“Digitalisation has given me a completely new perspective”

EMBA with a concentration in digitalisation

Digital health lead Nicholas Syhler began his journey with CBS earlier this year and – despite the pandemic – got off to a flying start with an EMBA concentration that complements his career and widens his horizons…

Before I started this MBA, I thought I had a good understanding of the potential of digitalisation – but it turns out I had a lot to learn. Even though I’m a doctor by training, I’m more commercially oriented and I stopped practicing medicine to create my own start-up tech company. This was almost five years ago and the product we created is now being implemented in Danish hospitals. Later, I was invited to work for the digital health company that invested in my start-up. Fast forward to 2020, I recently took a new position at Novo Nordisk, which is an acknowledged leader in health innovation. It operates in a highly complex industry and I lead the commercial side of two new digital solutions.

To come to CBS and take the digitalisation concentration and have my mind opened to a whole new perspective has taken me slightly by surprise!

A deeper understanding

The EMBA with a concentration in digitalisation has enlightened me about the nature of digital ecosystems and how they are shaping our world today– and how much more is to come. Digitalisation is critical for every single industry. Name a sector that hasn’t been digitised and you can bet that there are already plans in place for major disruption. Meanwhile, digitally native businesses dominate the Fortune 100. Digital isn’t the future. It’s the here and now.

The course has already given me tools and perspectives that I can use in my daily work – whether that’s from a wider strategic point of view or drilling down into the details of the direction of a product. I work in a complex, dynamic and uncertain kind of business. At CBS we have been taught theoretical concepts and principles that can support factual business decisions in this type of environment. If you’re putting forward a proposal for investment in the digital health arena, even when facing high project complexity and uncertainty, properly analysed facts and application of best practices can support your recommendation and increase the chance of a good investment decision

Selecting Copenhagen

For me, CBS was the natural choice. I was born in Denmark and live 200 metres from campus! But over and above the location, I had already identified the business school as one of the best in Europe and I had of course heard about its reputation.

At the time I was becoming responsible for more and more commercial and strategic challenges and I needed a deeper understanding of the theoretical tools and principles that underpin business.

 Virtual study

I started my EMBA with a concentration in digitalisation in spring this year, in the middle of the pandemic, and – surprisingly – that aspect of the whole situation hasn’t really been an issue. We had a few weeks of virtual classes via Teams and, aside from having to work around my two very young children, it wasn’t that difficult to deal with. CBS did a very good job. We’ve had physical meetings since and it was peculiar to see each other face to face for the first time, after having previously met virtually. Somehow we had a thing in common, a virtual experience, without ever having been in the same room.

It’s great to be part of something exciting, along with people who are ambitious, passionate and full of interesting insights. The discussions we have in class are energising and we have so many different perspectives from all over the world. We work both collaboratively and on our own and it’s impossible not to get carried along by it all. I can’t wait for the next concentration.

I’m excited about the next term and about getting together again with my classmates – both online and in person. Can they come and stay at my place when they come to Copenhagen? They’re very welcome if they can handle two screaming babies!