Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Mean There's More to Denmark Than CPH?

The past few days have been a total whirlwind.  My program, International Business, went on a three day field trip Thursday-Saturday.  We went to western Denmark, which is a really pretty and quirky place—definitely different from Copenhagen. 

First stop: Saxo Bank, just outside of Copenhagen.  Saxo is an online Danish investment bank, which has expanded itself into several international markets.  We were there for about three hours; the head of Marketing for Latin America, Spain and Portugal talked with us, then we had a tour of the building, and we ended on the trading floor.  The inside of the building is uh-maz-ing.  The current CEO passionately supports the arts, and has therefore filled the entire 5-floor building with (seriously expensive) modern art and sculptures.  It almost feels more like a gallery than a workplace. 

Exterior of building
Photo Cred: Vizeer.com

Interior staircase
Photo Cred: Vizeer.com
After the visit, we got back on the bus.  As you’ll see, this is pretty common.  Later that day we arrived in Silkeborg, Denmark.  Go kayaking on some random river in nice jeans and boots.  Starts to rain as soon as we get on the water.  Get drenched.  Off the water I go.  Dinner, out, home to our “quaint” hostel.  Read that last part how you will. 

Next morning we went to Bang & Olufsen.  This was my absolute favorite company visit.  B&O is a very exclusive electronics brand, producing technology for private consumers, car companies like Audi, Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and hotels, including the Mandarin and Four Seasons.  It was awesome to hear them talk about how they have positioned themselves in a niche market (they consider brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel closer competitors than Samsung or Phillips), weathered the financial downturn, protected themselves from counterfeit goods sold on the Internet and on streets, blah blah blah stuff that non-business majors are skimming right now.  

Stand outs:
  •  Toured the factory where all of their products are tested and made
  •  Played with a 103” flat screen TV, retailing for approximately 750,000 DKK, or 150,000 USD
  •  Sat in a room and felt the couch vibrating under my butt because the base on their speakers was incredible... cool.
Back on the bus.  Have been told that we are going to a wine and cheese tasting!  The day has started looking even better.  Drive, drive, drive.  Stop at random shack in the middle of nowhere (see exhibit A) and are told we are going CAVING.  As in, walking about the largest manmade limestone caves in the world in business casual… and then they feed me cheese.  And wine. 

Okay, sounds doable. 
Exhibit A
Walk around caves.  Scuff my flats (still a little annoyed), get dirt and possible bat by-product dropped on my head, feel slightly claustrophobic, and then, the coolest multimedia show I’ve ever seen.  The cave had fantastic acoustics, and they projected images onto the rock.  So neat.  Definitely do not go out of your way for the Monsted Kalkgruber, but hey, if you’re ever in the neighborhood…

Finally, they feed me the promised cheese and wine.  After all the build up, the experience was slightly anti-climactic.  It was, by far, the most stinky/rank/pungent cheese I have ever have ever smelt, but it apparently considered a delicacy in Germany.  

To complete our day, we drove to Herning, Denmark.  The hostel provided a great dinner – was not previously aware that this was possible – and then we took cabs into town.  Fun times, AKACarlsberg and KARAOKE, ensue. (You may or may not have heard, but in some circles I am known as a karaoke superstar.  Aguilera level.  No, possibly Adele level.  As are the other 20 year old American business students I was with.)  We gave the best renditions of Like a Prayer, Sweet Caroline, My Heart Will Go On, Wannabe, Bohemian Rhapsody, and two more hours worth of karaoke that bar and its patrons have ever heard.

Photo Cred: Britt Sands

Anddd the guys
Photo Cred: Britt Sands
I am getting carried away - I think I’ll just make a part two (or three if you count my landscapes from before). 


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