Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hello, Oslo!





“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” 

—Seneca                          

As some of you may have read in my Happy, 2018 post, I am now living in Oslo, Norway. So I wanted to do a quick post to talk about life in Oslo and my relationship to the city. Oslo plays a very significant part in my family's history, and it is kind of wonderful that I am back to calling this city home. This is where the next phase of my career will be, and I am excited to see what comes. For now, I will give you a summary of how life has been so far.

How NK and Oslo Met

A year after I was born, we moved to Oslo so my parents could pursue their graduate studies. We lived in Oslo for seven years before moving to a small hamlet called Haugland on the west coast of Norway. I later came back for visa interviews for college and grad school and a few infrequent visits. It's safe to say that it is a new old place and there is much to be seen.


When my sister and I were thinking of moving back home to Norway, we decided Oslo would be an excellent choice because we had already tried life in Bergen as adults and there were more professional opportunities here in Oslo. Also, since we had lived here once before, we thought it would be fun. I must say that even though I spent quite a bit of my childhood here, the city feels very new to me. And other than an occasional bout of Deja Vu here and there, it is nice to have to new place to explore.

Working and Learning in Oslo


I started my work life in Oslo volunteering as a digital strategist at Oslo International Hub (OIH) (OIH), an international startup incubator and co-working space which aims to serve entrepreneurs and professionals with an international background or mindset. OIH offers networking, pitching, and training programs for people who want to learn how to start a business in Norway or expand into the Norwegian market. I helped OIH with a website relaunch and social media management. Visit the website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about them.

I currently work at an inbound marketing agency called Inbound Norway. We are a HubSpot Platinum Partner agency, and we help clients meet their business goals. We achieve this by creating strong and engaging content that attracts visitors, converts them to leads, closes them into customers, and delights them into promoters and ambassadors. We ensure that our clients are meeting their potential customers at the right place, at the right time, with the right kind of information.

See what I did there? I just walked you through the basics of inbound marketing! If any of that sounded interesting, check my blog post, What HubSpot taught Me, or visit the Inbound Norway website learn more about the basics of Inbound marketing and maybe even get certified.

OK, back to working in Oslo. Thanks to Inbound Norway, I am going through another growth spurt of learning in my training and onboarding. I am acquiring knowledge and experience through certifications and the practical hands-on work with my clients. Everything we learn, test, and do is to ensure that our clients achieve their goals and get the best results. After a 4-month break over the summer, my work in Oslo has rekindled my fire and passion for digital marketing.

If you have followed me for a while, you know that one of the ways I like to learn and develop my skills is through association meeting and presentations. They are a great way to learn from and connect with industry professionals. One organization that I have found so far in Oslo is Markedsføringsforeningen i Oslo (MFO) or the Marketing Association in Oslo. I have been to a couple of MFO events so far, one of which was a presentation about inbound marketing and HubSpot (I know, I know. I'm kinda obsessed). I am looking forward to attending more of these presentations and finding other spaces to learn from industry peers.  




Life in Oslo

Oslo is a lively city with lots of culture and opportunities to have some fun. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants, and museums to visit. Some of our favorite cafés to visit are Kulturhuset, Peoples and Coffee, and Mocca with. They have incredible beverages and pastries, and cozy places to sit and work if you need a change of environment. With regard to the cities many wonderful eateries, our latest obsession is a place called Ti Punch, owned by a friend of mine that has Guadalupan food. We've also grown quite fond of Mathallen, which is a food hall that hosts pop restaurants and cooking classes. We have so much more to explore on the food and beverage front. I am so excited. 

We get lots of musicians stopping through Oslo on their tours, which is fantastic. And if they are not stopping by here, it is an excellent excuse to travel to one of our neighboring countries. In November, we went to Denmark to see Moses Sumney and Tawiah in concert. If I could convey how magical the night was, I would, but my words would fail me. In September, we got to see J. Cole, Ari Lennox, EarthGang, and JID here in Oslo. We are excited to see who comes to our new home next. 

Then there are the museums! We have the National Gallery here that is free on Thursdays and has a whole room devoted to Edvard Munch, as well as paintings sculptures by artists like Matisse, Picasso and more. There is also the renowned Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Nobel Peace Center and many other exciting cultural spaces.

Well folks, that a quick summary of life in Oslo so far.  Since I have only been living in Oslo this time around for about six months, and have been job searching and working for a lot of that time, I have not explored too much yet. But once we move out of the (very) cold winter season and into the warmer months of spring and summer, there will be more to share.






Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Meet Amiri Brotherson, Content Marketer and Project Analyst.


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“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”   
- David Packard             

Amiri Brotherson is a content marketer and project analyst with an interesting career journey to his current role. 
He works as a Project Analyst at U.S. Bank and started his career there as a Wealth Management Product Marketing Intern. During his MBA studies, he worked as MBA Marketing Intern at GN ReSound. Before embarking on his MBA journey and working at U.S. Bank, he was a Student Financial Aid Counselor at Regency Beauty Institute and an Academic Advisor and an Advising Engagement Representative at Capella University.


Amiri got his MBA at University of St. Thomas (where I met him. Go Tommies!), with an emphasis in Marketing and Analytics and 
Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. He is a Certified Professional Project Manager and won an award for Best Present at the Fiat/Chrysler case competition at the National Black MBA conference. He is a Rights of Passage Mentor for Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and was a Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota and a Trustee at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. 


What does a typical day in your role look like?

