Alum of the year boasts international career

Board memberships in Danish companies and a summerhouse in the Jutland peninsula of Mols allow Marianne Kirkegaard to maintain a connection to Denmark after many years abroad.

[Translate to English:] Foto: Kasper Hornbæk
[Translate to English:] Foto: Kasper Hornbæk

Now she can add 2019 Alum of the Year at Aarhus BSS to an already impressive CV.

“I’m extremely proud of this title and also of the fact that I can still be used as an ambassador after having taken the liberty of living outside Denmark for the past 12 years,” says Marianne Kirkegaard.

Marianne Kirkegaard and her family have lived in the US since 2011 when she was offered a position in CSM Bakery Solutions headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. After a series of prominent positions, she assumed the top position as CEO and president of the company in 2016.

However, even before Marianne Kirkegaard moved to the US her family were already used to following her around when she was stationed abroad. Particularly by Unilever where she was working when she was approached by CSM Bakery Solutions.

Marianne Kirkegaard’s international career is no coincidence, but the result of a targeted plan developed while she was still a student of Economics and Business Administration at the former Aarhus School of Business in the early 1990s.

“Eight of us got the chance to study abroad in San Francisco and this inspired me to pursue an international career,” explains Kirkegaard, whose first stint abroad was for Unilever in Prague, the Czech Republic.

She completed her Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1993, and what she remembers most about her time as a student is actually being young in Aarhus.

“We had some great professors and lecturers and let’s face it; Aarhus is a great city when you’re young,” she says.

Apart from her summerhouse in the Jutland peninsula of Mols, her board memberships in the Aarhus-based companies Salling Group and Aarhus-Karlshamn allow Marianne Kirkegaard and her family to maintain a connection to Denmark in general and with Eastern Jutland in particular.