Even before attending business school, Severin Gresvig was prepared for the business world’s sink or swim mentality – he spent a gruelling year in the Norwegian Navy. Severin describes this as a fascinating, life-changing experience, but it didn’t intrigue him as much as working for a game-changer like Google, which he is now.
“I knew early on I wanted to live and work all over the world,” he says.
So Severin set his sights on a degree in business, something he thought would open doors around the globe.
“As I was comparing BCom programs, it became clear to me I didn’t want a school that would be too narrowly focused or tied to a local economy, because the city I studied in might not be the city I spend my entire career,” he says.
That’s one of the reasons Severin chose the University of British Columbia, a school known to be among the most culturally diverse in the world.
“I wanted an international perspective, so I chose to do my BCom at UBC Sauder which is well-known for preparing students for the global marketplace.”
Learning to excel in a team
When Severin first moved to Vancouver, he found the multicultural makeup of UBC Sauder – its faculty, his classmates, and the city itself – very welcoming.
“If I had started in a place like New York, I would have been swallowed up,” he says. “Vancouver has a similar vibe because it’s a very multicultural community, but it’s less intimidating.”
Less intimidating perhaps, but no less challenging.
“The BCom is very competitive,” he says. “People are there to learn.”
While it may be competitive, it’s also collaborative. Severin found the Intrapreneurship course, and all it taught him about innovating within an organization and excelling in a team, especially useful.
“In Intrapreneurship we were assigned to one group for the whole year,” he says. “Because it mimicked what the working world would be like, it taught me how to work collaboratively day in and day out.”
Severin says his UBC Sauder classes, and those who taught them, expanded his horizons.
“My instructors were so inspiring, they had me considering industries and specializations that would never have otherwise been on my radar,” he says.
UBC Sauder taught me how to stand out in a team of very talented people.
Landing a role at Google
UBC Sauder prepared Severin for the workforce by equipping him with the resources to land internships that led to a sought-after role with Google.
“To get hired at a place like Google, you need experience in the field in addition to a relevant education,” he says. “If I hadn’t gotten those internships, I might have landed at Google eventually, but it would have been many years later. My BCom helped me land the position early in my career and it prepared me to excel in it from my very first day.”
Today, Severin is a Brand Account Manager at the tech giant where he acts as a consultant for the brand’s media agency partners all across the United States.
“You don’t have to spend many years in the workplace to realize how important it is to work well in a team,” he says. “UBC Sauder taught me how to be a valuable team member, how to adapt to other personalities, how to work effectively, and also how to stand out in a team of very talented people.”
"My BCom gave me the experience and skills to land a management role fast, with a company I’ve always dreamed of working for."