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It’s time to run for office: “I have learned more than I otherwise would have in 10 years”

Woman in black shirt standing on balcony

Sarah Langkjær is half-way in her two-year term as student representative in the CBS Board of Directors. She hopes that the new student representative will be motivated on behalf of CBS. (Photo: Anne Thora Lykkegaard)

Students can now run for positions on the Academic Council and Board of Directors. Two current members share their experiences and underline why students should run. “You learn how to get your message and opinions across in a setting with many different stakeholders,” says a representative from the Academic Council.

News |   19. Oct 2021

Anne Thora Lykkegaard

Journalist

The fall semester at CBS is not only about semester start, Student Society Day, career fairs and occasional exams. The fall semester also brings the annual elections for the study boards, the Academic Council, and the CBS Board of Directors.

But what has the Academic Council to do with the students’ everyday lives at CBS? And will the decisions made by the CBS Board of Directors have an impact in the classroom?

A lot and yes, are the simple answers to the questions above.

But Tomas Vemola, Vice President at CBS Students and student representative in the Academic Council, and Sarah Langkjær, student representative on the CBS Board of Directors, are happy to elaborate.

“Obviously, the themes we deal with on the Academic Council are linked to academia and research, but education is a big part of that. So, naturally, the students’ perspectives are also important,” says Tomas Vemola, one of the three student representatives on the Academic Council.

Man in black shirt standing in sunshine
Tomas Vemola is both Vice President in CBS Students and student representative in the Academic Council. (Photo: Anne Thora Lykkegaard)

Sarah Langkjær, former President of CBS Students, was elected onto the CBS Board of Directors one year ago for a two-year term, and in her time in the board, the strategy and especially its implementation have been top priority.

“The board’s role is to set the strategic direction for CBS. We look at where we are going as a country and society, and how CBS can contribute to that. For example, this means, we ask ourselves what qualifications our students will need,” she says and continues:

“On the board, we set the vision for CBS and view the organization from a bird’s eye perspective, and in that sense, the students’ voices matter. And not only do they matter, our opinions are as valuable as the other members’.”

“There’s a lot to read, but…”

In the coming weeks, students can run as candidates for both the Academic Council and CBS Board of Directors elections, as well as running for election onto the study boards.

For the Academic Council, three new student representatives will be elected, [one for/and one new student representative is needed] for a two-year term.

Both Tomas Vemola and Sarah Langkjær admit that it takes time to get up to speed with the work on both the council and the board, and that a lot of reading is required before the meetings. But the time spent is all worthwhile.

“I spent quite a while figuring out how the council operates, but being a member has also taught me a lot about how change is managed at CBS. When we discuss a topic, it is very interesting to see how people with years or even decades of experience handle it,” says Tomas Vemola.

Sarah Langkjær took a seat on the board after being both Vice President and President of CBS Students.

“There’s a lot to read, but it’s all about your university, so for me it’s really interesting and exciting. You get insight into the organization that you’d never usually get, and all of a sudden, some things you have experienced or wondered about at CBS make sense,” she says and continues:

“It can initially seem a little overwhelming to be on the board for two years, but I can tell you, you become very skilled and you learn so much. I would say that just this year, I have learned more than I would have otherwise in maybe 10 years. And now is a good time to join the board, as we are in the middle of implementing the strategy, and now we will start seeing changes in the organization.”

Voice your opinion

Tomas Vemola explains that when joining the Academic Council, a lot of help is available. For example, CBS Students hosts events for the elected candidates, both to strengthen their networks, but also to coach them on what it is like to occupy  the positions.

“You are not on your own in this. On the Academic Council, you are together with two other students, and it’s a lot of fun as well. You learn how to get your opinion across in a setting with many different stakeholders, and where you don’t necessarily know the whole context of every point on the agenda,” he says.

Sarah Langkjær is excited about the year ahead on the Board of Directors and hopes that a new candidate will want to work with the longtime visions for CBS.

“I wanted to join the CBS Board of Directors as I believe CBS has the potential to do even better and contribute more to society as a whole, by educating the future of Danish business society on how to work with global challenges in a business context,” says Sarah Langkjær.

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