Alumni Gather to Celebrate the CBS MBA’s 25th Anniversary

On Friday 27 September 2019, MBA alumni and students gathered for a glorious celebration of the CBS MBA Alumni Society’s 25th anniversary. 400 guests strolled down the red carpet to join the party and reunite with their classes in the beautiful setting of Hotel D’Angleterre in Copenhagen.
“The Executive MBA was born out of a vision to create something that was just as good as the elite American MBA programmes. And a vision to attract the best talent to CBS, and provide management education at an international level” said MBA Director Poul Hedegaard as he welcomed alumni, students and their partners – some of whom had travelled all the way from USA, Iceland, India, Italy, UK, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and, the longest distance travelled, Australia.

“During the past 25 years, CBS has gone from a local business school of just a couple of thousand students to an international business university of 23.000 students” said Associate Dean of the Executive MBA, Professor Jesper Rangvid, as he introduced the first alumni speaker, Kim Lehmann, CEO of Kamstrup, who signed up for the very first Executive MBA class at CBS back in 1994. “It’s hard to imagine now, but one of our competitive advantages as we left the program was knowing how to use the internet and understanding the opportunities it offered”, said Kim as he reflected on his time at CBS. Having enjoyed an international career, he now heads up the company Kamstrup that makes sustainable water metering solutions.

Since the start of the programme, the MBA community has grown to more than 1600 alumni of 82 nationalities working across 60 countries making, it a highly diverse and international network. Full-time MBA alum from 2017 Khanya Vokwana, who came to CBS from South Africa, encouraged the community to make use of each other and contribute half a day every year to CBS, its students or the community at large. “It is a privilege to be able to take an MBA, a privilege that comes with a duty to make the most of it”, she said.

With 400 high achievers gathered in the room, Professor and Associate Dean Andreas Rasche spoke about applying a sustainability mindset in their leadership “Knowledge, systems thinking, and courage are the ingredients of a sustainability mindset within the MBA. This is what makes us a unique learning community – a community that is acknowledged way beyond Denmark, Scandinavia or even Europe. And we can and should be proud of this”.

Role models among the alumni are not hard to come by but one alum stood out and was selected for the Distinguished MBA Alum Award for his outstanding career. Peter Mægbæk, EMBA alum from Chapter 10 in 2004, received the award for being an outstanding MBA alum who transformed his Integrated Strategy Project into the broadband company, Fullrate, which was sold to his previous employer TDC. Following on from that, he founded a new successful company, Plenti, which he exited as well with an impressive result – only to found a new cable company, Fastspeed. “Congratulations Peter for being a role model that shows us how to get the best ROI of your MBA!” said vice-chair of the Alumni Society Board, Claudia Mathiasen as she handed over the award to Peter. “Looking back, I believe that the MBA is not only about gaining business skills, it is also about strengthening human skills. Success to me is not the absence of obstacles – it is about having skills to deal with them. This ability was strengthened immensely during my CBS Executive MBA. A journey, I highly recommend to anyone eager to learn and challenge themselves”, said Peter as he received the award.

Tables were buzzing the whole night and alumni networking across classes. As tables were cleared for the dancing to begin, MBA Director Poul Hedegaard gave his closing remarks: “I believe that this evening has demonstrated that the MBA Alumni Society is alive and kicking, and that your programs are thriving, and we look forward to seeing you back at CBS”