Graduate of the Year 2012

Shaking hands with University Director Michael Goodsite

I was awarded the prominent price of Graduate of the Year 2012 at Aarhus University Herning.

The price is awarded to a student who has had significant impact on the study environment at Aarhus University and I was awarded Graduate of the Year 2012 for my work with the Thought Leader Series.

At the graduation ceremony Friday the 29th of June, everything was just as any graduation ceremony should be. There were speeches from directors, students and a long process of diplomas being handed to all the proud and happy graduates. I was among the graduates and together with all my friends; I enjoyed receiving my second diploma in a week.

The last entry on the scheduled ceremony program was presentation of awards. A total of 10 students received prices all for their great results on their bachelor thesis. The very last price awarded was the price of Graduate of the Year 2012. I had absolutely no idea that I was a candidate to receive the price, and as the University Director Michael Goodsite was reading out loud the argumentation for awarding this year’s price, I was still in great doubt. However, my friends around me didn’t seem to doubt that much and a lot of turning heads and pokes from those within reach became a reality.

Being awarded the price among so many great students is an honour and I was truly happy and a bit proud to be the one shaking the hands of the University Director. The price symbolised the ending of a great three years of my life and it feels good looking back knowing that I made a significant impact that was recognised and appreciated by the university and the management.

Hug with Study Director Inger Hauge
Hug with Study Director Inger Hauge

The following speech was read out loud by Center Director Michael E. Goodsite at the ceremony:

” The student, who are to receive the award ”Graduate of the Year”, has contributed to the value of Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences, AU Herning in the best possible way. The student has taken a rare and original initiative to bring to AU Herning the experience and actions of real life companies. The initiative has made a difference for all students at AU Herning without exception. The student has in his spare time, next to his daily studies, and without any compensation, managed to arrange for a series of presentations, where CEOs with a nerve and thought have shared their story. Egetaepper, JBS, EG, Rationel, and MCH are just a few of the mid and western Jutlandic companies which have been represented in the “Thought-Leader Series”. The Students activities greatly support our strategic value ‘closeness to the Business Community’. The Student has also participated in our Buddy program to assist exchange student settle at AU Herning. The student is rich on initiative and a very responsible person. We have seen that this student has gone through an impressive personal development through his student life here at AU Herning – this is a flower that has been nourished by his study and social activities – and who is now UNIQ and ready to take new challenges. It is with pleasure we present the award to HAim graduate: Michael Alexander Hold. ,,

Read the article about the graduation ceremony at Aarhus University Herning from the regional newspaper here (Danish)

Find the news entry from the university here.

Thought-Leader Series

Alexander Hold - Thought Leader Series

During my time at Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology I founded and hosted a range of popular guest lectures under the name of the Thought Leader Series.

The concept of the guest lecture series was to invite CEO’s from the business community around the University to speak for the students about their way up the career latter, as well as giving a realistic image of how the theory taught at the university is practiced in the real market.

The guest lecture series was arranged next to my daily studies in my spare time, and I consider the Thought Leader Series as being my entrepreneurial hobby project. The project did not serve to earn money and was a total non-profit arrangement sponsored by Aarhus University.

Read about the CEO’s guest lecturing in the Thought Leader Series here.

The project was supported and sponsored by Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology, and the Thought Leader Series was recognized by the management.

The Thought Leader Series had great success and experienced its largest audience with its last guest lecture held by Georg Soerensen CEO of MCH.

Georg Soerensen CEO of MCH

Georg Soerensen - Thought-Leader Series

Before I am beginning this article, I must admit that retelling the message and giving the energy of Georg Soerensen’s guest lecture at Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology is close to mission impossible. However as Tom Cruise is making it in the movies, I will do my best to make it today.

Yesterday the 23 of March 2011, Georg Soerensen the CEO of MCH in Herning visited me in the Thought-Leader Series at Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology. I had been really excited up to this event, and especially excited about the outcome. Would the students show interest? Would I be able to fulfil my promises? And in total would the event be a success?