I am a project analyst with the Wealth Management Marketing team at U.S. Bank. Projects are usually assigned to me requesting my assistance with completion for the team.  It should come as no surprise, but there is no typical day working in Marketing. My team is responsible for all marketing content and collateral that is distributed to Wealth Management clients and prospects of the bank. This means that we review and update all current content and create new pieces as well. In addition, we also perform competitive analysis on the bank's competition. Since U.S. Bank is a financial institution, we are subject to heavy regulation. We have to be constantly vigilant with our content to ensure we are meeting compliance and legal guidelines while conveying a persuasive message to our clients and prospects. 

What are you passionate about? (In your work, personal life, or other)

I love learning about other people’s experiences and perspectives. This is why a career in marketing was a natural fit for me. Marketing is more than just convincing people to buy a product. It's about understanding ALL the needs that the product solves. To do that, we need to be willing look at problems from another's person's perspective. This sometimes involves challenging your own assumptions about the consumers you serve. 

What do you find most challenging about being a Project Analyst?

The most challenging part of my role is managing expectations from other departments that have marketing requests for us. People often come to us at the last minute hoping we can quickly "whip something together" for an event and sales campaign they have coming up. While this is inevitably part of being in marketing, we have to carefully manage people's expectations of what can be done in a short period of time. I have pulled off some amazing last minute flyers and posters, but I prefer that not to be the norm.

What do you find most enriching about being a Project Analyst?

There are 2 things I find most enriching about my role. The first is seeing a project through to completion. My role is similar to a project manager, as I can be responsible for multiple projects at one time. However, I am responsible for completing most of the milestones in those projects. I have few resources to which responsibilities can be delegated. All minute details must be investigated and completed by me. The second thing I enjoy is creating something from nothing, A lot of requests I receive start by saying, "we need a flyer/poster for.....". From there, I have to make sure that flyer/poster captures the right tone and message that will resonate best with our clients.

How did you find yourself on a marketing career track?

My senior year of undergrad, I got an internship with a Marketing agency. I saw an ad looking for campus representatives for the Ford motor company. We held several events on campus to spread awareness of the student discount they were offering students. This was particularly difficult since my school had a no-solicitation policy. I became really creative at hosting events that did not violate this policy. From that point, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a marketer. I decided to get my MBA in marketing to thoroughly understand traditional and new age techniques.

Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in marketing?

You don’t have to have an advanced degree to do marketing. Everyone is a marketer is a sense. If you have bought something and ever stop and paused on why you should choose one product over the other when they’re essentially the same, that’s marketing. When you question why they price things at $4.99 instead of $5, that’s marketing. If you’re interested in that, then this may be a career path worth pursuing. One thing to keep top of mind is that marketing is not all vainglorious. You don’t get to spend all your time coming up with witty slogans and commercials. There is a fair amount of project management and administrative work that has been done.  

To learn more about Amiri's career journey and his philosophy on marketing, visit his LinkedIn page.


Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy 2018, Everyone!



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Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
- Oprah Winfrey                      

Happy New Year! I hope you are all having a great start to the year. 

Thank you all so much for continuing to follow my blog and my journey. My hope is that 2018 will be a year we all do something big or small we have always wanted to do for ourselves, whether it is going to bed earlier, doing your laundry more often, starting a blog, traveling, you name it. Feel free to share some of your goals for this year below. Maybe we can hold each other accountable. I guess that means I have to tell you some of mine too. Well, I will do so in a minute. First, I want to recap 2017 quickly.

I started 2017 working two part-time jobs and taking evening classes for my Digital Experience Certificate. I was still hopeful to some degree that my fledgling career would change course in the US, but alas it didn't. Be sure to check out my Farewell to Minnesota post. In May, I came back home to Norway and continued my job search, networking, and learning. After spending the summer in my hometown of Haugland in the municipality of Fjaler, I moved to Oslo with my sister to explore our opportunities at the end of July. 

In August, I went for my first marketing association meeting in Oslo at MFO (Markedsføringsforeningen i Oslo) about HubSpot, where I met some ladies I didn't know at the time would be my future coworkers. More to come on that. In September, I started volunteering at Oslo International Hub, helping them with a website revamp and social media management. In November, my friend Emily DeLozier came to visit me from the US, which was fun. In December, my dreams came true and I started working as an Inbound Marketing Consultant at Inbound Norwa. I have a post coming next week that will detail my life in Norway so far. My blogging was very sporadic in 2017. It was due to all the uncertainty and stress in my life then. Now that things are a bit more settled, I am determined to stick to my 2 posts a week schedule. 


My Personal Goals

My most important goals for 2018 are taking care of myself, spending time with family and friends, killing it at work, reigniting my hobbies, traveling, and blogging more. I want to come out of this year being healthier than I have been for a while. I want to make time to really disconnect from my buzzing thoughts and enjoy the present more. I want to truly reconnect with the people love and really be there for them. I want to excel in my career and help others do so too. I want to explore more of the world. I think the world needs more of us to take care of ourselves and those we care about. 


uta-hagen-nkthemarketer

Coming Up Next...

This year, I will continue interviewing marketers in various fields to explore their career paths and any advice they can share with up-and-comers or career changers. I will also be expanding on the Social Media Marketing Platform series and the Measurement series. There are also some new certifications that I will be taking and reviewing for your perusal. I will also be reprising the Grow Your Skills With... and 5 Ways to... series. Now that I am in a new city, I will be exploring marketing events and conferences in Norway and Europe, and hope to share some recaps with you. If there are any topics you would like me to explore or dig deeper on, please comment below or email me at nanak@nkthemarketer.com.

I found yet another notebook from Quotable Cards (I know, I have a problem!), this time with a quote by Uta Hagen and I think this will be my motivation this year: "Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary." 

Here's to getting out of our way and doing what we need to do to be extraordinary. 


Thanks for reading!