An interview with the new President of SBIO

Photo: SBIO Media

It has only been a month since Wilhelm Fredrik Meyer was elected as the President of SBIO. Wilhelm took office after Emil Lundal’s sudden and unexpected resignation in April, and he is already learning quickly on the job.

New to this case? Read our cover on Emil Lundal’s resignation here.

Inside has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity for a chat with the newly-elected President to get to know more about him and his ambitions for the future of SBIO, in this exclusive one-on-one interview.

His foray into leadership
President of SBIO, Wilhelm Fredrik Meyer (24), is from a place called Jessheim, which is a town that’s located only a short drive away from Oslo Airport, Gardermoen.

In addition to working as a flight-attendant at SAS, he is currently in his second year of Real Estate at BI, but plans on changing to «Økonomi og Administrasjon» after the summer.

-Although I have always loved working in sales, I realized that becoming a Real Estate agent wasn’t something I wanted to do. I also chose the wrong elective during my second year, and realized it would cost me more if I chose to continue with Real Estate than to switch over to «Økonomi og Administrasjon».

Photo: SBIO Media

Right after high school, Wilhelm was conscripted into the Norwegian Army where he spent a year. His initial wish was to serve as a squad leader, the person in charge of a small group of soldiers.

-I wanted to be a squad leader because the responsibilities and tasks were fun, but I had the wrong mentality towards it – it was more of a personal interest,
and I lacked the self-knowledge at the time to realize that I probably wouldn’t have been a big enough resource for the whole team, as a squad leader.

Instead, he was granted a position as a scout within his squad-team, and his objective was to go ahead of the main force in order to gather information about the upcoming terrain.

After the year in the Army, he spent some time working and retaking some of his high school courses. He got a job at SAS working with logistics at a cargo department, where he was responsible for the goods that were being shipped out of Norway.

Feeling a desire to «climb up the ladder», he shortly thereafter decided that he wanted to head back to the school bench.

-I had now been working for a year, but I wanted to take a second year off to study something. I felt like I had been doing what everyone expected and told me to do for 13 years, and therefore wanted to study something that really I wanted myself.

Back to school
Having a great passion for music and DJing, Wilhelm decided to study Music Production for a year at Noroff College.

-I wanted to educate myself within music because I have always been interested in music. Music, for me, is not something you just put on. Instead, I really study the music I listen to; I know the lyrics and the history behind it, I study how they set it up, and I watch documentaries about it.

It was also during the time at Noroff that Wilhelm first got to experience what it was like to work within a student society.

-I thought to myself “let’s do something that matters”. I love to socialize, and people trust me, so I applied for, and became, the class president.

He was then later appointed for the position of secretary, one of four big roles in the student union at Noroff.

-I thought to myself “let’s do something that matters”. I love to socialize, and people trust me, so I applied for, and became, the class president.

Leadership role in the Bar Society
While having a great enthusiasm for music and DJing, Wilhelm decided that it would be safer to have a formal education and therefore chose to study at BI.

With his fondness for music, Wilhelm found it worthwhile to serve in a leadership position in the Bar Society as the Head of DJs, and also later joined the management at Kroa.

Wilhelm’s presidency
It has been almost been a month since Wilhelm took office as the President of SBIO, and the transition has been going quite smoothly. Contributing to this is the fact that he prior to his new position already was a part of the management as Head of Societies.

Photo: Nicolai Giil / INSIDE

-I knew the SBIO management from before, so I knew what type of people I would be working with, and therefore had full trust in the management. Even before I applied for the President position, I asked the people in the SBIO management if they trust me, as I would never have applied if they weren’t behind me and supporting me.

With many different Presidents of SBIO over the years, and each having their own style of leading, Wilhelm explained what his way of leading is.

-My strategy is to make the people in my management as good as they can be. I want to be a resource for them. My job is not to do their job, but to make sure they have everything they need to be able to do their job in the best way possible. If I can help someone else in the management fulfill their potential, that person will then also be able to help others and the people they are in charge of, and that will reflect in a positive way onto the students as well.

-My strategy is to make the people in my management as good as they can be. I want to be a resource for them.

Future vision for SBIO

The role of the SBIO management is mainly to provide the resources and assistance to the many different student societies so that these can fulfill their strategies and give the students the best possible opportunities.

-We want SBIO to be the best it can be, every year. However, the fact is that the management changes every year, so our primary focus needs to be on the BI-students that are here right now. Of course, if whatever we do now works well, then we will bring that forward for the management and students of next year. My vision is to empower and fulfill the union’s vision and the different units- the many people working within SBIO who are «out there» and providing the different student-offers and connecting with the students.

Wilhelm along with the whole Management of SBIO. Photo: SBIO Media

Wilhelm also describes how the SBIO management often meets up and continuously tries to figure out the right and next direction that they can take for the benefit of the students at BI.

Controversies at NHH
In light of the recent debate at NHH, Wilhelm assured that SBIO is trying its best to make for a positive experience for the students at BI.

New to this? Read our cover of the debate at NHH here.

-SBIO focuses on being a democratic organization that aims to be inclusive and open to everyone, and to be most effective with the resources we have. The feedback we currently have received from the students is that the student unions at BI have been really good. If we ever do receive a complaint, we will reflect on it and do our best to try resolving it. However, most of the times the students themselves are able to solve any issues in-between themselves.

Having a good time at BI
In order to have the best experience while studying at BI, Wilhelm encourages every student to join SBIO or a student society. He not only thinks that being a part of a society is great from a social aspect, but also stresses how SBIO has a great relationship with some of the biggest companies in Norway.

– Be active within the union. You should figure out what units and societies can help you professionally, and you can also build a network that could potentially last a lifetime. Joining SBIO has been the single most valuable thing I have done since I started studying again. I have met so many people who have taught me things that I will remember for the rest of my life.

You should figure out what units and societies can help you professionally, and you can also build a network that could potentially last a lifetime.