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How An MBA Is Building My Entrepreneurial Skills

Developing entrepreneurial skills was at the heart of Santiago Bautista’s decision to pursue an MBA at Copenhagen Business School


Mon Jan 13 2020

Entrepreneurial skills were on the agenda for architect Santiago Bautista when he was thinking about pursuing an MBA. He wanted the skills to redefine his architectural design business, Bau Design, a company he launched after nearly four years of working for a leading architecture firm in Copenhagen.

He had first moved to the city from Spain to start his career in the field, after he had fallen in love with the Danish studios while studying architecture in Madrid. He says he was drawn to the allure of one of the world’s design capitals.

Architectural creativity is ingrained in Danish culture, and Copenhagen boasts the stunning Royal Danish Playhouse, as well as the Royal Danish Opera House.

A team of young Danish architects also recently won the architecture prize at Chart 2019—a 72-hour architecture competition for postgraduate or newly graduated architects working in the Nordic region. They designed a pop-up bar out of IKEA mattresses.

Santiago arrived in Copenhagen without a job, and with a target list of six studios he wanted to work for. He introduced himself to each of them and luckily enough, one of them needed someone right away. 

That was Henning Larsen Architect, coincidentally the firm that years ago imaginatively transformed the former royal porcelain raw material storage into the learning space that is the Copenhagen MBA building.

After a few years of working there, he decided to quit, as he was intent on starting his own thing. Santiago explains that he always had a lot of ideas and being in control of the whole design process appealed to him greatly, which is why he eventually embarked on the entrepreneurial path.

Why I needed to develop my entrepreneurial skills

Current student Santiago chose to study an MBA at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). He says he was after the formal business education he’d never received. He wanted a program that was also at the forefront of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, and CBS fit the bill.

He was also aware of the school’s strong standing in entrepreneurship. And it was entrepreneurial skills he needed to develop.

I made a lot of mistakes during these years, especially when it comes to product design. Underestimating the importance of logistics, how things are going to be packed, shipped, how expensive they’d be, and the price of the final product.

He adds that because he’d always approached design from the perspective of ideas, he hopes that the MBA will unearth knowledge on all the other parts of the process.

“These mistakes I found along the way, were from not knowing the extent that some of my design decisions would have on the actual business case.”

Broadening my perspective

At Bau Design, Santiago designs, produces, and sells his own products. He’s also recently started collaborating with design firm Bolia, for whom he designed a sofa collection.

He admits though, that when you work in architecture, you have a tendency to speak only with other architects, which can narrow your perspective.

On the Copenhagen MBA he is mixing with a diverse group of students, which he explains is setting him up to redefine his business.

“Collaborating with these people I’m learning a lot. One of the things I’ll incorporate into the future of my business is people who have complementary skills to the ones I have instead of joining with people who have the same skillset and concerns,” he says.   

“I am already having a lot of ideas, and for me it’s amazing because I can learn something new every day. My goal after the MBA finishes is to relaunch the company, I can already see [the MBA] will have a big impact.”

He’s excited to get started as well and feels like a more competent business leader than he was before. During the MBA, by surrounding himself with a diverse cohort, he’s been able to gather a broader perspective on business, something he admits will prepare him to be a good leader in the future.

There’s one thing he can’t learn through books and networking though, and that’s his creativity. 

“I’m not really sure where it comes from, I don’t have background of growing up with creative references, but for some reason I often got myself wondering, and ideas just appeared, I don’t know how to explain it.

“One of things I really like about architecture is you can turn these ideas into reality, something people can enjoy and experience, so it came very naturally to me. It was like a no brainer.”

Student Reviews

Copenhagen Business School (CBS)




CBS: efficient international network

CBS has always been ranked among the best universities in Europe and this means that it has become a sign of professionalism and success. The academic level is great thanks to the good teachers and the atmosphere is proactive and challenging. Lots of events are planned every week and this helps you to find your own way. CBS is not only a business school, it is a great and efficient international network.




