After attending 1 week of classes, we are off to visiting Western Denmark aka Jylland with my European Business Strategy core class. If there are any readers to this post, it’s going to be a boring recap of my day to day activities for the week. Stray away if you were hoping for something more reflective because this is just going to be a detail dump.
We started our core course week journey to our first company visit conveniently located near Frue Plad, Vipp – the designer garbage can. It was raining in the morning and honestly all I wanted to do was to sleep on the bus, but nope, we had to walk to Vipp since the bus cannot stop near the location. The owner of Vipp told a very interesting and touching story of how the business came about. They business strategy to be better position in the market is by increasing their price. I cannot imagine buying a designer garbage can, but surely it has a good enough market to sustain itself.
Finally we hopped on the bus to western Denmark and our first destination is the Egeskov Slot Castle, one of the oldest and best preserved castle in Denmark. The surrounding area was nice, but with the gloomy weather, it was not very picturesque. Many parts of the castle was closed off so we were not able to explore much.
We stayed in the Danhostel in Skanderberg in these cute red cabins. The cabins were very nice. I claimed one of the beds in the attic. The class had dinner in the hostel. Considering it was a hostel buffet, the food wasn’t too bad. Afterwards, there was a bit of confusion of when we should be gathering around the fire place. Instead of making s’mores, it’s a Danish traditional to make snobrød – roasting dough on a stick to make bread.
We started the day off with a visit to Hummel in Aarhus. I think most of us agreed this was everyone’s favorite presentation. Hummel has a relaxed culture where the presenters were all wearing Hummel shoes. Despite their global vision, Hummel is mainly popular in Aarhus. After the presentation we had a chance to explore the city of Aarhus, the closest thing to a college town in Denmark. It was a nice quite town that I can never imagine living in; I’ll be so bored. We passed by this cool art exhibition. Large metal freight storage containers were reused as musical instruments. Unfortunately, we could not stay for the concert, but it would’ve been cool.
Next stop, Fængslet State Prison Museum. I was quite looking forward to this except once again, many sections of the actual prison was not open to the public.
We stayed in another chain of the Danhostel in Horsens. This hostel was not as clean looking as the first one. I tried hard not to think about the possible creatures lurking around in the room, ugh.
I was really excited for the arranged Bowl ‘n’ fun buffet for dinner. I later learned that it’s not out of the ordinary to have a buffet setup in bowling alleys here in Denmark. First buffet, then 1 hour of bowling. I shied away from telling people that I used to be on the bowling team since I’m such an incompetent bowler. This will remain a secret from my class even though I outplayed my competitor :).
I think you instantly become everyone’s favorite professor when you offer to drop your students off at a liquor store. ‘Nuff said about that night.
During the last day in western Denmark, we visited the Dansk Supermarked. We seem to be visiting larger companies each time and you notice how the company organizational structures also become taller. Despite being known for flat organizations, Danish institutions cannot escape the hierarchical practice with growing companies. I was hoping to ask the presenters why the logo of Netto is a dog carrying a basket. I thought Netto was the Danish Petco when I first arrived in Copenhagen. Wouldn’t you think a store with a dog carrying a basket logo be a pet shop of some sort?
The class had an arranged lunch at Helnan Aarslev hotel for a traditional open burger meal. Actually, the piece of bread was so small that I didn’t even realize that there was one under the massive patty. We were supposed to glaze the beef patty with a layer of the beaten raw egg yolk provided and add horse radish, pickled peas, and red beets on top. The horse radish tasted like wasabi so I opted out on that.
We ended the trip with a visit to the ARoS Art Museum. We’ve been complaining about having too much time to spend in each location. This time we actually wished that we had more time to explore ARoS. I think everyone in my class would agree that the 360 Rainbow Panorama on the rooftop. It’s a simple, yet amusing massive piece of art. The Boy was also a notable artwork in the museum. This gigantic life-like sculpture of a boy brings the attraction to the second floor of the museum.
The last two days of the core course week was spent back in Copenhagen. The concluding company visits include: