A multitalent

No challenges are too great for media graphic designer and web developer Frode Bødtker. Now, he can rejoice in completing his apprenticeship and receiving his competency certificate, something he has been working towards for many years.

Published: 29 February 2024

“The most rewarding aspect is collaborating with clients from the very beginning and building something together. Like when I recently had the opportunity to participate in Kulturnatt in Etne, that was great,” says Frode, referring to the cultural festival in Etne where Frode created a new logo and website that received much praise.

Frode is the man who never says no, who warmly smiles at every question that arises, and who has a response time most can only dream of. Since 2015, he has been a dedicated apprentice and problem solver at Omega 365 Design.

“I've been working towards this goal for many years, so now I don't really have any more goals. I want to develop professionally and do a good job, but I intend to do it here at Omega 365 Design. This team and workplace mean a lot to me,” says Frode.

Asking the right questions

At work, he is seen as a "multitalented artist," and more than once colleagues have stated, “we have to ask Frode about this, he can do it.” If he doesn't have the answer right away, he usually finds the solution.   It's about daring to ask good questions and never giving up until he reaches the goal.

“When I started as an apprentice here, I didn't know much. I spent a lot of time playing video games and drawing when I was younger, but I didn't have any other background. In the beginning, when I got the chance to try coding, I asked colleagues about absolutely everything, and since then, it has just 'snowballed'.”

“Developing websites is what I've worked on the most over the years, and what I enjoy the most. However, the field of media graphics is expansive, involving the design of everything from websites, logos, and ads to film and photography. I appreciate its diversity and the range of creative opportunities it offers.”

Passed with flying colors

In the competency test he recently passed with flying colors, he was tasked with creating an advertisement for the Norwegian Council for Road Safety aimed at young people to promote the use of reflectors. Throughout the process, he received feedback from the assessors regarding the target audience and message, made adjustments accordingly, and effectively managed his time with valuable input from Omega 365 Design's educational manager, Edna Trovanelli.

“It was a relief when it was over and everything was submitted. The assessors were satisfied, and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. It's incredible: back in school, I consistently avoided days when presentations were due, but now I managed to complete this test without any issues. Something has changed in me, and it certainly gives me a sense of accomplishment.”

“I didn't celebrate in a big way; it's not really my thing. Instead, I enjoyed a good meal with my family and then went home to sleep.”

Pieces fell into place

To better understand Frode's journey, we need to rewind to his upbringing in Bjoa, Norway. Frode was the boy who didn't quite fit in at school. He was restless in his seat and had difficulty concentrating for long periods.

“They tested me for ADHD as early as third grade, but back then, they never reached a conclusion. The gap between what I could grasp and what was in the curriculum just continued to widen.”

As he progressed through secondary school, it became increasingly difficult for Frode to keep up, and performance anxiety began to tighten in his stomach.

“It's not easy when you don't feel like you're getting it. I vividly remember when we covered the topic of economics in 9th grade, and for the first time in a long while, I felt like I understood the math class. Those moments were few and far between.”

In the eleventh hour, towards the end of 10th grade, Frode finally received the diagnoses of ADHD and social anxiety. Finally, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

“When you receive the ADHD diagnosis so late, it rarely comes alone; other issues have had the opportunity to develop. It was a relief when the diagnosis was established; then things started to improve,” Frode says.

Success story

After completing secondary school, Frode was clear in his speech: he wouldn't continue with school until he knew what he wanted to do. He first tried as an intern in a kindergarten before his mother suggested that Omega 365 had acquired what was then called Filter Design & Communication, now Omega 365 Design. She thought he should try to get an internship there, especially since he had previously enjoyed drawing so much, and it was evident he had some creative interests.

“She arranged a meeting with agency manager Astrid Eidhammer Hjelmeland and Lauren McPherson Simonsen, who was the managing director of Filter Design & Communication at the time. And they were as positive as can be; it was absolutely fantastic.”

He remembers his first day at work well, 15 October, 2015. A brand-new edition of the business magazine Tempo was delivered to the door the same day, and Frode enjoyed himself from the first hour.

“It was fantastic right from the start, and I've never heard anything other than positive things about this workplace. I hadn't been here long before I got to tackle challenges and was involved in discussions.”

“Code language is like any other language. It's difficult when you don't know it, but once you understand it, it's just as easy to use as other languages. And no matter what you work on as a media graphic designer, it's about laying the groundwork; then, it's always much easier to build on,” says Frode.

Frode lights up when he talks about professional challenges, but most of all about the social aspects of work. 

“I can trust this team,” he says, smiling. 

He knows that a good chat by the coffee machine, a clever comment at the office door, or a fit of laughter at lunch is never far away. And he appreciates it all.

“Do you have any advice for others who may not have found their place in school and the traditional learning path?”

“For those who may not have found their place in school and the traditional learning path, there are so many good solutions that you may not necessarily think of yourself. Contact companies you would like to work for and see what's possible. It's not worse than getting a 'no.' I've been lucky to have a family that has pushed me and helped me. They've never let me slack off too much; at home, you had to get up early even if you didn't have anything special to do. It was important to make the most of the day regardless.”