Project Manager at Arena Eyde

"I love the fact that I get the opportunity to work with people from strong, innovative and international businesses."

Mathias-Aguirre-Havgar-PS-testimonialnieuwMathias Aguirre Havgar  
Profession: Project Manager at Arena Eyde  
Education Master’s programme in Political Science: International Relations & Transnational Governance

What do you do for a living?
I currently work in a business cluster for the process industry, located in the south of Norway.  The cluster, Arena Eyde, consists of nine large international companies and receives both public and private funding. Our job is to facilitate cooperation between the companies, and between the companies and research institutions, academia and other relevant institutions and public bodies.

What do you really like about your job?
I love the fact that I get the opportunity to work with people from strong, innovative and international businesses. I find it very interesting to be able to see how so many different companies operate and I am grateful that I get a chance to partake in strategies that are not only relevant to the industry, but also important for the region and Norway as a whole.

How did you find this job?
I managed to get the job through a competitive regional trainee-programme. The programme ran over 18 months consisting of three different six month placements. I worked in a regional office in Brussels, a county municipality and finally the industry cluster where I am working now.

What aspects of your job relate to the Master’s programme you followed at VU University Amsterdam?
We work quite a bit with project proposals, writing applications and facilitating cooperation through events and workshops. I believe the Master’s programme prepared me well to that kind of work. In addition I have come to find the international aspects of the courses valuable.

Did having this Master’s degree help in any way to get your job?
Having a Master’s degree was vital to getting the job as I could not have entered the programme without it. I am very content I chose the Master in Political Science, but off course there are many ways to achieve the same end result.

What should students expect of life after graduation?
Students should expect to spend some time looking for a job after graduating. If one looks for a safe route to a well-paid job, I am sure there are many more fruitful paths to take than studying Political Science. My recommendation is to study something that really interests you, then work hard to get where you want to be afterwards.

Do you have any recommendations for students for their education or careers?
Be prepared to do a few internships, in my case I completed two internships and a trainee-programme before finding the job I have now. In addition, to start with, you should be willing to take jobs that may not necessarily be on the top of your wish list.