Meet Pedro, a student from Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship

Why did I choose my programme (and CBS)?
I wanted to apply to a different programme at CBS, yet I could not do it, as I lacked ECTS. However, as I have always been drawn to graphic and editorial design, I was also curious to apply to the Royal Danish Academy. After reading the programme description and goals thoroughly, I found this to be the right fit to merge my communication background with the design field - that was my main motivation for applying, considering back then, I wanted to work as a Head of Communicactions in a design or architecture studio.

What do I like the best?
How interdisciplinary the programme is, but by far, the most thrilling part of the programme is the collaboration between CBS and Academy students. The first year is spent in cross-collaborative real projects - for instance, I worked in real cases for the Copenhagen Light Festival and Rigshospitalet (one of the leading hospitals in Denmark). Also, one of my favourite parts of the programme is sitting at the Academy's studio and watching my artsy classmates work on design or architecture projects and what that involves (i.e. software, ceramics...).

How do I experience the difference in academic level between my bachelor and master programme?
The master’s has been more independent oriented, which I believe is more of a cultural difference between studying in Portugal when compared to Denmark. Academically, I don’t feel a big difference because when I was a bachelor student in the social sciences field, I had to write a lot of reports. Nevertheless, I would say that a big difference was how much more 'freeing' I find the studies to be here in Denmark. The relation with the professors at CBS is quite 'one-to-one', of course still aware of the professional and academic respect of both parts.

What are the biggest challenges in my programme?
Coordinating between two institutions. However, it’s only a matter of time before you get the hang of it. At the beginning, getting used to all of CBS' software, internal platforms and more was a tad confusing – more, when multiplied by two, considering the Academy had similar platforms. Furthermore, working with art students is of great value, and at the same time, one of the challenges in the programme. It is a 'growth pain', as one of the goals of this master’s is to learn how creative professionals think, and for these to know "how business thinks".

What would I have liked to have known before starting my programme?
That contrasted to the first year, the second year is quite lonely. We move from an intense, collaborative and stimulating first year, where there is an almost 'creative ecstasy', to a quite independent second year. At first, it was pretty challenging to get used to it, but then you get easily acquainted to it. What helped was to think of this programme as two master’s programmes: the first year you learn about strategic design and entrepreneurship with fellow art students. The second year you specialise in whatever area you are fond of.

What do I want to do after finishing my programme?
Still pretty blurry, but I would like to work with design for the public sector. I am very interested in the role of public sector innovation labs, but more, how design-led practices can be included in governance in a systematic way instead of being a "one trick pony". Other student usually work as strategic design consultants in-house, or they do it as consultants (something I have definitely not excluded as well). 

If I could give myself a piece of advice, before starting it would be…
Align expectations. CBS and the Academy have a lot to offer. Problem is, there is only so much time available when you have to study, work, have a social life, cook and so on... I would have loved to be part of a CBS club, as I would have liked to have attended more conferences. Also, choose electives based on what you are curious about, even if just a hint. I chose some of my electives based on what I thought my thesis topic would be - plot twist, it did not happen. My favourite elective was in policy making, something I had never thought of.

The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 07/11/2023