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Odfjell's first IT trainee graduates with flying colors

Three years ago, a smiling 17-year-old entered the headquarters to meet with Manager Digital Applications Gunnar Eide for a summer job. The summer turned into a formal engagement via a high school education program. Last week, Henrik Nepstad finalized his 7-day in-house final exam. He passed with flying colors and is now the first graduate to have had his practice period at Odfjell.

The Norwegian education system offers various programs for high school students. Henrik signed up for the IT and Media Production line at Amalie Skram high school. This program is designed to combine classic school attendance with practice periods out in the field as IT technicians, where “you learn to operate and secure stable, safe and effective IT services that enable value creation and development for the company” (Utdanning.no). Henrik is part of the first class to attend this program in Bergen.

A very happy graduate together with his managers, Gunnar Eide, Manager Digital Applications, and Tommy Pletten, Manager Digital Platform

In general, IT and digitalization are ever-evolving areas with a multitude of challenges and opportunities. So too at Odfjell, where the team must solve anything from cybersecurity issues, AI and broadband on board to help colleagues get the printer to …print.

As an integrated company, Gunnar realized that Odfjell could be a good educational arena for an IT trainee, and with a definite win-win: Students get practical experience, Odfjell gets talented resources. So he applied and got Odfjell officially approved as a practice company for the new high school program.

“This is what I consider a straightforward decision: by offering exposure and training within a global corporate IT environment, we gain intelligent, inquisitive, ambitious, and enthusiastic students. These students not only provide additional support but also infuse fresh ideas and challenge our IT practices at Odfjell, enriching our operations,” Gunnar says.

During his two-year apprenticeship at Odfjell, Henrik has worked on a wide variety of projects under the helm of Gunnar and Tommy Pletten, Manager Digital Platforms. He has configurated phones and iPads for the ship’s management teams, been on board ships in Rotterdam and Antwerp to implement two-factor authentication solutions, supported studio recordings, offered general IT support and updated IT infrastructure, to name but a few of his tasks.

Safety gear on.

On board Bow Sirius to test the satellite internet constellation. From left: Henrik, Vuong Phung (Senior System Administrator Corporate IT), Robert Karlsson (Captain) and Vidar Børve (Manager Electrical & Automation)

The exam itself is no walk in the park: It lasts for seven workdays and the student must plan, implement, document and reflect on setting up an IT solution. On Friday, June 7, our young graduate was ready to receive the sensor’s verdict, and it was crystal clear: Henrik passed with the best grade.

“I have been well received by everyone at the company and given the chance to learn. It’s been a fun and educational journey where I’ve met many kind, clever and professional people,” Henrik says.

“Looking back after I’ve passed my exam, I am truly grateful for having been in this great company and for having had the opportunity to learn from you all”.

Now, he’s on to the next chapter in his educational journey and will become a full-time student again in August. And from this positive pioneer, Odfjell continues the program. The second apprentice, Niki Batyatbarouni, is well into her first year as trainee, and in July we will welcome Torgrim M. Pedersen for his internship.

“While the decision to join the program was straightforward, it marked our first foray into such an endeavor. It has been an enlightening journey for us, as we've committed to thoroughly educating the students to fulfill the requirements and thoroughly prepare them for their exams. But ultimately, it's gratifying to contribute to nurturing new IT professionals in Bergen,” Gunnar concludes.

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