A New Face at Racer!

av Eddie Payton

The next addition to the Racer digital marketing team is me, Eddie Payton. As I work through my internship, I'll be blogging about my thoughts and experiences at Racer as a student from Volda University College.

It’s been quite a journey getting here but has, without a doubt, been worthwhile. After a quick round of handshakes with the early risers at Racer and Avento in Ålesund, I finally sit down at my own desk with new colleagues at my side and start my internship. It’s here where I’ll truly learn what I’ll need to know to work in media communications and use the theories and tips I’ve learned at Volda University College over these last few years.

Now, I usually introduce myself in Norwegian and, if I do say so myself, I’m pretty good at it. Still, I can’t seem to avoid the question “So where are you from?” either because of my name or if I’ve pronounced something oddly. That’s because I was born and raised in San Jose, California. Growing up in the Silicon Valley blessed me with the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world. Every day I met people bringing their own culture to the beautiful melting pot that is the San Francisco Bay Area. I became envious of those who had meaningful traditions and spoke more than one language. So, with the help of my family and others around me, I left for Switzerland in my junior year and fell in love with the country and with Europe. Everything was so close, and I had so much more freedom to travel! There were new traditions, new foods, and a new language to learn and adapt to. I had a blast. When I went back to the States, I was lost and needed more. As I finished high school, I planned my get away. Germany? Switzerland? Then I met a girl. Then it was “maybe Norway?” Then it was “definitely Norway.”

I found Volda University College’s PR program and knew it was for me, but there was a big obstacle. The program is in Norwegian. After one short visit to Norway, a live-in Norwegian tutor, and two attempts at the Bergenstest, I was accepted into the university. Suddenly, I found myself in a small college town in the middle of the Sunnmøre alps on the west coast of Norway. What a shock that was, being a city boy. Living in Volda, the closest McDonald’s is a two-hour drive and ferry ride away! When I was first learning Norwegian, Nynorsk seemed like a marginal language and hadn’t thought I’d meet many people who wrote it instead of Bokmål. I was mistaken. Now, it’s everywhere. I’d placed myself in the epicenter of Nynorsk amongst the folk who prefer it and at the university that uses it as their main form of Norwegian. While challenging at first, Nynorsk has won me over and found a place in my heart.

I powered through the first year and all of the culture shock, learning fun new dialect words and getting to know yet another culture and all that comes with it. Every day I integrate myself further into the Norwegian way (But you can keep the brunost to yourselves) and enjoy every bit of it. Having this opportunity as an intern at Racer will help me greatly towards this, as well as refining my communications and digital marketing skills that I’ve been building upon both in and outside of university. During my stay with Racer, you’ll be hearing a lot from me on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be keeping you all up to date on what we are doing here at Racer!