Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

CBS Business moves its on-campus counselling online

Like all employees at CBS, Frank Nordahl, Career Counsellor & Coach, has withdrawn to his private home to work from there.

While coronavirus has broken out in the whole wide world and the campus at CBS is closed, CBS Business is moving all its activities, counselling services and events to the world wide web. There’s a lot to be uncertain about these days, but CBS Business wants all students to know for certain that help is available – from a safe distance.

Coronavirus |   26. Mar 2020

Kasper Christensen

Journalist

The coronavirus epidemic has forced us to stay inside and keep away from friends and family. At the same time, all bars, cafés, museums, shopping malls, schools and universities have been shut down.

Indeed, this is an unusual situation. But even though CBS’ campus is physically closed, business goes on as usual: students are still unsure of which student job to apply for, and which career path they should choose for themselves. At any rate, that is what CBS Business is experiencing.

Therefore, CBS business has been working hard recently on relocating its on-campus activities online to help students to write great resumes, prepare for job interviews and clarify which career directions to choose.

Viral counselling

A few days ago, CBS Business announced on Facebook that career counselling activities and events are now available online in order to help students plan their future careers while forced to stay at home by the circulating coronavirus.

“Despite all the uncertainties students might be experiencing right now, they should know that we are here to help. That’s for certain,” says Chillie Barnkob, Manager at CBS Career, from her home office.

“Right now, we want to make sure that all of our students and soon-to-be graduates who are focusing on seeking jobs and clarifying their career paths know that we are here to help them in spite of the situation and campus being closed,” Careers Manager at CBS Chillie Barnkob says and continues:

“We usually have a lot of students making use of our Open Counselling, career seminars and events on campus. And by moving our services online, we can continue to support the students when they need assistance,” she says.

According to Chillie Barnkob, this means that CBS Business has initiated career counselling both over the phone and via online chats. The phone counselling is available on weekdays from 12:00 to 14:00 and students must book 20-minute time slots in advance on the online job portal, Careergate. Booking is not needed for online chats.

CBS Business also uses Careergate to disseminate various online initiatives from its network partners DJØF (a trade union), and CA and AKA unemployment funds, who, due to the unique situation, have also cancelled all physical events and are now also moving online.

And besides providing phone counselling, online chats and online services from the associated unemployment funds and unions, CBS Business is also about to offer a range of virtual events online starting in April with a virtual consulting night.

Since CBS closed its doors following the coronavirus outbreak, CBS WIRE has published stories about students desperately trying to find out what to do about teaching, exams and deadlines for handing in theses. Apparently, students have more to worry about than writing resumes and seeking jobs at the moment, and Chillie Barnkob acknowledges that.

“It’s not as if we are being overrun by students who need our help at the moment, and that’s not what we expect right now either,” she says and emphasizes:

“But despite all the uncertainties students might be experiencing right now, they should know that we are here to help. That’s for certain,” Chillie Barnkob says, pointing out that a large group of students will soon graduate and may need career consulting.

Nevertheless, CBS Business recently posted on Instagram asking students about their engagement in the next step of their careers. According to CBS Business, of the 250 students who responded, 75 percent stated that they are both studying and looking for fulltime employment, a student job or an internship.

Business as usual

Normally, Career Counsellor & Coach Frank Nordahl works from the CBS Career office at Solbjerg Plads counselling students, which includes preparing for job interviews and writing great resumes. But now, like most other employees at CBS, he has withdrawn to his private home to work from there.

His usual face-to-face conversations have been replaced by phone counselling on weekdays from 12:00 to 14:00, and as many other people are now finding, this new way of working is quite different and somewhat challenging.

“Normally, it’s very useful being able to see how students react to what I say. At the same time, when I physically meet the students, I can visualize things, look at their resumes and provide feedback directly. I cannot do this in the same way over the phone,” says Frank Nordahl and continues:

“So, in some ways, counselling over the phone is rather challenging, but it works as an alternative at a time like this,” he says.

Although the phone counselling alternative is still quite new, Frank Nordahl’s phone has definitely not been silent since the initiative was launched.

“Some of the students still need to realize that they can receive phone counselling. But ever since it was announced, the number of counselling bookings has been increasing day by day. So it seems likely to work well,” he says.

Although everything is not how it was before the coronavirus broke out, nothing has changed when it comes to the subjects discussed at the counselling sessions, according to Frank Nordahl.

“From the conversations I have had with students so far, I can say that they still want to seek jobs and receive help in order to find employment. Not a single one of them has used the word ‘corona’, so in many ways it’s business as usual,” he says.

The students are bringing the same issues to the table in the phone counselling sessions as before COVID-19 led to a closed campus, and that does not surprise Frank Nordahl much. And actually, he thinks that the current situation has given students more time to use wisely.

“Now, more than ever, students have more time to invest in writing a great application, structuring their resumes and looking for job opportunities. So it makes sense that we are still hearing from a lot of our students who need feedback and advice on how to move on in their search for jobs and careers,” he says.

Virtual events

When campus is open, plenty is always going on in the halls of CBS. If not for COVID-19, some of the events scheduled to be held these weeks were ComCase, Danish Sales Competition and Career Seminars.

But right now, CBS Business is working on virtual solutions for Career Counselling and Career Seminars. And one of the more concrete solutions they are currently working on is a virtual CBS Consulting Event with a planned launch date of 22 April, 12:30-15:00.

The purpose of the event is clear: Students and alumni who are curious about a career in consulting can meet representatives from the industry.

Although the online consulting event has not yet been fully planned, Relations Manager at CBS Business Mette Schroll Bennekou is happy to unveil some details on how the event will take place.

“I hope there will be just as many companies and students attending as we’re used to at our physical events,” says Mette Schroll Bennekou, Relations Manager at CBS Business, from her home office.

“Normally at Consulting Night, the invited companies hold presentations describing their operations in one room, and afterwards the students can meet with the representatives of the companies at their stand in the hallway and ask them questions,” she explains and continues:

“Online, we also imagine that students will be able to approach the companies, but at a virtual stand where they can chat with the representatives and ask questions.”

Usually, Mette Schroll Bennekou explains, at the physical events, students can walk around freely, approach the different companies and ask questions. In the virtual version of the event, CBS Business also wants companies to be able to contact the students and invite them to a small online chat.

“The companies can then communicate with students whom they think have interesting profiles. Therefore, ultimately, companies could connect and communicate with students who end up being their future employees,” she says.

Finally, CBS Business is hoping to facilitate company presentations as a webinar, where students can ask questions live during the presentation.

To summarize, CBS Business has a range of ambitions linked to moving online, including the Virtual CBS Consulting Event, which Mette Schroll Bennekou emphasizes has yet to be planned in detail.

However, Mette Schroll Bennekou’s expectations for the event are clear.

“I hope there will be just as many companies and students attending as we’re used to at our physical events,” she says.

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