Meet The Team: Copenhagen Business School — Denmark
School believes business should pursue both profit and purpose
Copenhagen Business School believes business should pursue both profit and purpose — and this is a theme that runs through the veins of its full-time MBA.
The 12-month program, ranked among the best in Europe by Bloomberg, costs €43,000. The intimate cohort of 35-45, considered 90% international, has an average GMAT score of 620; seven years’ work experience.
The Denmark location provides a backdrop for sustainability and the Scandinavian way of doing business — in which work/life balance is key. Copenhagen too offers strong personal and career prospects — CBS students are keen to stay in the city upon graduation. And the class’ party committee likes to kick up a storm after-hours.
Thuli Kutloano Skosana, admissions manager at the school, provides an inside view on how you can stand out in the selective admissions process.
Is there an ideal candidate for the CBS MBA?
Yes but we don’t look for any one particular profile or industry. What we are looking for are people who fare well in a small classroom. They have to have strong communication skills. Also bearing in mind it’s a multicultural environment, adaptability becomes key. We look for strong interpersonal skills and leadership potential and career achievement. And a strong level of motivation. If candidates fulfil goals then we will look positively on them.
What can applicants do to stand out?
They have to be in touch with the program. State your interest in The Copenhagen MBA and get to understand why this program could have an impact on your profile and why. Speak to some of the students and alumni. Do your research and understand what the benefits of the MBA are.
The other thing is to visit the campus and experience the learning environment, student body, teaching style, and faculty. We realize a lot of the students who come to the program look to explore their opportunities in Denmark afterwards.
What is more important: GMAT score or work experience?
We try and find a balance. The GMAT score is a great indicator of whether the student is capable of keeping up with the rest of the program. Then we look at career achievements.
We look at an applicant holistically. Sometimes you might get a candidate with a high GMAT score of 720 but they won’t make it into the program because something else is lacking in their profile.
There has been a global drive to increase female enrolment. Is this something you're focused on?
We attract a lot of female candidates, so yes it is an area of focus. We try and maintain a 35%-40% female student body. It’s something we look into.
Have you taken steps to recruit more women?
Not necessarily. So far it’s been quite organic, although we do have some outreaches and sometimes participate in women-specific events. Copenhagen has always attracted a lot of female students, partly because of the work/life balance emphasis in Copenhagen. Most women are able to have a family life while pursuing fast-paced careers.
But it’s definitely something we will be deliberate about in future.
What should a CBS applicant know about the business school?
For one it’s a very rigorous curriculum. You’ve got some of the best faculty here — all of them are PhDs and well represented in terms of nationalities.
They need to be engaged completely — it’s the only way to get the best out of the program. Immerse yourself and be willing to contribute, to participate in group work. And keep up.
Why do students value Copenhagen?
It’s a good working environment which offers a lot of opportunity. The city is also beautiful and convenient, and offers variety in terms of lifestyle.
There is a strong emphasis on sustainability. We are in prime position to deliver on sustainability education. This is the way business is moving in general. A lot of students come here to learn how it’s done in Scandinavia, which is a leader in sustainability.
What does a Copenhagen MBA get up to at the weekend?
Downtime is social activities that are student-organized. Each class has a party committee and people responsible who are for the calendar. Sometimes we get people who can cook up a storm.
Touring the city on bike, particularly during the start of class when the weather is still great, [is popular]. There are lots of attractive places to visit nearby: other Scandinavian cities for example. It’s a great music city. And it’s good for those who are into sports — the city is great for running.