Micro. I really wanted to be part of this adventure, to build a Norwegian technology company with global ambitions. And I was lucky. I got the job and I have enjoyed working here a lot since my first day in the office. The culture of the company, working hard to achieve goals while having fun, fits me perfect. I feel that my work is important and I do something valuable. Though I am challenged every day, I appreciate that I learn something new constantly.
Q2. What is your typical work day like?
Every work day is a bit different but it’s always a combination of finance, HR, and administration work. Today for example, I have been working on monthly financial report, following up annual appraisal talks, and planning recruitment activities at Universities in autumn 2013. I make a daily plan based on my to-do list but there is always an abrupt request which needs to be handled at once. I like the combination of strategic long-term planning and daily operations.
Q3. Did you have any big challenges while working at Energy Micro?
Of course! As a non-engineer it has been a steep learning curve for me to understand the core technology of the company. Listening to the roadmap discussions and product updates during management meetings has also been challenging. I had to listen carefully and ask a lot of questions to learn more, especially regarding issues directly impacting financial or administrative work. I am still listening and learning every day. Being female and a non-engineer at a high-tech company like Energy Micro have never been a problem. All colleagues appreciate that I have a different starting point, and help me learn about the industry.
Q4. Any tips for international job applicants?
In general, we like applicants to show how they can contribute and improve the existing technology, and how they can help the company to become more successful! When we recruit foreign employees to the headquarters in Oslo, it is important that we talk about managing life in Norway. Obviously we want to know that international applications plan to stay here for a longer period, and that they are really willing to move to Oslo if they get a job.
Q5. Any tips for other Norwegian companies to attract and retain top international talent?
Yes, first of all, offer an interesting and challenging job! During the interviews, spend time on talking about the responsibility of the position and how a Norwegian organization is managed. Organization structure, -culture and -values are important to share and let the candidates understand. If possible, let them meet other international talents in your organization to share experiences. In addition, it’s important to share information about life in Norway, how to do the practical daily things, as well as present the good welfare system and how a family life/personal life could be combined with the job.
When it comes to retaining the international talents, I think it’s important to look after the “whole person.” Close follow up to ensure that they are happy both at work and with their personal life is essential. We try to do this by offering and motivating for Norwegian language courses. We think that learning the language makes life much easier even though you can live in Norway without speaking Norwegian, and we let them practice during lunch time 🙂 We are arranging and initiating activities like; Foreigner Lunch, to share experiences of living in Norway, and Norwegian experiences such as sledging, skating, a cross country skiing course and an annual Hemsedal trip. We assist in practical matters as well like finding an apartment to live and preparing the first tax report. In other words, we care about them and try to help as much as they like.
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