Philip Brainin, Copenhagen MBA Alum

“The absolute highlight of my MBA journey has been the people I have met”

Philip Brainin is not the usual candidate to complete an MBA programme. Prior to the Copenhagen MBA, he conducted clinical research and worked as a medical doctor – he joined the programme to sharpen his business knowledge and analytical skills. Not only was he voted the “Student of the Class” by his fellow MBA colleagues, he also achieved the highest marks in the lifetime of the MBA. Below you will learn more about his Copenhagen MBA experience and read on to find his graduation speech.

Why did you choose the Copenhagen MBA?

In my most recent research project I had the opportunity to collaborate closely with two life-science start-ups. This experience ignited my interest in entrepreneurship and the business part of life-science.

Knowing that the Copenhagen MBA is located in the middle of the Scandinavian life-science ecosystem, which is considered one of the most vibrant, progressive and rich environments for start-ups and pharmaceutical companies, it was a natural choice to pursue this programme. Moreover, there is a large network of alumni who work in this space and combined with the unique concentration: ‘Entrepreneurship’, the programme represented exactly what I was looking for. Overall, the Copenhagen MBA was an ideal point of entry to explore life-science and business.

What was the most memorable part of the programme for you?

The absolute highlight of my MBA journey has been the people I have met. To enter a community of friends for life cannot be matched by anything.

The Copenhagen MBA, Class of 2021-2022
The Copenhagen MBA, Class of 2021-2022

What are your post-MBA career plans?

I am interested in linking life-science to business opportunities and working with start-ups and innovation. From my perspective, life-science research is more than an academic discipline; it is a source of innovation and a tool to help bridge science into business ideas – eventually improving society, environment and patient outcome. Throughout my internship I have had the privilege of exploring this from a venture capital perspective, which has been an incredible experience. I have deliberately not been active in my job search, as I am still in the process of finding my right shelf, the position where I can create the greatest impact. However, one thing is for sure – and it is that my next career move will be in the intersection of business, research and life-science.




MBA graduation day speech by Philip Brainin

As I stand here, I am overwhelmed by two feelings: Nothing and everything. Nothing can top this very moment, and that makes everything we have worked for to be here, worth it.

Fellow graduates of the CBS MBA class 2022. Approximately 1 year ago, we arrived here as random strangers from 13 different countries. Random strangers who at first glance appeared to have quite little in common. But strangers who in reality shared many things. Inability to sit still through a class of more than 45 minutes and such a good sense of smell that we had to equip our class room with odor removers. Who would have thought of that. But I also realized very quick that we, as a group, share the same fundamental values: Honesty, trust and integrity. But perhaps most importantly, that we have a shared determination and desire to succeed.

One year ago, we embarked on this journey, and I gotta be honest with you, I was terrified. Terrified for how this year would be among a group of so talented and successful people. Scared of whether a medical doctor would be able to fit in. What impressed me the most when I met you, was the way you were and the way you are. Humble and how much down to earth you all are. Of course I was able to fit in.

So, today we celebrate the commencement of a new chapter. And I want to share with you two key reflections from our MBA: The first begins with a monkey brain, the second is about drive.

During our classes in leadership, we were introduced to the concept of a monkey brain. From a medical perspective, I neither can nor will confirm the existence of such a region in the human brain. But what I can say is that a good head and a good heart makes an excellent combination. And all of you have that good head. Ok…. most of you at least. And you have used that to build an MBA community based on friendship, laughter and love. A community strong enough to take us through a lock-down, survive starvation in the Swedish woods, strong enough to take us through our course in Innovation Management. Huh.

The program has also brought in new partners, new babies, even a wedding. I have experienced my own individual happiness, but I have also seen others’ happiness. It has been amazing to share happiness on an individual and on a group level, with celebrations of everyone’s achievements, both small and big.

This brings me to the next thing: What is it that drives us?

Completing an MBA is not easy, and it demands a fighting spirit and will. We have all earned our spot here, but at the same time we all know that it would not have been possible without all of these people here surrounding us. You are the ones who kept us going with your unconditional support – therefore, I want to thank family members, partners, significant others who are with us here today. I want to thank the MBA office, administration and professors for supporting us.

Fellow graduates, today is a bitter sweet day because we are leaving. I want to leave you with two wishes for the future: Nothing and everything. I wish that nothing will ever stop you from achieving your dreams, and I wish that everything you have learned here will help you through future challenges.

Class of 2022, it has been an honor to experience this journey with you. Congratulations and thank you.

Through the Copenhagen MBA, participants gain an internationally recognised qualification that is respected across the globe. But more than that, they gain critical insight into the admired Scandinavian business model – a model that prides itself on its ethical decision making, social responsibility and green agenda. If you would like learn more about the Full-Time MBA (a.k.a The Copenhagen MBA): Click here to download the brochure.