I have until today managed quite a few guest lectures, and in general quite successful once. However there was something about this event that made me a little more nervous than usual.

Georg Soerensen is perceived as one of the greatest business icons in the area around the university, and is a highly respected CEO, Board member, and public speaker. Therefor were the expectations for the lecture also high and everyone wanted the lecture to go well.

Georg opened his lecture by drawing a large clock on the blackboard, symbolizing “time”. Time is one of the greatest factors of need, in the modern society, and more or less everyone is hungering for more time. At least this was the perception and the opening of the lecture, leading to the conclusion that life must be lived in the moment.

Next drawing on the blackboard was a great heart capsuling one of the main messages on the lecture. The letters MMS, was listed on the blackboard, translated to English CGC, standing for Courage, Goal, and Cooperation. These tree words are essential for the rest of the articles, as well as they was essential for the guest lecture.

The heart is symbolizing the actual heart of you as human being. Only by following your heart, can you be truly honest, truly yourself and really good at what you are doing. Georg Soerensen said: “you will only become good at the things you like to do.” An acknowledged philosopher stated; “if you have made a mistake once, you have already made the next, until you have learned the lesson form the first.” This is not stating that it is wrong to make mistakes, but that making the same mistake twice is stupid. From hear we get the first C, Courage. Because you need courage to end up in the situation where you have made a mistake that you will have to learn a lesson from, and then move on. All this is only possible if you have the courage to take the first step, and jump into it.

Georg Soerensen is setting demands for his 230 full time + 1000 part time employees, but he is also aware that he must set demands for himself, and often take the lead to make people follow. As he said: “Make your own agenda, then you will not become a part of others. “

Georg was really good a visualizing his message and he showed how the referee in a football match is always deciding who gets to start. When the referee flips the coin, he either show the coin as he catches it, or he will smack it on to his other arm, to turn the coin in favour of the other team. This can also be related to doing business and it is important always to turn negative situations, into positive.

Even though Georg in the public sphere seems like a tough businessman, he convinced the audience that he actually was a really sensitive person. The audience was asked if it was strength to show weakness? Usually we don’t perceive weakness as strength, but Georg argued that weakness shows truly honesty and that there exist a real person underneath the surface of toughness.

Already at the beginning of the lecture Georg Soerensen stated that his teaching all was based on real life experience. It was not based on theory developed by some writer, but it was real life experience.

Georg Soerensen is known as the man behind the Vision 2025, which is the vision for MCH in Herning presented the 1 of November 2000. The Vision is a 6 step plan stating the wanted future development of MCH as a business. The first 4 steps have already been completed, and only two more are yet to be broad to life. Georg sees vision as the dream you see when you close your eyes. However on thing is dreaming it, another is living it. Here comes the G, of the CGC model. Goals are important to realize that vision, and without, there will be no clear defined way, which will result in confusion and frustration.

The reason why MCH has experienced success is because of its ability to connect four important elements. We all know that a four-leaved clover is seen as the symbol of luck. Georg Soerensen drew one on the blackboard, and filled each leave with a letter. Four letters symbolizing four important factors that had made MCH successful: P for politicians, C for citizens, B for business, and I for important people. These four elements are the key aspect that is combined under the last C in the CGC model, Cooperation. If you can make the four-leaved clover cooperate in the pursuit on the same vision, you have the foundation for a successful corporation.

The lecture started with the drawing of a heart capsuling the four letters CGC, and this was also where the lecture ended, with the heart of people and with the heart of you. Because what it takes are the passion and the will power to actually do it. It takes Courage, Goals, and Cooperation to become successful. What is important to understand is that the line between success and failure is paper thin. It can be great symbolized by a fire burning through a paper. It might burn through, but it is so very close to burn out.

Georg Soerensen CEO of MCH and Alexander Hold
Georg Soerensen CEO of MCH and Alexander Hold