Yesterday was the day that my boyfriend, Peter, finally defended his master thesis! After two changes of his master programme subject, and around a year of struggling with his master thesis at the same time as working, he could say goodbye to Copenhagen Business School (CBS) for good! And this is not an “I will miss you” goodbye. No… that school is probably one of the things he dislikes the most by now, and I can’t blame him for that. But now he can call himself “Cand. Merc.” – and even with a top grade.
He have had so many issues in dealing with the inflexibility of the administration, sticking to their sheet of rules no matter what, not caring one bit about the students’ well being at the school. It might be that you will not have any problems if you finish in the standard time, and do everything in the standard way, but if you have some kind of need of going beyond the standards, that’s where the issues appears. Additionally, all the administration offices have ridiculously short opening hours and sometimes even “only on Wednesdays” or something like that. I can’t even begin to count the times I have said “thank goodness I went to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and not CBS”. In addition to all the problems with the administration, he also had a very bad supervisor for his master project who wasn’t a teacher at the school, but some guy working at a company without any time to supervise. But Peter had no choice, as apparently this guy was the only one who knew something about this subject on the entire school. During the one year it took to complete the master thesis, he talked to him less than five times, and only met up with him once. I had a meeting almost every week with my supervisor when I did my master project – talk about a difference. A while ago Peter told me that he hoped he’d be able to recognize who is the supervisor and who is the censor at the exam, otherwise it could get a bit awkward. So, after the defence I asked him if he could recognize him – and he couldn’t – but the censor was a woman and that had made it clear. ^^
Peter’s thesis was based on work done in Danske Bank, and was confidential. Initially he started writing it in English, but later on decided to write in Danish since he felt it was easier to express himself like that. So in the end he wrote his thesis in Danish and handed it in. The hand in date given turned out to be on a public holiday, and it was extremely difficult to actually hand it in since all the offices were closed. After getting help from a nice safety guard, he managed to put it in the office of the secretary to whom he had to give it to. Obviously the secretary must have made a mistake when choosing this date, but oh well – it was handed in now.
A few weeks later, Peter called the secretary since he hadn’t heard anything, and then she said that she didn’t have time to look at it right now, but that she thought the rules said it had to be written in English. She would make sure, and get back to him. Then for more than one week after, he was told that he had to translate the 85 pages into English. She made it seem like “that should be no problem – can’t take that long… Otherwise you can pay for someone to translate it for you”. Obviously, she didn’t know the price for getting 85 pages of technical language translated, and additionally it was not possible because it was confidential – but that didn’t change anything. This rule is not even written on CBS’ own home page (even though they do tell you which font, font size, margin etc. to use) – but apparently it is written in the law somewhere. How could he not know that! I mean… everyone knows every law in Denmark – right? … right… It is usually the supervisors job to tell the student things like this.
So now, just when he was thinking everything was done and over, he had to translate the whole report into English. It was really stupid, particularly because it was confidential anyway, and the supervisor and censor were Danish – so of course Peter was quite pissed, having to do something that useless simply because “rules are rules”. Nevertheless, after a few weeks he had translated it into English, and then it had to be proofread all over again. Eventually it was handed in, and he got a date for when he had to present it. It didn’t happen automatically though – he had to call the secretary several times, but so far so good.
At the presentation day, Peter and I went to the presentation room some time in advance. The TV to be used for the presentation was very bad and had an extremely noisy image, and the room had glass walls even though this presentation was supposed to be confidential – but apparently rules don’t really apply to CBS themselves. He was quite nervous before the presentation, since he had absolutely no clue about the level he was at with the report (you can thank the supervisor for that). He had chosen kind of a risky subject, since it was a quite specific problem to Danske Bank, and you can easily go wrong with this kind of subject if you make it seem too specific. But when he got out from the presentation room, waiting for his grade, he looked so much more relaxed. Apparently, they had asked very interesting and good questions, and he could answer them all with no problem. 5-10 minutes later, he came out again with a surprised smile on his face; “I got a 12, what the hell” (12 is the maximum grade in Denmark). There he was, unsure if he would even pass a few hours ago, getting the top grade! Now, the “champagne-look-alike” drink his mom had brought tasted a bit better with these awesome news, and same with the brunch at Granny’s House afterwards. He can thank himself for the great result– not his supervisor or CBS. ^^
So, with that the story ended perfectly well – even though it was a tough ride – which took a bit longer than expected. Hurraaaay!
Finally, I found this comic, which I thought was a bit funny, since it fits quite well. 😀