The teachers clearly know the aqua industry well

By Janne Karin Brodin

Erika Hanson i en fisketank
Erika HansonPhoto: Aslak Berge

The master's degree in aquaculture from NMBU really helped kick-start Erika Hanson's career and has opened many opportunities for her

Erika Hanson
Education: Master i Aquaculture
Job: Produksjonsbiolog i Biofish

Erika Hanson has always loved working with animals and biological production and worked as a farm hand for many years. She wanted to travel after high school and went to London and took a BSc in Zoology at Roehampton university.

“I didn’t really know what field I wanted to work in, but I knew I wanted to work with animals. “

After finishing her bachelor’s degree, she worked for different part time jobs. One of them was as an extra help at a MOWI fish farm. Erika didn’t have much experience and didn’t know much about salmon farming, but she saw quickly that she really enjoyed working with fish.

She found that some things from her bachelor’s degree were applicable, but she didn’t really have the academic weight she wished. So, she applied to take an MSc at NMBU in Aquaculture and got accepted.

The master’s program went above and beyond expectations. The teachers clearly knew the industry well, and we got to do a lot of “hands on” work with fish.

Erika Hanson

The teachers often invited students to help and take part in their own research projects, and almost every single lecture has been relevant for her current job.

“The MSc in Aquaculture from NMBU really helped kickstart my career and has opened many opportunities for me. I would wholeheartedly recommend this master’s study, for anyone working within aquaculture or considering working in aquaculture”.

Social events and group work helped to build friendships at NMBU

Erika only took her master’s at NMBU, so she didn’t know anyone when she started. Most other students had studied together earlier. For the first couple weeks, it was a little difficult to make friends, but the teachers were quick to set up group work, and there were a lot of social events.

“It didn’t take too long until I felt more at home at NMBU. The student accommodation was close to the lecture halls, and it was easy enough to get student accommodation through SiÅS.”

Was offered her dream job before she had finished her studies

Erika now works at Biofish AS, as a production biologist.

“Biofish is a small company consisting of 11 employees. We have production of smolt and post smolt. And all the fish are produced in a closed RAS system.”

She is responsible for start feeding and growth up until vaccination. And a colleague of her has the responsibility for the fish after vaccination.

“I have a very varied workday, where I work 50 per cent is physical work, where I look after the fish, take weighing samples, maintenance of the RAS system. And then I work 50 per cent in office, where I order what we need for my buildings, report numbers to the authorities etc”.

Loves working with anything fish health related

“How can we constantly improve to better suit the fish. Luckily, I work in a small company, and once we get ideas for improvement, they are implemented a short time afterwards.”

Erika says that in such a small company, you rise quickly in the ranks.

“I can take on as much responsibility as I wish. The experience I gain working in Biofish, is very valuable, and I do get challenged every day.”

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