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Top CEOs: Travel, learn languages and be human

Stina Vrang Elias, CEO at the think tank DEA, thinks that students should learn other languages and remember to be human. (Photo: Anne M. Lykkegaard)

It’s not only about getting good grades and be hard working to succeed in the future job market. The business leaders, Stina Vrang Elias, Richard Emerton and Louise Seest put emphasis on the importance of being curious to the world, critical and human as crucial competences.

News / Film |   02. Jun 2017

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


These days master students from CBS finish their degrees. Many of them might even finish with the best of grades and see it as their one-way ticket to a great job. But good grades aren’t everything, argue CEOs from Denmark and The United Kingdom.

On Thursday 1st June, more than 600 CEOs from in- and outside Denmark gathered to discuss competences of the future at CBS during the Annual Top Executive Summit. And they are not in doubt about, what they see as important competences, when they are to hire new employees.

“Get yourself out of Denmark. Make sure you have travelled far and seen other places and don’t ever get stuck in the same area,” says Richard Emerton, Senior Partner and CEO at the consultancy, Korn Ferry in the UK.

He continues:

“The young executives who have done this has a breadth in their understanding of the world, we live in and its cultures, and it’s important as we live in a global world.”

Remember humanity in everything you do

Stina Vrang Elias, CEO at the think tank DEA agrees that going out of the country is as important as learning languages besides English.

But she also stresses in the video below, that newly graduates and future employees need to remember their humanity in the strive to become future leaders.

(Stina Vrang Elias, CEO at the think tank DEA talks about competences. Video: CBS WIRE)

Richard Emerton, who held a speech at the opening of the Annual Top Executive Summit, knows that the CEOs can be a scary bunch to talk to. But just as Stina Vrang Elias he asks to see beyond the title and many years of experience and see the person instead. It makes it less frightening.

“Be aware that every human to some extent has lacking confidence and insecurities, or something they aren’t particularly good at. Even the ones with a great title or a high age. Don’t ever feel you are not as good, just because the person in front of you is more experienced,” he says to CBS WIRE.

Richard Emerton also mentions that hard work and good grades will get you places, but there is more to it than that.

“Remember to constantly question what you see, and what you hear and have an enquiring mind set,” he says.

Meetings with business society is important

One thing is, what the CEOs would like the students to focus on in terms of competences, another thing is what the students are actually capable of, when they leave the university.

The Human Capital Analytics Group at CBS published a survey on 1st June investigating, what competences master students at CBS find important, and if they are equipped with those.

The students agree on, what competences they should have, but actually having them is quite a different story.

So, what is being done at CBS to make sure that the students are equipped with the right set of competences, when they leave the university?

Director of CBS Business, Louise Seest gives her answer to that, and what competences she sees as the most important ones at the moment in the video below.

(Louise Seest, Director of CBS Business, explains what CBS does to give students the right competences Video: CBS WIRE)


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