Andrea Cardenas - Netigate Employee In Focus

How Andrea from Columbia became a valued Netigate employee

One winter day in early March 2019, Andrea Cardenas walked into the Netigate offices in Oslo, Norway and handed in a CV. Today she is an appreciated Netigate employee.

New arrivals, especially those from the southern Hemisphere, can sometimes find Norwegians reserved. But Andrea’s direct approach and fluent Norwegian impressed the senior leadership at Netigate, which soon led to an internship offer.

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She now works in portfolio analysis for Netigate as well as assisting different teams in both Oslo and the company’s headquarters in Stockholm.

“We were naturally impressed with Andrea’s courage,” said Netigate Head of Professional Services and Development Jo Le. “Her attitude is a welcome addition to her office and we’re thrilled to have her aboard.”

Taking a roundabout route to Norway & Netigate

Andrea, who is originally from Medellín, Colombia, discovered Netigate through a language/internship program through NAP (Norskkurs med arbeidspraksis) and is affiliated with NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. She was intrigued by the technical, cloud-based solution and how it could serve customers all over the world. Armed with a degree in International Business from the Universidad EAFIT, Andrea’s found her knowledge could immediately be put to use at Netigate.

“The work environment at Netigate is quite exciting,” Andrea said. “I feel valued and appreciated by my colleagues. It’s infectious because everyone here seems to enjoy their job and interacting with each other.”

Andrea moved to Oslo late in 2018 with her Norwegian husband, who originally hails from the coastal city of Stavanger. They met several years ago in Wellington, New Zealand, while Andrea was on a semester abroad. She then moved to Europe after her studies to first work in the Colombian consulate office in Valencia, Spain.

Learning Norwegian a key to integration 

Four months is an impressive amount of time for a person to reach a professional level of language ability. Especially for someone whose own native language (Spanish) has. In order to accelerate her learning, she would devour newspapers, TV shows and listened to audiobooks while she was sleeping. It’s a tactic that also helped her learn French.  

Adjusting to life in Oslo has proven Andrea’s biggest challenge. The long winters are a stark change from the temperate climate in Medellín, and navigating the ice on the streets was proven to be difficult at first.

Andrea is just one of 130 Netigate employees working at Netigate’s three European offices. If you’re interested in becoming one of her colleagues or want to learn more about the services we offer, check out our open positions or contact us for a free trial.