Copenhagen Business School

Definitely not still Jenny from the block… Too sparkly for that

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

By: Sasha Sabsowitz, Foster Undergraduate

I had the most amazing time yesterday. After not going out for weeks, my roommates and I got to go to the Jennifer Lopez concert for FREE!

For dinner, my roommates and I made burgers. There were a lot of 90’s hits being played while cooking. Our burgers were very classy, accompanied by three different types of 35 DKK (about 6 USD) white wine. Our lamp above the table is still out so we ate dinner by candle light.

At 8:00 we realized what time it was and boogied on our bikes in our fancy outfits to Forum where the concert was. When we arrived, we could hear “Dance Again” playing inside and by the time we had made it inside she was playing “Waiting for Tonight,” my favorite! It’s so mind blowing that she’s 43, not 23 since she danced almost the whole time. We also got to hear her phony Selena laugh for an awkward mid concert break where she just smiled and laughed and told the crowd how much she loved them.

After the concert we biked to Nørrebro to find a bar to relax and talk in while we waited until 1 o’clock, when the dance clubs wake up. We ended up at a really cozy wine bar called Malbeck Vinoteria. We chatted over a shared bottle of Semillon from Argentina.

The lights came on bright in the bar around 1 when they were trying to get everyone to leave. When we got outside, it was pouring down rain. One of my roommates, Anna, and I wanted to go home but my other roommate, Annechiene, insisted on us going dancing. So we biked a few blocks down the street and lo and behold ended up on the exact street I stayed at when I first arrived in Copenhagen. Stefansgade!

Anna had suggested this place called Drone where they have a bar upstairs and a “lively” dance floor downstairs. But, when we got there and went down the stairs (coats, hats, scarves and gloves still on) no one was on the dance floor, just surrounding it talking. So without consulting each other, we all flew to the dance floor and started jumping around, spinning and dancing like complete weirdos to the jive like music the DJ was playing. In NO time the dance floor was packed!

We danced with some nice people, had some nice chats, did some bendy backwards dips and called it a night.

I love Copenhagen!

Talent? Pshh. Try, hard work!

Monday, January 28th, 2013

By: Sasha Sabowitz, Foster Undergraduate

Today was so inspiring! My Trading in Financial Markets class had a guest speaker. He was a Danish trader who lives in London and is quite well known in the financial world.

In his short 45 minute speech, he backed up many thoughts that I had already played around with.

The presentation started out by him showing the success he has achieved so far. He was confident, but not cocky. He showed us simplified charts and calculations so that we could follow/understand complex financial graphs quite easily.

Then he told us he actually flunked out of one of his years of high school. But, during a bout of pneumonia sometime before college, his dad went to the library and got him a  book called “Liar’s Poker.” We were told that book changed his life and inspired him to study hard so that he could work in trading – at this point not even knowing if he had what it took to “make it. ”After reading the book, he said, “I thought, if this guy can make it, so can I…”

Soon after, he left Denmark for England to study at the London School of Economics. He said there were many nights that his friends would want him to come out to the pubs with them but he was very focused on his studies and he attributes his success both in school and his career to his hard work and dedication.

Which brought him to his next slide of four famous public figures known for having talent.  Mozart, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, and Andre Agassi. After being asked as a class if these four people had talent, we were told that they, in fact, did not. We just perceive them as talented. Tom believes we do not emphasize enough the hard work and dedication that these figures spent to get where they are today.

Take Mozart for example. He was perceived as a prodigy, a musical genius! But when you look at the facts, it turns out his father was a musician just like him and had forced him to practice since he was a wee little lad. It is estimated he had logged 3000 practice hours on the violin and the piano by the time he was SIX years old.

There is a similar theme with Tiger Woods. His father also played golf and was completely obsessed with the idea of “practice makes perfect.” He even had Tiger enrolled in golf lessons when he was only one year old.

The bottom line is, success/greatness/achieving goals and dreams is not about talent that you are either born with or without. It’s about timing, a bit of luck, and PUTTING HARD WORK into whatever you want to excel at.

