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Snapshots: CBS staff busy preparing for a new semester

Hallways and staff have been longing for the busy buzz of the students starting their new semester. Months of preparations have gone into this. Photo: Birgitte Ramsø Thomsen

For the staff at CBS, the weeks and sometimes even months leading up to study start are spent busily preparing for new and returning students and a brand-new semester.

News |   31. Aug 2023

Emilie Jacobsen

Freelance journalist

For many employees at CBS, preparing for study start begins months before the new and current students stream into the university after the summer holidays. CBS WIRE met up with five of them to hear how they prepare, whether they are doing anything new this year, and what they are personally looking forward to about this year’s study start.

The bookstore

In the bookstore, Academic Books, preparations for study start begin in April and May for bookseller Casper Jesswein and his colleagues. They go through the books from the previous semester and contact all the lecturers about which books will be on the curriculum for next semester and whether they need a lecturer’s copy.

Bookseller Casper Jesswein from Academic Books. The bookstore is non-profit, meaning that any revenue goes back to the students. Photo: Emilie Jacobsen

After a short summer holiday, they start contacting publishing companies to get good deals on the books. Something they have put extra effort into this year.

“Book prices have gone up due to inflation and the general rise in commodity prices, which is why we worked extra hard on getting good deals this year,” says Casper Jesswein.

He is looking forward to the students returning to the university.

“I like the buzz of students the first week, and then business picks up the next week when the second-and third-year students return as well. I like how there is life with people talking both in the shop and on campus again,” he says.

The library

Academic Librarian Liselotte Brandstrup and her colleagues at CBS Library start preparing for study start in the spring. She works on making sure that all the literature on the curriculum is available at the library as e-books.

Academic Librarian Liselotte Brandstrup. All students are automatically registered users at the library, but you must activate your account to use it. Photo: Emilie Jacobsen

In September, the library runs campaigns on social media sharing tips and tricks for both new and returning students on how to use the library and will be hosting several courses and events throughout the fall to help students find the right resources.

This year, the library will also offer one-on-one guided tours of the library for students with special needs.

“And then we hope that many students will come by and place a pin in the large world map we will put up,” Liselotte Brandstrup says. The pins will signify the different students’ origins and show the diversity of CBS.

Liselotte Brandstrup personally always looks forward to study start.

“It is always a great time. I like it when the library is full of people I can help,” she says.

The room planners

Dea Kopp Jensen, special consultant, and her colleagues in LOK – Events and Rooms Allocation – are probably some of the first to start working towards the fall semester and study start. March is when they begin planning where the different classes will meet. Dea Kopp Jensen has allocated the rooms for the many different introduction week events held by the degree programmes.

When CBS WIRE met her in mid-August, she was cross-referencing the introduction-week day plans with the rooms assigned. Even with double checking and the fact that the study start guides have been able to influence the plan, she expects changes to it when the introduction week starts.

“If it rains the entire week, they will be inside a lot more. If the sun shines, they tend to be outdoors,” she explains.

Special Consultant Dea Kopp Jensen from LOK – Events and Rooms Allocation. Photo: Emilie Jacobsen

Another thing that LOK has double-checked this year is that room numbers in the programme match those in the calendar. Last year, especially exchange students were confused because the programmes differed from their calendars.

Despite study start being a busy time, Dea Kopp Jensen is looking forward to the new and returning students arriving:

“It will be nice when there is more life in the buildings again. It is always a special time when the university fills with students. CBS has been quiet since the exams ended in June, and the silence over the summer sort of acts as a reminder that we are here for the students,” she says.

The cafeteria

In Jespers Torvekøkken, CBS production manager Jan Stoltenberg and his colleagues start preparing for the fall semester right after they get back from the summer holiday.

Production Manager Jan Stoltenberg from Jespers Torvekøkken CBS, which manages the cafeterias. Photo: Emilie Jacobsen

“We have a ton of work to finish before the students show up at CBS: cleaning the kitchens after they have been closed for the summer, hiring new staff, making new menus, and following up on new ideas that we did not have time for in the spring,” he says.

He explains that the quiet time before study start is a good time for planning. He sees the study start as a sort of rollercoaster:

“We wait for the students, anticipating their arrival, then work hard throughout the semester and when we reach December, we are tired and looking forward to a break again,” he says with a grin.

The teacher

Associate Professor in statistics Anders Rønn-Nielsen starts preparing well before the summer holiday despite the fact that he is teaching subjects that he has for taught several years.

“I feel that if I simply reuse my material from last year, the teaching will become poorer. Because of that, I go through my notes from last year and try to come up with new examples as well as working through the material I have written. My philosophy is that it does not work if I do the same as last year,” he says.

Associate Professor in statistics Anders Rønn-Nielsen. Photo: Maja Golebiowska

Besides this, Anders Rønn-Nielsen has a lot of practical assignments to complete before study start – such as updating the class web page, giving the basic information on reading material to both the students and Academic Books, and coordinating with the in his classes to make sure that their schedules fit with the classes they are teaching. Besides this, he tries to finish as many elements of his research as possible before study start.

He is always excited to meet the new students:

“I’m curious to know how the new students will respond to my teaching. After the first week, I’ll have a good feeling about the new students and the new semester,” he says.


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