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Anne Kristine Berg

BSc (Hons) Maritime Business
Graduated 2012

Portrait image of Anne Kristine Berg

Why did you choose Solent?

I went to high school in Norway, then took a one-year course in market economy at BI Norwegian Business School before I sent an application to Solent. Why Solent? For me it was a combination of many things. Solent has a long history of maritime courses and good education programmes. It is also a well-recognised uni in the Norwegian maritime industry. In addition – and not least – I had heard many great things about the environment and the uni.

What was the best thing about your course lecturers?

The tutors are a wide range of people, with many different backgrounds, angles and connections. They are very accessible for the students and really put an effort into guiding and mentoring you. Because of that you feel that you are seen and heard, and get the help you need to succeed.

How did your studies prepare you for a career in the industry?

In many ways. I liked that the course was very much up to date with the market. The curriculum and assignments always used new and relevant information, and we were always made to look at the market, which is very important, in my opinion.

What did you learn or study which has stuck with you over the years?

I particularly liked the Current Marine Issues project. We could choose a topic that we found interesting and then really dig into it – with a lot of support. Also, for me, coming from Norway, it was very important and cool to experience a new culture. What has stuck with me is the good dynamic the tutors create with the students.

What opportunities were there to get practical industry experience?

After the first year at Solent, I got an internship at Golden Ocean (dry bulk) in Oslo, which I worked at during the summer and holidays. That gave me a lot of insight into the business and of course prepared me – together with the degree – for the market.

What’s your favourite Solent memory?

My gosh! So many good memories – but I think I have to say that the best overall ‘memory’ is all the great people! I remember standing in the hallway on the first day and we quickly became a huge group of friends, hanging out together from that day onwards.

What was life like as a Solent student?

My life at Solent was great! Moving from Norway to England was a great decision, as the UK has a lovely culture. The facilities were great, such a nice place to live near the water, and we all had so much fun together. We studied, spent a lot of time at the library, and after lectures we went on training trips, sightseeing, travelling (partying) and all sorts of fun things!

Did the University give you any help, support or advice when you needed it?

Always. They help you with anything you need. Many students come from different countries and there is a lot to arrange upon arrival. Housing, tuition fees, a bank account, getting around and settling in ... they guide and help you. In addition, I really feel that the tutors go above and beyond to help you with your assignments, path, and career. They really want you to succeed! 

Southampton is a relatively small city, with a great student environment and people from all over the world. It is big enough so you don't get bored, but small enough so you get the feeling of community.

Tell us a little about your career so far

After graduation I still had the internship job at Golden Ocean, and I applied for various other roles – it did not take long before I got a job at American President Line (APL). I started in operations and loved the company. After working there for some years, I was head-hunted by Wilhelmsen for a new position in operations, before I moved over to sales. After that, I joined Kuehne + Nagel and worked in sales and different projects, before I got the position I have now. In my current role, I have the overall responsibility for KN Sea Freight Norway’s activities in Europe and North Africa.

What were the challenges, starting out?

Being new, uncertain ... and being a girl in a very male-dominated business. To be taken seriously you have to have the guts to go for it and stand your own ground.

What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?

It will all work out just fine. Crises come and go, but as long as you do what is right for you and your teammates, it will be fine!

Tell us about what you are doing now and what it involves – a typical working day

I am responsible for KN Norway’s activities in Europe (import and export). That means  I make strategic decisions on areas we want to develop and products we want to offer, and also make sure that operations, management and sales are up to date with all movements in the market. I negotiate rates with all the liners, reply to requests for quotes (RFQ) and make sure that the day-to-day business runs as smoothly as possible. 

Lately, as a side project to my job, I have worked a lot with healthcare and the transportation of Covid-19 equipment between China and Europe across air, rail and sea freight. It’s a huge project, and very cool!

What’s been your career highlight so far?

I tend to feel very successful when my team and I have managed to really help our customers with their needs – saved them large amounts of money, achieved a more lean way of working, and helped them to make smart logistics decisions. It’s great when we see – head on – that our advice, systems and efforts have really helped the companies and customers. We have also made some large sales that I am super proud of. Furthermore, last year I was nominated to participate in the Kuehne + Nagel regional talent programme, which was a huge honour for me. It was a lot of hard work, but I have met so many cool people and learned new things.

Is the maritime industry what you expected?

It is better than I imagined, with wide-ranging opportunities. You can work in containers, oil, dry bulk, supply chain, general commodity, project logistics, aquaculture ... the list is so long! It is very exciting.

What tips would you give to someone wanting a maritime career?

Work hard, stand your ground, network with people, give your best – you never know where you are going to end up. Read the paper, seek opportunities, take chances, shake off setbacks – new opportunities will come. Be progressive and go for it! If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.