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Students got valuable experience. From left: Peter Skaugvold-Olsen (Adiona), Marcues Stueland (student), Christer Brurås Holm (student), Veronica Sæther (student), Ørjan Grotle (student) and Nils-Eivind Holmedal (BTO)

Students save startup 40 weeks of work

This spring master students from Bergen University College have completed their work experience at BTO. Throughout April and well into June, students have been working closely with entrepreneurs in various exciting startups.
16.06.2016

Christer Brurås Holm, Veronica Sæther and Ørjan Grotle from the master program “Innovation and management”, as well as Marcus Stueland from the master program “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” have been interns at Adiona AS, a startup developing sensor technology.

When asked how it has been working in a startup, the students are exclusively positive. Ørjan enjoys the possibility to structure every workday by himself.

– It has been very exciting to be able to plan the workdays yourself, to set goals for the various projects and try our best to fulfill these, says Ørjan.

– It is important to emphasize that there is a positive and welcoming environment at BTO. There are great opportunities to make new contacts, Veronica complements.

Christer nods approvingly.

– It’s been nice to be able to go from theory to practice, and we have had many exciting assignments.

– Lets not forget the coffee machine and table tennis table, which is superb for breaks, says Marcus.

– We welcome students next year too!

So how would you describe a typical day at work for an intern?

– Every day is different! Some days it’s brainstorming and office work, and other days we are out of the office talking with professionals and potential customers, says Veronica.

A varied workday and high job satisfaction are keys to success for the internship.

– We’ve had a lot of different tasks during the internship. The most important for our part has been that we have been able to deliver something tangible to the entrepreneurs, both Christer and Ørjan conclude.

Peter Skaugvold-Olsen, one of the entrepreneurs behind Adiona, says that the work the students have put down is of great use for the company.

– We have many projects going, and it is therefore difficult for us to keep progress in all of these. Having students here has helped us a lot, and might have spared us for 30-40 weeks with miscellaneous tasks. We welcome students next year too!

Important collaboration between HiB and BTO

The internship is in conjunction with the course “Entrepreneurship in practice” and it lasts for 10 weeks. The students that did not travel to Houston to attend Gründerskolen have had the opportunity to carry out internship in their own regions. In this context BTO has been welcoming students with open arms.

– We strongly believe that it is important to have work practice included in our programs. We have over several years developed a collaboration with important industries in our region, says Andreas Grimen, projectleader at Høgskolen i Bergen.

Nils-Eivind Holmedal, a Senior Business Developer at BTO, has played an important role in the collaboration between HiB and BTO. In his opinion students get valuable experience during an internship in a startup.

– It is important to have the realistic experience that startups can offer. At BTO we believe that experiences like this will make the education more interesting for future employers. This has been a pilot project, but based on the feedback from the entrepreneurs, institutions and students, we believe that this is just the start, says Holmedal.

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