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Here’s How I Started A Career In Sustainability After My MBA In Denmark

Pamela Tiller runs a sustainable urban development project for the Danish Trade Council in Toronto. She says she got the job because of the Copenhagen MBA


Fri Apr 26 2019

After an MBA in Europe, from Copenhagen Business School, Pamela Tiller launched a career in sustainability in North America, her home. She is currently running a government-backed sustainable urban development project for the Danish Trade Council, in Toronto.

Her journey to get there began when she was just 22, after graduating from Ryerson University, Toronto, with a degree in urban and regional planning—a far cry from her childhood spent in “the middle of nowhere” in Nova Scotia, she says.

Pamela began working for a niche consulting firm, covering the automotive sector, an industry she was familiar with from the days her father owned a car dealership. She had questioned it beforehand though, she says, having spent four years on her degree being drilled on the maleficence of cars.

“I thought, 'I’m going to try and change something',” she remembers. “I really wanted to show my clients that they should be focusing on operational sustainability, and not just when the next electric vehicle was coming out, because millennials like me would be demanding that more.

“I kept being told there was no business case for that, and there was an uphill battle as a young lady working in that sector, trying to promote green building.”

She was convinced there was a business case there, but felt she lacked the business tools necessary to communicate this. She realized she had a nascent set of leadership and management skills, skills that would be harnessed by an MBA—something that as a woman, she explains, helps to remove some of the barriers blocking executive positions.

Finding Copenhagen Business School

When she first began looking for an MBA degree, Pamela kept being told about the importance of finding the right MBA program for you. Weren’t they all the same? she thought.

She recalls attending an MBA fair, and sitting in on a panel about women in business. Here she was, sat in a room of about 80 women, and there was one sole man in the room, on the panel, serendipitously from Copenhagen Business School.

His name was Andrew, Pamela recalls, and he oversaw recruiting at the time. “I remember thinking, ‘who is this guy talking about Copenhagen?’” she says.

“I remember talking to Andrew and finding out about corporate social responsibility, and sustainability.”

She also found out about the small class size at Copenhagen Business School, the strong female representation in the class, and she remembers thinking why not; why not study an MBA in the “best city in the world for people, from an urban planner perspective.”

Launching a career in sustainability in North America

Pamela was ready to move back to Canada not long after graduating, when she was offered a job by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark, as an expert on the intersection between North American and Danish urban planning—her current role is as a senior trade advisor.

The story of how she was offered the job, she explains, is a “little bit of network, a little bit of Copenhagen, and a little bit of the MBA”.

Pamela had applied to a junior position a few months before but had been told she was too senior for the role. Then, her now predecessor for her current role called her one day, explaining that she was leaving and thought Pamela was perfect for the role.

She met the head of trade a few weeks later in the city, someone whose kids go to school with her old boss’s children. At the same time, her old boss had also just sent her a job offer, and she jokes about the two men, standing on the touchline of their kids’ soccer match, arguing over who should get to hire her.

The Danish Trade Council prevailed, and right now Pamela is managing a project called Nordic City Solutions, one of five initiatives that has the backing of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland’s Prime Ministers. She leads the rolling out of Scandinavian solutions to urban planning challenges.

The Copenhagen Business School MBA experience

“The Scandinavian sense of value is unique, it’s about the connective we,” says Pamela. “They are stewards of our earth and society. If you are going to be doing an MBA in Denmark […] you need to have a sense of that value.”

As an expat, Pamela says learning about business in Denmark, and the Danish philosophy, means that MBA students can go back to their home countries as seeds for change.

“If you sprinkle a little bit of this Danish philosophy in different business locations around the world, I think that’s really nice.

“At 4:30pm in Denmark somebody hits the fun switch […] that could be having dinner with your family, going to jump in the harbor, or having a night out with your friends.

“It’s this enjoyment of life I don’t think you’ll get anywhere else, and that I will never stop appreciating.”

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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