Bridge between theory and real life corporate communication

13.12.2007

Students gained valuable insight into communication activities of global organisations as company representatives from Arla, Vestas and the UN were invited to three "Global communication in a Corporate Perspective" classes.

Students should not only learn theory. Rather, theoretical learning should be balanced by practical face-to-face input from the business community. This was Assistant Professor Line B. Ramsing's philosophy behind asking company representatives from Arla, Vestas and UN to participate in a 3rd semester course at the international MA programme in Corporate Communication.

Lectures with company representatives are of course nothing unusual at a business school. It is, however, rare that representatives participate in class teaching with only 20-30 students. The advantage of such smaller forums - compared to lectures - is that they enable focused dialogue between students and business representatives within a certain subject.

For three Friday classes a representative from a global organisation joined the "Global Communication in a Corporate Perspective" class. The students were not only introduced to the organisation's communication activities, but were also given the chance to have feedback on their own cases and to ask questions. The students were enthusiastic about the initiative:

- Meeting people from the business community in class has been really useful - especially as their experiences add perspective to the communication theories we have learnt so far. Both Vestas and Arla did, for instance, put great emphasis on time perspective and planning, for instance what should be communicated when and where when opening a new office in a new country. This is of course a very practical aspect, but none the less important when working with global communication, explains MA student Gitte Nielsen and adds:

- It is only a pity that company representatives only joined classes for three Fridays. But our two teachers have been really good at using interesting "real life" cases in the ordinary classes, so that has also been very useful. 

Be innovative
The last company representative was Jacob Kaarsbo, former Programme Officer at the UN DP who spent three years in Mozambique. His advice for future communication managers working in a cross-cultural environment was to be pragmatic:

- You have to be a bit innovative to make things work. It is really important to always remember the greater perspective, emphasises Jacob Kaarsbo.

Gitte Nielsen and probably many of her class mates are already heading for an international career:

- I will be moving to Holland after Christmas and I hope to write my master thesis in collaboration with a Danish company with international activities. I'm very much looking forward to an international career in strategic communication or marketing, says Gitte Madsen.

Further information
Assistant Professor Line Ramsing
Tel: +45 8948 6296 (ext.)
E-mail: lbra@asb.dk

312177 / i40