We want to strengthen the ties between alumni and CBS

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Networking is key. That is the message from Louise Seest who is to expand on CBS’ existing ties to the business community and build new bridges. In her point of view, CBS’ alumni are the business community, meaning that CBS Alumni is an integral part of CBS Business – and she is a bit jealous of you.

02/08/2017

Louise Seest, Director of CBS Business
Photo: Bjarke MacCarthy

Why do you think you were hired to do this job?

I am bringing a fresh outside in perspective with experience from both the private and the public sector. I believe the choice fell on me because I could demonstrate that I am good at building relationships, good at communications, and good at change management. And I have always been passionate about the educational sector. If you should talk about a meaningful job to me, then it is a job revolving around education.


CBS Business now comprises three focus areas: Partners, which will develop distinct business partnerships; Careers, which means working with the students and companies in the context of career development; and then Alumni, which is aimed at CBS’ many graduates.
Is this the right tool for the task and the right surfaces of contact to begin from?

Yes, it is the right tool and the right contact areas. The value of working with students in career contexts – for the benefit of the business community, society, and themselves – is great, actually defining of our society’s competitive position. Likewise is the value of working directly with companies critical to our ability to deliver research and education that matches the needs and wishes of the business community.

Our working alumni essentially are the business community. Our alumni know the wishes and needs of the business community from their everyday lives, while also being the persons who know our graduates better than anyone, as well as knowing what we have to offer. I see our alumni as central, equal partners in a dialogue. The more and the closer cooperation we can get with our alumni, the better.


What makes you believe that alumni are willing to engage in binding cooperation or even partnerships with CBS?

In the survey that we performed in the summer of 2016, 71 percent answered that they are willing to ‘give back’ to CBS. And in my short time here at CBS I have seen so many good examples of close collaboration with alumni; people who teach and engage as external examiners, people who mentor in different contexts, as members of our study programmes’ advisory boards, and as engaged partners in our career initiatives.

My task in relation to alumni is not to reinvent the wheel but to build on a solid foundation. But we must make the existing relation even more beneficial to both parties: Easier access to even more of CBS’ relevant research and more of the larger, interdisciplinary professional and social events that give alumni the opportunity to meet both their current contacts and expand their network with new, relevant contacts.


Have you paid much attention to networks and networking yourself?

Networking is key. I have always been careful to both nurture and expand my own network. I am, among others, an eager user of LinkedIn. My rule of thumb has always been that I first and foremost focus on giving and helping within my own network. Drinking a cup of coffee with a relation who has lost his or her job – maybe I can help them move on. Introduce the person to another good and relevant relation. Share experiences.

You get what you give – times two. That is just the way it is. I use my own network as a professional sounding board and inspiration in relation to specific projects, in connection to recruitment. Lately, I have expanded my network with new, exciting colleagues whom I have met on my visits at the departments at CBS.


What is your perception of CBS and the people you have met?

It has been incredibly inspiring to meet so many intelligent and dedicated people in such a brief period of time. I am humbled over my role in relation to the exciting and relevant issues that the researchers work so intensely and thoroughly with. I am humble in relation to the 100-year-old focus there is on cooperating with the business community and surrounding society.

I am also extremely proud to have become a part of an organization which puts so much effort into securing that our students get the best possible education within the best possible settings. With that level of commitment, I believe that we as a country will maintain our competitive strength and wealth – and manage to find a way through the big changes that characterize the time we live in.

But while there is a share of proactive and communicating researchers, there is also a share of knowledge here at CBS that we can become much better at bringing into play where it can be beneficial and bring value. In the business community and in the public sector; in the creation of strategies; in the business development – for the benefit of all of us. Just as there is much experience, wishes, and needs within the business community that we can become even better at incorporating in our work here at CBS.

I hope that I can contribute to greater knowledge sharing; strengthen the bridges between the business community and CBS.


You have two degrees – Master in Law from the University of Copenhagen and a diploma of journalism from the Danish School of Media and Journalism – are you an engaged alum yourself?

No, I am not. I envy the offers and benefits from CBS Alumni. If I were to be contacted with something similar, I would definitely not think twice about taking advantage of it. The first step to becoming an engaged alum is of course to know that your old educational institution wants to stay in touch with you. I have a lot of great feelings about my time as a student, but have not thought about engaging after finishing my degree.


Is there something, which you especially look forward to in your future contact with CBS’ alumni?

I most definitely look forward to Alumni Day, the big event in May. It will be the first large-scale alumni event at CBS in years and it is looking to become a spectacular gathering, both professionally, academically, and socially.

I am also very excited to see how the CBS Business Connect event for alumni and business partners in the autumn will turn out. I hope that many will participate and take part in debating the current society- and business-related topics that our researchers bring up. On that day you really must get a relevant update based on the most recent research. I am looking forward to it.

The page was last edited by: Alumni // 02/14/2017