Of course this type of determination will take time and trade offs in other parts of your life. For example, Tom said he “unfortunately” doesn’t have kids but he’s good at what he does and that makes him happy. He knows the trade off and is okay with the sacrifices he has made. Very interesting.

Afterwards, I went up to him and introduced myself, even though I was a bit nervous since he is so tall and bold and successful! But he was very nice and thanked me for thanking him for the motivation and inspiration. Today is one of those days that is crucial to remember…

3 Skills I Learned Abroad

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Written by Curtis Howell, Foster School Undergraduate Student

Independent

Living in Copenhagen was a drastic change for me. In Seattle, I live with 50 guys in a giant house where we have a full-time cook working for us. I usually take my laundry to Kirkland (because it’s free, not because mom helps! But that’s nice too). In Copenhagen, I lived in an apartment by myself, 20 minutes by bike and 30 minutes by public transportation away from my friends. For the first time in my life, I shopped and cooked for myself. To do my laundry, I had to put my clothes in my backpack and bike 10 minutes. When it was washed, I would bring it back to my apartment and hang it on the rack to air dry to save money on drying costs. Life in Copenhagen has been a drastic learning experience for me, especially because I made this transition to greater independence in a foreign country.

Flexible

Several times I got very frustrated with the Danish culture. For example, my primary mode of transportation was my bike, like most people living in Copenhagen. One Saturday evening, I was riding home from the bars and got a flat tire. All the shops in Denmark, including the bike shops, are closed on Sundays. Because I wouldn’t get my bike back from the shop until Monday afternoon, I had to be flexible and figure out a different mode of transportation until I got my bike tube fixed.

Awareness of global, economic, and political issues

Copenhagen Business School did an excellent job of incorporating current events into their coursework. I learned a lot about the world economy and current topics of interest in both my international business and organizational behavior courses. I was most impressed with the organizational behavior class. The professor and TA related all the organizational behavior theories to the global financial crisis so in addition to learning organizational behavior theories, I learned a great deal about a pertinent current event that had never been discussed in any of my Foster courses!

My friend, whom I know from Seattle but now lives in Copenhagen, connected me to the Danish entrepreneurial community. I am very grateful for this, as it certainly enhanced my study abroad experience. I am interested and involved in the Seattle entrepreneurial community, so meeting people with similar interests and aspirations in Denmark was a treat. It made me realize that while we are separated by a big blue pond, we are working on solving several similar problems. In addition, I confirmed that work location is becoming increasingly unimportant in the technology field. A great example of this internationalization is Google’s small team in central Denmark developing what they hope is the next client-side web programming language to replace JavaScript. In this spirit, I will likely be able to choose where I work for the duration of my career.

First Month in Copenhagen

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

By: Sasha Sabsowitz, Foster Undergraduate

After a month here in Copenhagen, I am still in awe of how much I love this city. Between the stress of finding an apartment at the last minute, going out almost every night with friends for the first two weeks, and suffering through a cold that lasted 3 weeks, I thought Copenhagen might be trying to kill me… But after a few days here, you just learn to go with the flow. I would highly suggest paying for the social packages that the school offers. For the introduction week, each day was planned out for us with fun nights out in the city of Copenhagen, Danish folk dancing, canal tours, and a beautiful welcome dinner at the end of the week. I met so many great people during this time. Another plus was that there weren’t that many Americans, so I’ve had the opportunity to get to know such amazing people from so many countries: Hungary, Norway, Germany, Azerbaijan, France, Belgium, and Holland. But those are just the countries my “close” friends here are from :)

 

I thought I might miss driving here, but getting around is so easy! They have a metro system that ould make people from Seattle so jealous. The metro runs through the south, central, and west parts of the city every 1-2 minutes during rush hour and every 3-4 minutes during other times in the day. If the metro doesn’t go where you need it to – keep in mind you can take it from the city centerall the way to the airport – then you can take one of their many super-efficient bus lines. But of course if you want to do like the Danes do, you must invest in a bike. Everyone here bikes! I feel like Seattle thinks it’s a bike-friendly city, but they could learn so much from Copenhagen’s biking infrastructure. Most bike lanes around the city are raised from where the parked and driving cars are. You bike in between the sidewalk (which is also raised from the bike lane) and parked cars on the street. It’s surprisingly fast, but people can be very aggressive!

