Benefits and joys of studying Strategic Marketing Management in Norway

Shahriar Soudian, 25, is currently pursuing a Masters in Strategic Marketing Management at BI Norwegian Business School. Soudian is originally from Iran, before his family emigrated to Canada in 2012. It was a decision that proved to be successful, opening up opportunities he seized to enroll at Brock University in London. ” Ontario and participate in exchange programs around the world,

In 2017, he headed to BI Norwegian Business School for a summer program. Then he completed an exchange program at the Austrian University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, studying economics and how business decisions can affect living standards. In 2019, he headed east from Minjiang University in Fuzhou, China for a two-week exchange course.

Upon his return to Canada and upon graduation, he decided his next step was to study long-term abroad. His next destination? Norway. It was his most memorable trip, so it made sense for him to pursue his Masters in Strategic Marketing there.

We caught up with Soudian to find out more about his degree and life in Norway these days:

What have been your most memorable non-university experiences in Norway so far?

My most memorable experience in Norway was my trip up north, seeing the Northern Lights. It was a dream come true!

Another unique experience was to be part of the Graduate Student Society (GSS) as deputy director. I was in charge of welcoming new incoming students during orientation week. This experience taught me a lot of things apart from the academic aspects, and I got to know these students so well.

I have also developed a great interest in the Norwegian language.

What is the thing that you are missing at home and how do you replace it?

I miss my car and drive it occasionally. However, the public transport system is fantastic in Norway. I use the city bike all summer, and in winter, the metro and tram are generous and warm for getting around town. It is also a reasonable price for students.

What made you choose to study Strategic Marketing Management?

Before pursuing my Masters in Strategic Marketing Management, I studied for my Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. It allowed me to understand all aspects of the business through various in-depth courses.

I realized that I was more interested in international marketing through my elective class. Another reason was the degradation of marketing in the industry today.

The Strategic Marketing Management program allowed me to understand the importance of marketing and to implement it at all levels, from entrepreneurship to the corporate level. Having also lived in four different countries, I find the relationship between culture and the business world fascinating, of which marketing is at the heart of it.

Originally from Iran, Soudian emigrated with his family to Canada in 2012. Source: Shahriar Soudian

Why did you choose to pursue Strategic Marketing Management at BI Norwegian Business School in Norway?

During my exchange at BI Norwegian Business School, I had the pleasure of learning from a particular teacher. She was then in charge of the marketing department and her level of knowledge and communication left no doubt in my choice to study.

Combined with my experience in Norway, I was certain to choose BI Norwegian Business School to further my academic future.

Do you think it would have made a difference if you had studied at a local institution in your home country?

Definitely, I had many talks with my teachers in Canada before applying abroad. In my research and consultation, I found that most North American business schools take the master’s degree in business to a more practical level.

However, in Europe and at BI, the programs are designed as a Master of Science, including a thesis that develops a new idea. It is a standard that leaves its mark, in my opinion, both in academia and in the pursuit of jobs in the future.

A master’s program keeps the door open for an academic future and allows individuals to improve their thesis in a practical industrial scenario.

What has been your most memorable class so far and why?

I think all the classes were very memorable at BI as I learned many new theories and increased my knowledge. However, I found the pricing strategy class particularly interesting because we were introduced to a taxonomy of all theoretical and practical prices.

We also had the opportunity to apply our understanding of the chosen pricing strategy across a project, including a fictitious product and how we can get it to market at the right price.

Do you have good memories with the professors of your university who marked you?

Most of the teachers helped me a lot. The one that stood out to me was Professor Carlos Velasco, and the many hours spent discussing the importance of multisensory topics in marketing led me to work on my thesis on a related topic. Passion and willingness to help is a key common factor of all BI teachers.

What are the practical learning elements in your course? Can you apply the theories you learned in lecture halls and classrooms to the real world?

In my Strategic Marketing Management course, I noticed that all the theories and research papers we learn are all relevant to the industry or will be in the future. As BI professors have very close contacts with industry, most of the lectures identified the fundamental theories and how they can be applied in practice.

I used many simple basic theories in my internship for a marketing internationalization strategy.

Norway has landscapes like no other, full of fjords and mountains that Soudian can enjoy when not studying. Source: Odd Andersen / AFP

What are your academic goals in this course? What skills have you acquired so far?

My academic goals have always been to study and learn the theories fundamental to my future in the industry. It helped me a lot in my internship. Also, since most of the courses are interrelated, I think most of the theories can be applied between courses in different aspects of a business.

What do you plan to do with this degree after you graduate?

I have always been tempted to pursue a doctorate. Indeed, I took steps during my master’s degree at BI to work as a part-time research assistant.

This allowed me to create a relevant CV for a PhD in the future if I wanted to apply. However, after my internship at BI, I decided to use all the knowledge I acquired and apply it in the world of work and realize the practical side and its techniques.

For now, I look forward to finishing my studies and continuing to build a future for myself in Norway.