An experiment in strategic networking

Skrevet af Sidsel GreenFelix Kasperek, translation - Foto: Henriette Frausing - 10. marts 2014 - 15:450 kommentarer
The winners of the MBA team competition was the Edukarma team, seen presenting in the picture. See more photos from the event by clicking the red arrow.

Last week, an MBA case competition was held at Kilen with Edukarma winning. It was a big success that showed what advantages students can get from CBS’ strategic partnership with Sauder School of Business.

The collaboration between Canadian Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia and CBS was concretized when 43 students from Sauder visited CBS and participated in this year’s MBA case competition over the last two weeks.

Read more about the many facets of the strategic partnership CBS has with Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. 

The competition was divided into two parts, with the first part consisting of a ‘global case’, pertaining to obesity and how different countries handle the challenges. The students of Sauder had the chance to go to either Copenhagen, Bangalore (India) or Shanghai (China) to team up with locals and work on the case.

It has been extremely interesting to work with the same subject across nations and cultures since cause and effect is so different. In Denmark and the Western world in general, the growing obesity problem is caused mainly by inactivity, whereas the main cause in China and India is the sudden introduction of fast food and tons of calories, Blake Hanna, adjunct professor of Sauder and representative of the MBA students’ trip to Copenhagen, tells when CBS OBSERVER meets him on the last day of the event. He elaborates:

- In that way, being in Denmark for the global case gave us totally unique input, even though we didn’t start working directly with Danish companies and values.

Jante Law still reigns in Denmark
Week 2 consisted of ‘The Great Danish Road Trip’ where the Canadian students visited the three Danish companies Bang & Olufsen, Danfoss and PKM and solved cases related to the companies while they were out.

The last three days, they solved a local case, where the students were divided into 9 teams that were teamed up with a MSc BA student from CBS and worked with a Danish SME. Among others, The Oresund Committee, Graduateland and Edukarma.

Week 2 was definitely the most rewarding for us Sauder students. Experiencing how cultural values affect company values – in North America, a high-end brand like B&O would never bo so humble and down to earth as we experienced in our company visit, says Susan Dong, an MBA student from Sauder:

- In addition to that, visiting Denmark has been an amazing experience. The architecture is amazing and I’ve actually become quite fond of rye bread, she says and continues:

- The most important thing for us, as well as the Danish students, is the networks and relations we build. Having a student from CBS on our team in our Camp Adventure has taught me a lot.

Networking for universities
Networking is an essential part of the partnership and case competitions across universities is invaluable for this strategy, Sven Bislev who represented the management in the local finale, held at Kilen with dinner after in the Glass Hall at Porcelænshaven.

Eric Guthey, associate professor at IKL, responsible for the selection of the Danish MSc BA students agrees:

- Today isn’t all about cultural exchange, because at CBS we have plenty of nationalities among both students and employees who bring different angles. Instead, the main goal is knowledge exchange between the schools, so CBS students can learn Canadian methods and vice versa.

CBS students part of volunteer initiative
Personal networks between the students are just a small part of what the partnership and events like the MBA case competition strengthens. CBS’ international network and the relations with the companies that participate in the case competition, play a large part as well.

- These weeks have been an exercise in strategic networking and hopefully it can benefit our research and in the end, all our students. It’s been a big success but of course we look at improvements for next year, Amalie Korning Wedege, CBS’ main representative, tells.

Among other things, CBS is currently looking at how CBS students can earn ECTS points by participating in the competition like the Canadian MBA students, for whom the trip is a mandatory part of their education. All CBS students who’ve been active in week 8 or 9 have done so on a volunteer basis. And the Canadians have noticed.

A night out for everyone
- We’re so grateful for the Danish students’ effort and extremely satisfied with the experience. It’s been a phenomenal trip, says Blake Hanna, who’s very enthusiastic about the idea of coming back to CBS next year.

The two intense weeks and the local case finale finished in a dinner at Porcelænshaven Friday night. The Edukarma team won and got to take home the prize; a engraved Stelton thermos for all participants. The night ended around 10 pm, at which point the proof of the strong bond between the students became evident, when students from both Sauder and CBS chose to go out for a night about town together.
CBS OBSERVER reached a tired, but happy Amalie Korning Wedege the day after.

- It’s been an amazing experience, and we’ll definitely be back next year!