Berkeley Today Stories

Berkeley College alumna Lauga Oskarsdottir

Scandinavian Graduate Breaks Down Barriers in Berkeley College Athletics and Norwegian Entrepreneurship

20160808

 

Berkeley College alumna Lauga Oskarsdottir

 

Scandinavian graduate Lauga Oskarsdottir attended classes at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan in an effort to strengthen her business knowledge and management skills. By the time she graduated from Berkeley College in 2012 with a B.B.A. degree in Business Administration – Management, she had broken down barriers within athletics.

While balancing her studies with full-time work and internships, Ms. Oskarsdottir was also the goalkeeper on the Berkeley College Men’s Soccer team prior to the establishment of the women’s teams. She is the only student athlete to have competed on both the Men’s and Women’s soccer teams at Berkeley College. Ms. Oskarsdottir also played in the winning game at the Hudson Valley Men’s Athletic Conference Championship in 2010, and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Ms. Oskarsdottir returned to her home country of Norway to build on her marketing experience. By 2014, she co-founded two businesses – marketing agency United Influencers and software solutions company SuitMe. “The effort required to maintain a schedule of school-work, a full-time job, internships, and playing soccer at Berkeley College helped me prepare for the ruthless determination it took to build my own company,” said Ms. Oskarsdottir, who is currently the Chief Influencer Officer of United Influencer and a silent partner in SuitMe (recently renamed Mesher).

In addition to overseeing her own business, Ms. Oskarsdottir recently became a board member of the Norwegian-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce, which promotes and maintains business relationships between Norway and Iceland. “Being an Icelandic entrepreneur living in Norway, I am passionate about creating bridges between the two countries, especially in the startup community,” said Ms. Oskarsdottir, who moved from Iceland to Norway with her family at the age of 9. “Access to mentorship and investors is scarce in both countries, but even more so in Iceland.”

Berkeley College soccer team

Ms. Oskarsdottir (center) poses with her teammates from the Berkeley College Men’s Soccer team.

Berkeley College 85th anniversary success story
Up Close with Lauga Oskarsdottir

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means the absence of self-doubt and fear. It means being in a position to empower yourself and others, with a balanced and healthy mind.

What advice would you offer today's college-bound students?

Stop thinking that other people are smarter, more skilled, more experienced, and more likely to succeed than you. Success comes to those with the ability to take action and the courage to fail. In my first year of building my company, I didn´t know what I was doing half the time. However, you ask questions, you involve the right people, you put on a helmet and run. It's a lot of fun, and the fastest way to learn.

What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?

I had a management position at age 18, where I was managing people who were my parents’ age. It was a humbling experiencing. I learned that I had a talent for coaching and leading people, but I wanted to expand my business knowledge and management skills.

Berkeley also enabled me to meet people from all over the world. Berkeley had lots of social gatherings and events to help foreign students meet fellow international and local students. To me, joining the soccer team was what made me feel at home Berkeley. I made friends for life on the team.

In which way(s) do you see yourself being successful in the future?

I see myself influencing young women in Scandinavia and around the world to believe in themselves and to have the courage to build their own ideas. I also see myself facilitating solutions for refugees around the world that want to build sustainable businesses.

What was your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?

When the Berkeley College Men’s Soccer team won the Hudson Valley Men’s Athletic Conference Championship, and I was voted MVP of the tournament. The team spirit we had was incredible. We really had each other’s backs.

 ShareThis