collaborative MBA

The road to graduation: A collaborative MBA

Talented individuals from a variety of backgrounds join forces to grow and learn together at Copenhagen Business School; home to a very collaborative MBA.

Every business school has something that it highlights to the public. For The Copenhagen MBA, it advertises the three pillars of the program. What I like to point out in addition, though, is how easy it has been for me to work with everyone in the program. To give credit where credit is due, the administration really outdid themselves in selecting from the applicant pool for this year and as a result, I am surrounded by a wide variety of personalities and competencies every day. People who come with their own perspectives and goals in life.

When brainstorming for my first blog in late 2017, I thought to myself how supportive everyone has been and what a collaborative MBA this is. During the first week back after our winter break, Poul, our program director gave a speech to the entire class at our New Year’s reception that focused on the importance of working collaboratively. I knew I was onto something…

Now rewind several weeks back: I was at home in California celebrating the holidays and enjoying a well-deserved winter break with my family and friends. Oh, how I had missed the sunshine…! Before moving on, I would just like to emphasize how important it is to pack a bottle or two of vitamin D when you move to Copenhagen. Aside from the lack of sunshine during the wintertime, the first thing I talk to others about are the people and what a cohesive bunch we have become.

Of course, people are willing to work together under the right conditions. The program starts by organising students in groups of four during lectures to promote discussion and group work. Additionally, the professors work closely with the administrators to ensure that we are regrouped with different individuals on a regular basis. The grading structure is also done in such a way that we are not graded on a curve. The end result is a class of students who are offering help to each other during exam preparations, since students are not in competition with each other, only with themselves. The program definitely promotes a collaborative learning environment.

Here is just one example to illustrate how awesome the Copenhagen MBA class of 2018 is and what a collaborative MBA we are… Coming into the program, I already knew that the workload would be heavy. But as the rigor and speed of the classes, events, and career-building quickly started to manifest, we have come to the consensus that we must hold on closely to each other if we are to endure this one-year, super-fast-paced train ride. Someone suggested that we should split up all the course readings and create outlines, and a few took initiatives to organize this. The result? An awesome study tool for us, when we need it. Everyone was able to provide an outline of an assigned reading and share it onto an online platform which everyone had access to. Thus, these outlines would serve to provide a reference and reminder whenever we need it.

Don’t let my happy-go-lucky attitude fool you, though. I’m not implying that it is easy to work with others, but what I found valuable in this program is exactly that – having to find ways to settle the downsides. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation with others and coming up with solutions together to overcome internal and external misalignments. The support structure is there; you just have to figure out how to cross the bridge with everyone without having it collapse on you.