At Mercuri Urval, you can have a career for life.

  • Career for Life

By Sofia Hjort Lönegård Svein Olsen Mellemsæter

In the series ‘Career for Life’, you will be able to meet some of our successful colleagues and learn more about their career path, and how they help our clients to outperform. 

Svein Olsen Mellemsaeter is a Partner and Director at Mercuri Urval. 

It’s been 22 years since the first time I joined, and my heart has always been at the company, even if I have left several times I have always come back. In 2019, I returned for the third - and final time!

Svein has more than 2 decades of experience as an Executive Search Consultant, of which five years in a combined role as Executive Search Consultant and Country Manager for Mercuri Urval in four countries. In 2021, Svein became an equity Partner at the company. 

"I’m a living example of how you can have a life-long career at MU. I have held the role of Consultant, Team Leader, and then MD for four countries. When I returned the final time, I knew that I didn’t want to be an operational leader, but still contribute to the company’s success. And last year, I became a Partner which is so exciting. This company is generous in believing in the potential of people."

Svein described his strong connection coming from how he was introduced to the company. It was through an introduction week in Stockholm, where Mercuri Urval was founded.  

"It was a week-long exercise, being certified in the unique Mercuri Urval working methods and bonding with new recruits. That did something to me, seeing everyone face to face, forging networks for life. In this company we onboard, train, and bond in a quite different way than others! So unique, and fantastic."

Svein has held senior management positions in Royal Dutch Shell, Schlumberger, Statkraft and Aker Solutions. In several of these roles, Svein has led complex restructuring processes in multi-cultural company structures. He has also worked with two key competitors and built up a successful Executive Search business in Norway. But ultimately, he missed the international playing field and the freedom that Mercuri Urval offers. 

"We are a truly seamless, integrated company, with international business opportunities everywhere. There is an interesting mix at MU, which means that you have a large freedom, as long as you deliver results for your clients. And that result is quality-assured. We work with a standardised, ISO certified method (which I was proudly part of setting up), which makes sure that all our clients get the best result, whoever the MU consultant you work with in the world. That is unique and makes us stand out from the competition."

When asked, Svein explains why he keeps returning to Mercuri Urval. 

"Because we are allowed to shape our own career. Sometimes you do that somewhere else, but we are always coming back. There is something intangible, but attractive of this company. It’s in the DNA. We have the right people at top management, and we keep showing a continuity."

About Svein 

He is educated from the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy and Norwegian School of Management and he speaks fluent English and Norwegian. 

Due to his own management experience from the energy and oil/gas sector he has particular experience from serving clients within these sectors, often with international mandates. Svein has also gained good insights from Executive Search assignments for the public and voluntary sector as well as from the life science sector. 

Read his full bio and connect hereRead more about our people and organisation here.