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A university that links academics and career

Written by Petar Petrov, MSc Graduate in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership (cand.merc.sol)

My name is Petar Petrov, and I come from Sofia, Bulgaria. In September 2020, I graduated from Aarhus BSS after successfully defending my Master thesis. The main topic was a case study about Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy exploring the role and use of digital dashboards and business intelligence (BI) methods for Business Performance Management. 

A futuristic library and a feeling of freedom

My journey in Denmark started back in the summer of 2015 when I moved to Aarhus to study a Bachelor's program in Marketing and Management Communication at Aarhus BSS.

Read about an MSc in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership >>

Arriving in August 2015, I was really excited and full of expectations to both the study program and the student life in Aarhus. In the beginning, it was difficult because I didn‘t know anyone and everything was so different from what I was used to back in Bulgaria.

However, in time you get to meet more people and start to explore the perks of being a student. Aarhus turned out to be a vibrant and highly international student city. To me, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University is everything a campus should be. It has an awesome and futuristic library at the heart of the university park. You can enter the school 24/7, and it’s much more than just an educational institution. It’s a place to hang out. It can be quite crowded sometimes, but as students we have lots of possibilities and we can be flexible, independent, and structure our own time. 

In Denmark, there’s a lot of focus on the study group. In Bulgaria, it’s more about yourself, you have to learn things by heart, and the environment is not that stimulating. Here, we are free, but we also have responsibility. To me, this balance makes for a very stimulating environment.

Biking during the long summer days along my favorite bike path in-between Risskov forest and the sea. Private photo.

Career events and broader horizons

There are also a lot of activities and events organized at the campus, in many cases by the students themselves through various student organizations and groups. During my Bachelor's studies, I came across by chance to a political science association that was organising a trip to Moscow. Personally, I enjoy reading about history and visiting Moscow for an educational trip was a dream of mine. So, I contacted the political science students that were organizing the trip – and I decided to join! It was an awesome experience that broadened greatly my horizon of the world!

In addition, one of the highlights of each academic year is Aarhus Symposium. It is a unique one-week experience with an overall theme and several tracks where key decision-makers and leaders of today are invited to share their experiences and engage in discussions with students.

I was fortunate to participate in the 2018 Symposium under the theme Creating Connections. Having the opportunity to listen, ask questions, and learn from leaders like Niels B. Christiansen (current CEO of Lego Group) and Søren Skou (CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk) was a memorable and truly inspiring life experience for me. If you are interested, check this link to get the feeling.

Study trip in Moscow. Private photo.

High academic standards and critical thinking

Academically, we read lots of academic articles and texts. In the beginning that might feel intimidating and overwhelming. You may even ask yourself: what the purpose of all that theory is?

Looking back retrospectively and from my experience, the theory that is taught at Aarhus BSS is fundamental for developing your analytical capabilities, critical thinking, and mental models that will serve you as a solid foundation - which you can later apply in many different practical contexts.

One of our professors used to say that “theories are different pairs of glasses through which you observe practical reality.” I can only agree. During my studies, I worked as a student worker in Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and although sometimes I could not apply the theory directly, my theoretical knowledge helped me to see through and understand how small tasks fit into in a bigger picture.

Last but not least, I regard both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes at Aarhus BSS as highly modernized and adapted to the dynamic world we live in. The subjects and the topics we discuss are contemporary and thought-provoking.

Critical thinking is highly praised and encouraged. We are divided into small study groups and supervised by our teachers we solve real life business cases.

After every lecture or tutorial, I felt empowered and inspired to read and learn more

Sometimes it is hard to balance social life and studies. There are so many exciting things and events to grab your attention - sometimes you feel that 24 hours are just not enough.

If you want to know more about Aarhus BSS, the MSc Strategy, Organisation and Leadership programme, career and academics, or being a student in Aarhus as a whole, feel free to contact me. I will happily answer all your questions.

My email is peter18dp@gmail.com.

You can also find me and connect on LinkedIn.