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Isabella McNeill Benestad

Written by - 08.10.2019 - kl. 12.13

It began with airplane food (think stale bread and butter pudding) and a bubbly human moving across continents at the age of 12 from little Norway en route America. Little did Isabella know this would be the start of her greatest journey yet – connecting with individuals all over the world. Her dream ever since has been to impact as many people as possible to use all their resources to make the best out of any situation.

Brought up as a third culture kid (and still unsure where she is really from), having lived in more than five countries, Isabella was exposed to diverse environments from an early age. This is how she found a stimulus to understand the essence of communication and pursued a BSc. in International Communications and Media at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. She found her communication skills applicable by day in a startup and by night she rowed through the canals with her Dutch girlfriends. This was followed by a foundation year in Television Journalism at NLA Media University College Gimlekollen – this is when Isabella learned she was scared of being on camera, but loved the show behind-the-scenes. So, she fled the country (again) and started working for an international PR agency in Berlin before she fell face forward with the startup world. She ended up spending 2.5 years working for a fintech startup supporting the global communication activities of the brand before she realised it was more exciting finding out how the business grew and not only writing about it. She decided to call it quits and jump into the Grunderskolen programme at the University of Oslo before she landed back in the homeland to be a part of the ES program. This is when Isabella and Entrepreneurship found each other and the rest is history.

Those who know Isabella, quote that she has been dead-set on staying connected with her friends, family and influencers aka role models (yes, she likes to talk to everyone) ever since they can remember – from the good old MySpace days, blogging platforms to the launch of the IG stories. Social media is and always will be Isabella’s go-to-tool not solely to cultivate relationships, but to maintain a connection throughout her on-going journey, no matter where she is based. The meaning of human connection was and always will be an important part of her identity. In fact, it is those ‘culture shock’ experiences that have taught Isabella her most important assets: how to thrive (read communicate) in diverse situations, connect with others and adapt to new environments quickly.