Good academic career

I did my Bachelors at CBS and their academic excellence and career opportunities led me to pursue my Masters in Accounting, Strategy and Control. I was very lucky to go on an exchange in Singapore for one semester it boosted me to get a career in a global firm. I like that it is super modern and has all the facilities for the business student in 2019. Especially, I liked the library and Bitlab where I spent most of my time studying. However, note that it is very demanding and studying here is no joke. Everything is very competitive and you are among the most excellent business students in the country. The interaction with international students helped me to see different perspectives in business and culturally and I was lucky to make friends from any part of the world. CBS is like a brand in Denmark. Every serious business company prioritizes us over any other Danish university and also it is free for European citizens. Overall, I have a very satisfying experience at CBS and I'm looking to continue my academical career even further.




CBS is one of the best!

All I have to say regarding my experience at CBS is that it is AMAZING. Having been tutored by world-class academic staff, I can definitely support that I am receiving the best of quality regarding my studies in Digital Marketing. Staff is very friendly and easy to approach. In addition, the facilities we enjoy are top class and meet any demands. Keep in mind that, EU citizens do not pay any fees. Student life might be non-existent here, but the location of the University in The very center of Copenhagen has a huge variety of choices to offer to students regarding their entertainment. Accommodation might be a problem, but early research of the market can be very useful. In addition, the University promotes diversity. In CBS University you can meet people from the whole world which is quite interesting. I definitely suggest CBS for any student who he's interested in pursuing a career in marketing or business.




The ideal business school

I have been enrolled in this university for 2 semesters. What I took from this experience is that there is nothing better out there for those looking for professional growth while being guided by some of the top-notch professors in Scandinavia. They have a really strong focus in technology and digital transformation and they are up to date to guarantee you land a job in the modern fast-evolving world. They also embrace diversity which means many students come from any part of the world and it takes the entire learning experience to another level. You simply learn from every other student cause everyone has different experiences and background which makes you open your mind and see the world from a different angle. In Denmark, even businesses prioritize people who graduate from CBS as it's commonly perceived as the most prestigious university for business graduates.

José Pedro



A Place of Personal Growth

In CBS you can expect an environment of proactive thinking and growth. The university staff is always open to help and to debate. The teaching methods balance theoretical knowledge and practical skills enabling the student with capacity and confidence to enter the job market successfully. The existence of students from all over the world stimulates discussion and promotion of different cultures, ideas and perspectives. I highly recommend this university for students in business-related areas.





The environment here is really great. Despite the well organized buildings and libraries, there are also places for students to just stay and relax also even study in the corners of each campus. The professors are mostly really nice and try to interact with students a lot. So, to sum up, the environment is really nice for studying here.




Quality education

Quality education where it emphazises the importance of academic. No finger to put on this aspect of the school. However, sometimes the administration and IT can be lacking a bit, but in general a really good choice for education!




Best Time!

Classes are challenging and conducted in a professional manner. CBS offers a wide range of possibilities to develop outside of the classes! Libraries and other facilities on the campus are very well adjusted to the student needs.




A heavily theory-based curriculum combined with an ever-stimulating environment

I am currently a Master student at CBS, but I have also completed a Bachelor's Degree in this university. I am quite satisfied with my studies and the teaching level. However, when compared to other business schools, it becomes apparent that most courses at CBS strive to find a good balance between theoretical insight and real-life examples. Compared to my exchange university, the projects that I have found myself writing at CBS have a far less practical application and also leave little room for creativity. If the teaching is heavily theoretical, on the bright side, the university arranges a number of events throughout the year to encourage students to apply their knowledge, in the form of career fairs, case competitions, and other events organized by student associations. In my experience, teachers are very easily approachable and happy to answer your questions. A foreign student like me will find a more international environment at Master level, since the number of international (or at least non-Scandinavian) students enrolled in the Bachelor programs is quite low. However, all communication (both oral and written) from teachers and the university offices is always in English. Administrative offices, student guidance services, the career center, and the international office are definitely worth a mention. All of the requests that I have had throughout the years have always been met with kindness, promptness and efficiency.

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