Core Course Week 1

I just got back to Copenhagen after a three day/two night excursion with my core course class where we traveled to different cities within Denmark. DIS has a unique academic layout; as a student here, you are required to pick a core course which acts like your Major. I picked Copenhagen largely because of the Strategic Communication core course option. I am a communications major at Denison, and this core course not only gives me the required transfer credits, but also enables me to use the communications skills I’ve learned and now apply them in a corporate context. have been nothing but impressed with this course so far!

Anyways, so built into our academic schedule is a local core course travel week where all other classes are canceled so you travel on a bus with your classmates to different parts of Denmark. Along the way, we had meetings with communications directors from popular Danish corporations as well as made visits at important Danish cultural sites. It is really special to travel with a small group of students and experience seeing a completely new places while simultaneously learning about communications from some of the most successful people in the nation.

  1. First stop: JYSK Nordic Headquarters

On our first stop, we were fortunate to go to the JYSK headquarters outside of Aarhus where we met with Martin Møller Aamand, the Communications & PR Manager at JYSK. JYSK is a Danish retail chain which sells home furniture and interior decor. It currently is the largest Danish retailer working internationally and has stores operating in over 50 countries with over 20,000 employees total. Martin gave a presentation explaining his job, the overview of the corporation’s mission and vision, as well as the recent total rebranding of JYSK (which is a risky task for such a massive company). This session was extremely informative and I feel so fortunate to have an insiders perspective on what it truly takes to communicate messages and values within such an expansive and lucrative international corporation.

2. Second Stop: TV2 Headquarters

This was my favorite stop of the tour. TV2 is the leading Danish TV station with hundreds of programs and channels which millions of Dane’s tune in to watch every day. We were able to have a tour of the facilities and Q&A with the Viewer’s Editor, Lars Bennike. During the Q&A, I learned about the challenges that come with modern day journalism and the mechanisms used in branding television/media productions. During the tour of the facilities, we were able to watch live broadcasts of the Danish news, enter broadcasting rooms, as well as have our own on hand at giving the weather report with help of the current weatherman of the station. Witnessing all of the work that goes into the daily job of a journalist has changed the way I watch the morning news forever!

3. Third Stop: HC Andersen Museum

In Odense, we visited the home and museum of HC Andersen, the author of the Ugly Duckling story as well as many other notorious plays and tales. He is best known for his posthumous fairytales such as the Princess and the Pea and his unique persona which heavily impacted European ideologies and understanding of morality. The exhibition was a blend of historical artifacts and art pieces that were interactive. As you walked through the art exhibition, you became a part of the fairytales!

4. Fourth Stop: DOKK1

DOKK1 is the famous Library in Aarhus, but it is much more than just your typical library. It is an extravagant building with everything from books, to games, to child play rooms, to a full sized slide on the deck that overlooks the water. We were able to get a tour of the seemingly never ending building and hear about the branding and networking that DOKK1 does in order to remain as prominent as it is in the city of Aarhus.

5. Last Stop: ARSoS Museum

Ok I take it back, this might be my favorite stop of the trip. Every exhibition in this art museum was breathtaking. The artwork’s itself was astonishing, I was personally amazed by the thought and curation that went into setting up the exhibitions to be a transformative experience for each viewer. Each exhibition forced the viewer to immerse themselves in a world that felt like an alternate reality. My favorite art exhibition was the room which centered around the idea of home and what it truly means to have a home, physically or spiritually. Each piece in the exhibition was distinctly unique from each other, yet all grasped the ambiguous concept of the feeling of home and safety really means. The thing I love most about art is the way it can dissect a familiar concept into something that seems so foreign to me. Art is the window into different perceptions of life, and it is interesting to witness how art is so universal yet so personal at the same time.

Core course week 1 was a success! It was filled with long naps on the bus, family style dinners with classmates, and lootttsss of learning about unfamiliar concepts. This trip has made our core course class feel like one big family, and I am so excited for what else we are going to experience together the rest of the semester!

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