In Your Own Words: Poul Skovgaard, Senior Project Manager, PostNord
”The picture is taken at my office, where I work with developing market entry e-commerce concepts for Nordic companies in cooperation with the World’s largest postal service, China Post. This often takes me to The Middle Kingdom to build international relations.” (Photo: Private photo)
What were you like when you studied at CBS?
I had become a certified international freight forwarder before starting at CBS, so I was 3-4 years older than most of my classmates. My advantage compared with several of my HA (BSc in Economics and Business Administration) classmates was probably that I had a clear idea from the beginning about what I was going to do with this degree - but that difference was neutralised even during the first study year.
From the very start I became part of a good team, we stuck together through the entire programme and onwards to the master's programme. This meant that in particular the many projects along our way were very positive learning experiences with a logical division of labour according to our key competences.
How did you get your first job after graduating from CBS?
I was actually already working before I graduated. Something that proved a particular challenge for the master's thesis, but it was eventually completed.
So to me, the difference between before and after graduation was that the head hunters started calling when I graduated – because there were not many academics in the logistics sector at the time. It was a brand new and exciting world for me to suddenly be sought-after.
What is the most valuable experience you gained at CBS that you still use in your daily work?
The project work during my studies was quite similar to what I have experienced in my professional life. However, I will say that there is of course not the same time for immersion, so you should remember to appreciate that during your studies. And that is surely also one of the reasons why e.g. master's theses often receive very high marks; because the work is just very thorough. Of course the theory I learned has also been very useful to me – particularly in the areas of management, logistics and marketing.
Which moments in your career have been defining - and why?
There have luckily been several of those already. In general I will say that the first job with management and staff responsibility is a very educational experience. As I have mentioned, the master's degree gave me a flying start. Since then I have been talented/fortunate enough to be picked for a management development programme in a larger international group. In addition to personal development, it has also given me many good contacts around the world. And in my current job with PostNord, I am involved in business development of e-commerce in China – a development that is moving rapidly forward, and in that sense have defining moments practically on a daily basis.
Have you maintained a relation with CBS since you graduated – and if yes, how?
Together with one of my former classmates – today a manager with Nordea – I took the initiative 6-7 years ago to get "the old gang" together, and we have since met about once a year. We often have a professional presentation followed by a good dinner, and we have also been to CBS. Several of our old classmates now live abroad and travel from e.g. Norway and Italy to join us.
I am also an external examiner in SCM (Supply Chain Management) e.g. for cand.merc. (MSc in Economics and Business Administration) and MBA at Danish business schools e.g. CBS, and through this work I meet many skilled international students, CBS staff and professors.