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New competencies can be a way out of the crisis – By Jørgen Rudbeck Published 30.01.14 at 14:58 at ShippingWatch – an interview with Irene Rosberg, Program Director, Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics (The Blue MBA) Copenhagen Business School
At the Blue MBA program at CBS the students can develop new strategies on behalf of their companies, and an constantly growing field of students have used the program to escape from the crisis.
The Blue MBA program at the Copenhagen Business School has clearly felt the financial slowdown, but while this has led to a crisis in many other industries, the educational institution has felt it as a growing interest in its maritime program.
“We have had our largest intake during the times when the industry was severely hit by the economic downturn. I believe the reason is that more and more the shipping and shipping related industries are realizing and appreciating the value of what the program provides to them. The program has over and over proven that the participants bring a lot of value to the companies they are representing, ” says Blue MBA Program Director Irene Rosberg, CBS, referring to the fact that the students, in addition to their module assignments, also prepare a final Integrating Strategy Project which is based on their current company. Many students opt to use this project as an opportunity to implement much of the theory they are taught by the program to practical issues at their companies, and the companies get a chance to have a strategic problem analyzed, or the chance to try out a new venture.
”The focus of our participants is mainly to design and develop strategies which can keep their companies competitive in the global shipping market and implement those strategies, ” says Irene Rosberg.
Broader than shipping
There are 41 students currently enrolled in the two-year program, which involves attending six one-week modules in Copenhagen, one in Hamburg and one in London. Since early 2001, when 12 students graduated from the program at CBS, an additional 150 students from all over the world have passed the final exam, and according to Irene Rosberg the program has changed significantly during that time.
“When comparing the more recent cohorts with those of the start of the program there is a distinct difference, in the past the participants came from core shipping businesses, shipping companies, but as we have grown so has our expansion to industries supporting the shipping industry. Today more and more of our participants are coming from shipping related industries and those industries supporting the core shipping business. This for us is a major achievement as more and more shipping related industries recognize the value of our education and as a result we can now cast our net even wider, ” she says.
Difference as a force
The changes in the program have happened as a direct result of the changes in the requirement of the maritime industry as well as the fact that the students have changed, and that the student body no longer consists entirely of students from the inner circle of shipping companies.
“The current class is composed of 41 students from 18 different countries, with a very diverse background. This diversity is very apparent, not only in their nationality and gender, but also in the professional background they bring into the classroom and the segment of the industry they represent. This is a major contributor to creating a good environment for discussions and exchange of ideas as well as an excellent dynamic. This diversity is very important for us as we believe that our participants not only learn from their professors and lectures but also from each other and we would like to keep this alive, ” says Irene Rosberg.
“I also believe that in today’s competitive world, to keep a good position in the market you need to have a good knowledge, not only about the business that you are in, but also about all the other relevant industries around your core business which impact your performance. It is therefore the diverse student body and the holistic view of shipping that the program adopts a great advantage, ”