 

Eating out for dinner as frequently as I do in Seattle is pretty impossible for anyone on a budget in Copenhagen. Your average burger with fries or pasta dinner here will cost you about 25-27 USD. Eating out for lunch can be much more reasonable, but I’ve found just grocery shopping and cooking to be the most fun. My friends and I do a lot of dinners at each other’s houses. I suggest joining the Copenhagen Business School students Facebook page if you’re going to study here and meeting up with students from there during the first couple of weeks, it’s such a great way to meet people.

As far as the classes at CBS are concerned, they alone would be enough to convince me to come back to study here. The teachers are mostly Danish but speak English. All of my teachers have had really interesting work experience in their pasts ranging from working in the finance department of the Danish government, to working as traders in Toronto, to working at the Pentagon. The teaching style is obviously quite different here. Don’t expect as many tests, if any, during the semester. Instead, all of your knowledge will be tested at the end of the semester in either a 4 hour open/closed book exam, a 25 minute oral exam, or a 48 hour intensive essay writing period. My classes and teachers here have really sparked my interest in international finance and inspired me to aim even higher with my career goals.

I have planned a few trips around Denmark, to Germany, and maybe to Holland. More updates to follow after my return :)

Kulternatten in Copenhagen

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By: Curtis Howell,  Foster Undergraduate

Hello! My name is Curtis Howell, and I am a 4th year Foster student. I am pursuing the Entrepreneurship option and a double degree in Informatics. I participate in several activities on campus including the Lavin Entrepreneurship program, Foster ambassadors, case competitions, Student Technology Fee Committee and Alpha Delta Phi fraternity.

This fall I am studying at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. The 2011/2012 school year is the first year Foster has an exchange agreement with CBS for undergraduates so I get to be the guinea pig. With more than 17,000 students (including more than 750 exchange students per semester!), it’s pretty impressive that the CBS administration finds a way to squeeze everyone into only four campus buildings. 

Once a year in Copenhagen the city hosts its Kulturnatten or culture night. This event, not widely advertised to tourists, draws a lot of locals out for an October Friday night. A little background information: students typically have week 42, called potato week, off from school. The name originates from back when the children were needed to help harvest the potato crops, so they got the week off from school. Now, most students through high school have the week off, while some college students have exams (I was lucky and got to spend my week writing a 10 page, 48 hour essay exam). Back to Kulternatten. Kulternatten is the Friday before the week 42 break.

On Kulternatten, most of the city’s attractions and government buildings are opened up to anyone who purchases a ~$10 ticket. There are over 500 attractions, so you really have to choose carefully what you want to see. Everything from museums, to parliament, to Tivoli, to the local amusement park is fair game. I decided to spend the night with some of the other recipients of the Scan|Design fellowship, and the Danish program coordinator kindly showed us around.

We started our night off by climbing the steps of the Round Tower. I had been up the Round Tower during my first week as part of the CBS introductory program, but it was interesting to see the city lit up at night, especially with all the people walking around. Then we headed to parliament, but the line was very long so we decided not to wait.

 

 

 

Outside of parliament, there was a competition to see who could stack and climb the greatest number of Coca-Cola crates. Most people only got a handful but this little girl was amazing!

After walking through the courtyard of the Finance Department, we walked by the Department of Defense, where they had an emergency response vehicle and a Danish army tank parked outside. My favorite part of the night was getting to sit inside the tank, although I couldn’t understand the Danish soldier explaining to everyone what it’s like to ride in a tank in Afghanistan. 

We finished the night by visiting City Hall. Near the entrance we saw a celestial clock that was commissioned by a Danish king and has a gear that turns with a frequency of one revolution per several thousand years. Finally, we tried some pancakes from the City Hall cafeteria, which are quite famous in Denmark. They tasted pretty good and were similar to crepes.