Copenhagen winter

Winter has come to Copenhagen: How to survive the dark season

What does the Copenhagen winter look like?

The Copenhagen winter is indeed long and dark, with temperature as low as -2°C and daytime as short as seven hours. One must learn to get along with the rain and the wind, and we have learned to count ourselves lucky if we see one sunny day per week. Whenever there is sunshine, my classmates and I cannot wait to walk (practicing social distancing of course) in Frederiksberg Park so we can breathe some fresh air, or go for a bike ride to enjoy the peacefulness of the city streets.

An MBA in the middle of a pandemic

In September, during the challenging year of 2020, my classmates and I embarked on the Copenhagen MBA. We enjoyed meeting for physical classes during the first semester and the meaningful engagement with classmates this brought, well aware that our campus was open thanks to the great efforts from CBS and the MBA department. Following stricter restrictions on gatherings and activities in December, unfortunately our campus had to close and all physical classes shifted to online.

As a famous saying goes, “When the wind is blowing strong, some people build shelters and others build windmills.” This means that we are building windmills in CBS – we are offensive and not defensive. Our professors, staff and classmates are experimenting with new ways to maximize the outcomes of digital classes. We were impressed by our Sustainability digital classes that featured a perfect combination of general sessions, break-out sessions, polls and videos, thanks to our Professor Andreas Rasche and our study board. Currently, we are enjoying the fresh insights from our Corporate Finance class by Professor Kasper Meisner Nielsen – who possesses a great deal of Danish humour. Meanwhile, our classmates are piloting innovative hybrid study approaches such as forming small study group and doing the odd face-to-face catchup.

Like me, many of my classmates will be concerned about the potential value loss that temporary cancellations of networking and alumni events bring. Our class is brainstorming a proposal to maximize the worth of our MBA by working closely with school management. Furthermore, we are making efforts to stay optimistic, protect ourselves by taking all protective measures, and support each other through virtual meetings. In times of crisis, it is critical to keep our morale high and make a real difference in our studies, and in life.

The shared purpose remains unchanged

The pandemic remains a big challenge across the world and bring numerous changes to our studies and life. However, our shared purpose for doing an MBA remains unchanged. We share the same purpose to explore leadership development, broaden our business horizons and open our minds for other perspectives. I do believe there has never been a better time to do an MBA. Through this pandemic, we come to recognize the importance of leadership, the difference digitalization can make, the essential of sustainability and the power of social connection in business and society.  I feel grateful to share this unique journey with my classmates.

When winter has come, can spring be far away?

We are starting to see declining cases in Denmark and a clear vaccination timeline in place to fight against the epidemic from Danish authority. We have faith that this pandemic will be controlled over time and we will come out of the crisis stronger!  We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  When winter has come, can spring be far away?

Hong has been working in marketing and sales for the pharmaceutical industry in Beijing. She came to CBS to learn about digitalization, strategy, leadership and sustainability. In addition, she believes the surrounding Danish culture fits well with her personal values.