CBS Exchange Part 10: GLOBE – University of North Carolina (UNC)
Name: Analisa Winther
CBS study program: Bsc International Business, but I am also a member of GLOBE, which stands for Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education and is a tri-exchange between Copenhagen Business School, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and UNC Chapel Hill. We spend a semester at each school studying the country’s business environment.
Exchange school: University of North Carolina (UNC)
City: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.
What is your impression of the school?
UNC by definition is a work hard – play hard environment. The Kenan-Flagler business school is ranked No.7 amongst U.S. public and private institutions. The business school puts a heavy emphasis on group work, which means you can spend a lot of time in meetings. Also, UNC’s academic structure is unlike CBS. We do not just have one final exam for every class. Instead it is typical that you have homework, assignments, and tests due every week as well as a midterm and final exam. In a way this makes studying for the final easier because you are forced to keep up with the course as it goes on, but it also makes you feel like you have a never ending to do list. I feel like I go to UNC as a full-time international student rather than an international student because of the constant activities and to dos.
The other thing to mention is that UNC has a lot of resources. There are all kinds of clubs that you are welcome to join like the Consulting Club, Finance Club, or a business fraternity. A career center is at your disposable where they do mock interviews and can review your resume. They also have a writing center where you can go and practice a presentation or have someone review your paper for errors and get feedback on your writing. Professors have office hours and invite you to approach them with questions at any time. At UNC, you are not viewed as an exchange student, but as a full-time student. In this way, you have access to everything just as a regular student would.
How is the social life? Did you easily make friends?
There are 16,000 undergraduate students at UNC and an endless amount of clubs and activities. The heart of the school is “The Pit,” which is right next to the student union and hosts all kinds of clubs and activities. Americans are very outgoing and Americans in the south are especially friendly. They’re more than willing to strike up a conversation with you and lend a helping hand.
Beyond all the activities you can join, there is also a vibrant nightlife. The main street of Chapel Hill is Franklin St. where there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to go out to. Additionally, Greek life is very active in Chapel Hill. If you’re under 21, just head to Frat Court and you’ll find one party after the other every weekend.
What is your impression of the country? What is the culture like?
I really like the US. People tend to already know a lot about America from TV and the news. While a lot of it is true and clearly visible, there is also a lot more to be discovered.
Are there any language issues?
There are no language issues as long as you can speak English. You can be sure you won’t find any American speaking Danish! However, be prepared to learn some new slang words you’ve never heard before. Some of the ones I’ve picked up are “ratchet,” “amazeballs,” and “stoked.”
What is accommodation like? Do you live at the school or do you need to find your own apartment? At UNC you have the option to live in university housing (a dorm) or look for a house/apartment on your own with some other exchange students. I recommend dorm life. It’s a great chance to get to know other students and although the rooms are small, you have everything you need. I was lucky enough to be told to apply to live in the dorm Granville Towers. We have an amazing buffet cafeteria called The Agora, a pool, a gym, common rooms, study rooms, and rec rooms. It’s also right off of Franklin St. so getting home from the parties at night is very easy.
Which electives are you taking on exchange, and do you like them so far?
Here is what I am taking and a short description.
Mergers and Acquisitions: The name is a pretty good description of the course. Our teacher is very funny and brings in speakers from the M&A sphere. We’ve had Paul Parker, the Head of Global Corporate Finance and M&A at Barclays come in, the co-head of depositories investment banking at Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, and the Managing Director of BlackRock Private Equity to name a few. Most are UNC grads too and there is an option to network with them.
Entrepreneurial Consulting: In this class, we are assigned to a start-up that is undergoing some kind of problem and spend the semester working on a consulting solution. The class requires a lot of primary and secondary research, but it’s worth it to get to work on a real life problem directly with businesses in North Carolina who will benefit from your findings.
Business Analytics: We learn how to model business problems in Excel. This is a very practical course that I feel like I can definitely use going forward. It talks a lot about how to manage uncertainty in business planning and linear programming. It’s especially good if you don’t know anything about Excel.
Global Venturing: This class is required by the GLOBE program. The first part of the course focuses on entrepreneurship and the second part focuses on private equity. We make the business plan for our own start-up and have to pitch it. The course also brings in a lot of speakers from entrepreneurship and has us work directly with ventures in Launch Chapel Hill to try and solve some of their problems.
What are the fundamental differences between CBS and the uni you’re on exchange?
I would say the biggest difference between UNC and CBS is the amount of dedication the students here have for their university. They really love being a part of the student life and their studies and are very passionate. Everyone walks around in UNC clothing and makes an effort to get involved. This is especially apparent on game days when everyone comes out to support the school’s sports teams wearing Carolina blue. Football, basketball, and soccer are big deals here so make sure you get to at least one of those games!
What is the coolest/strangest/most bizarre or unexpected/unique experience you have had so far?
The first night we went out was to Frat Court and we were blown away by the Greek Life. It’s exactly like the movies. The Frat houses are mini-mansions. The first one we entered had a band playing on a stage in the basement, a mechanical bull to ride, and everyone drinking out of Solo Cups. You could also get free alcohol from the keg or from the gin bucket (a trash can that’s filled with gin and whatever kind of mixer). Our second shock after leaving the frat houses and hitting Franklin St., is that all the bars close at 2am. In Denmark, this is just when you’re getting going. In some ways its good because your whole next day isn’t ruined, but at times it feels like the night is cut short.
Why should other students from CBS go on exchange there?
UNC is simply amazing. Between the excellent academics, endless activities, and awesome nightlife you won’t be disappointed. It’s a true look at the American experience.