Growing up, Louise Andersson was curious about her father’s journey as both a business leader and entrepreneur. She was constantly observing how he dealt with two sides of the coin – the challenges and excitements around working with global organisations, diverse colleagues and new business concepts. Sparked by this interest, Andersson chose to pursue the full-time and one-year MBA at Copenhagen Business School (CBS).
Ranked 24th in the QS Global MBA Rankings: Global 2022, CBS is part of an exclusive group of business schools worldwide to hold the triple crown of international accreditations: AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB. It was also ranked 16th in the Bloomberg Businessweek European MBA Rankings. Prestige aside, students gain a valuable peek into the admired Scandinavian business model. Ethical decision-making, social responsibility and green agenda are not forgotten electives, they are the MBA’s focus.
For Andersson, CBS not only let her gain such future-forward knowledge, but did so in just one year. She only needed to take one year off before returning to work. “Before starting the CBS MBA, I had this vision of what the year would be like and it wasn’t what I imagined, it was so much more,” says Andersson.
Having lived, studied and worked 12 years abroad, Andersson knows what a great city can offer. Copenhagen fit this bill. It was “the perfect city for me to return to as it had the ideal combination of what I had loved about living in cities like London, but missed about living in Scandinavia,” she says.
“Copenhagen is a city that has a perfect combination of being highly international and very Scandinavian. There is diversity not just in the people, but also the cultural influences found in the city, and many global organisations have their headquarters in Copenhagen.”
Pursuing an MBA in a hotbed of innovation and business has many perks. “When you join CBS, you are committing yourself to the discussion of innovative and entrepreneurial business models, sustainable organisational forms and economics practices within the perspective of corporate sustainability and leadership,” says CBS president Nikolaj Malchow-Møller.
Human Resource Management was one of Andersson’s favourite courses. “The course provided the perfect combination of theory and models, with first-hand insights and discussions with industry professionals from reputable organisations,” she says. “Hearing from leaders at organisations such as Carlsberg, Mærsk, and Velux helped me understand the wide range of global companies present in Copenhagen, and how crucial good leadership and strategies are to the success of these organisations.”
Endless opportunities for hands-on learning
What makes the MBA at CBS stand out is the flexibility for students to make their MBA degrees their own. This rings true to Andersson’s experience: “It was through the concentration and internship project I was able to tailor my MBA learning experience.”
Here, students can choose one of four concentrations — Digitalisation, Entrepreneurship, Finance, or Governance and Sustainability — according to the direction they want to take their careers in.
Andersson chose Entrepreneurship. She loved how they could work together in groups as consultants to analyse local start-up challenges and present recommendations in a matter of weeks. “The course was really well-designed as it allowed us to combine what we had learnt during the year and apply it in a practical setting,” she says.
Aside from that, CBS offers students the chance to complete their MBA year with a company in Denmark through the Internship Project. Andersson’s internship was with Danske Bank for four months. It was the right fit thanks to the Copenhagen MBA Career Services team. They helped her figure out what internship would be best to help bridge the gap to her desired career post-MBA.
“My Danske Bank internship was in Strategy Execution with Large Corporates and Institutions, and my assignment focused on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), working closely with the GDPR Implementation Lead for the business unit,” she says. “GDPR wasn’t an area I had experience with or even an interest in (I thought!) from before, yet I was able to tailor an incredibly interesting internship around the topic.”
During the internship, she was able to lean on several MBA courses. These include Finance, Marketing and the Leadership Discovery Process. The last is the MBA’s final module, where at the end of the year, the class comes together for a four-day experience, culminating their leadership journey.
“During the trip, students are challenged and encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, both in formal and informal leadership roles, whilst reflecting on how they are developing and growing as leaders,” says Andersson. “The whole process is supported by coaches who provide feedback and guidance on each individual’s experience. The journey definitely pushed us out of our comfort zones, and as a result, we left with some truly impactful leadership learnings.”
Small classes, fast pace
Apart from personalised learning, each of the concentrations is conducted in small groups, which encourages more fruitful and productive discussions in the classrooms. Paired with a high calibre of professors and students from both the Full-Time and Executive MBA programmes, Andersson’s opportunities to network throughout her study period at CBS were seemingly endless. They were the highlights of her MBA.
“The structure of the programme was ideal for me, as it is fast-paced but also very intimate. delete: with an intentionally small class size. In our cohort, the small class size yet incredibly diverse backgrounds of everyone meant that we became very close and supported each other throughout the year, both in and outside the classroom,” says Andersson.
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