In Your Own Words – Jens Romundstad, the selling point of Fakta
What were you like when you studied at CBS?
I attended CBS over three rounds. Right after upper secondary school, I lived in a dorm and partied hard while doing a BSc in Economics and Business Administration. Then I did the first year of the Diploma Programme, while I was a young and ambitious entrepreneur with my second company. My last stint was in the Graduate Diploma programme while I was HR Development Manager at Dagrofa.
I guess I was probably a bit of a rebel while I was doing my bachelor. My family had moved abroad, which means I had to adjust to being pretty much on my own, only recently having become an adult. I quickly spent my childhood savings on a motorcycle, and finding the next party was never a problem.
But I learned to manage my life and structure my freedom. I’ve always been ambitious and found my way to a better way of being me. I worked more determinedly at my studies and ended up getting top grades, for example on my bachelor thesis.
How did you get your first job after graduating from CBS?
I’ve generally been good at creating my own opportunities. My job at Dagrofa came about because I worked as an external development consultant for the Group’s managers and delivered good results. I was also ready to stop working as a consultant and begin taking on more long-term responsibility for doing my part.
Which moments of your career have been defining – and why?
The change from HR manager to Sales Director for Fakta has, by far, been the most life-changing and developing experience for me. I went from being a business-oriented HR manager to an HR-oriented manager for a business, a role in which I thrive. But there’s also a completely natural difference between talking management as a consultant and actually being a manager for +3000 employees.
I’m the only academic in the management chain that I am part of, and the extremely tough level of competition in the industry puts great demands on having a deep understanding of the pragmatic and mercantile aspects while simultaneously playing a role in the even bigger context of Coop. Everything goes really fast. Two days are rarely the same, and it really suits me well that retail is so incredibly easy to benchmark.
What is the most valuable experience you gained while at CBS that you still use in your daily work?
That it is important to learn about management, but that it basically doesn’t matter how many [management] tools you have in your toolbox if you don’t actually use them or don’t use them correctly.
My education has provided me with a tremendous foundation for understanding both people and organisations. For me, management means using this understanding effectively, responsibly and motivationally to create positive development through people.
The most important thing I’ve taken with me from CBS is that the terms management and communication are two sides of the same coin, and that managing this knowledge in all of your relationships determines whether or not you are a good manager.
Have you continued to be involved with CBS since graduating?
No. But I do miss my study group sometimes. Perhaps it’s about time we met up for a good glass of red wine?