Kristoffer Dahle’s love of math and the Pacific Northwest brought him from Norway to the Master of Science in Finance program at PLU.
Dahle took his expertize and affinity for numbers and is now working as an investment banker in his native country.
Kristoffer Dahle always loved the exactness of math. “Math sparked my interest because when working on math problems, there was always one correct solution.”
Dahle had the opportunity to get to know the Pacific Northwest in high school. “During high school. I went to study abroad in Oregon,” Dahle said. “I liked it and I wanted to come back.”
Dahle attended a college fair in his hometown of Stavanger, Norway. After speaking with PLU representatives, he decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in finance at PLU.
At the end of the undergraduate program, Dahle and his roommate weren’t ready to head back to Norway. “We both wanted to stay here and unless we could find a job in a couple of months our visa would expire and we’d have to go home.”
Dahle decided to take the opportunity to hone his finance skills and enrolled in the Master of Science in Finance program.
Econometrics was the most challenging part of the MSF program, Dahle said, but he enjoyed the challenge of the quantitatively rigorous program.
Dahle also enjoyed the cohort experience. “We have the same people every class, every day,” he said, “and we’ve had the same professors so it’s a close, tight community.”
The Gary Baughn MSF Student Investment Fund gave Dahle the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in finance by managing an investment portfolio.
“We have a portfolio where we look at stocks to buy or look at stocks that we have in the portfolio to sell,” Dahle said. “People participate and really learn from taking stuff we learned in class and applying it to real life events.”
Dahle said he was glad for his practical finance experience, because when it came time to interview for an investment banking position at Nordea bank in Norway, he felt ready.
“One day a guy from Norway called me and he’s like ‘We’ve been trying to call you for like five days and we want to do an interview with you,’” Dahle said. He had an interview over the phone and was invited to a final interview in Oslo, Norway.
“They called me on a Monday and I had to be there on Thursday,” Dahle said. “I got a case that I needed to do–analyze a company and present that when I came to Oslo.”
Dahle spent the rest of Monday and Tuesday preparing his case study. He flew out from Seattle on Wednesday morning. “I landed in Oslo at 2 o’clock [the next day] and sped to the train to get downtown and I had my interview at 4.”
“I first had an interview with the managing director, then I did the presentation in front of a bunch of guys,” Dahle said. “They introduced themselves by name, but I was so tired and slightly nervous that I don’t remember any of them.” Thankfully, Dahle’s nerves didn’t prevent him from acing his case study presentation. He accepted a position as an investment banking analyst starting fall 2015.
Dahle said the investment fund for MSF students gave him the practical skills he needs for his new position: “the experience of really applying something you learn into real life, creating a professional investment reports,” will be vital to his success at Nordea, Dahle said.
Dahle said the MSF program is “brilliant” and would be a great fit for anyone who wants a comprehensive study of finance.
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