Fulbright scholar going back to her roots

05 November 2015

Recently, English has been spoken more than usual around the lunch table at Cphbusiness City. For the past 10 weeks, the department has enjoyed the company of Carol Jensen. Carol is visiting Denmark and Cphbusiness as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program - an exchange program between the U.S. and the world for college professors and students. Here in Denmark, the Danish-American Fulbright Commission hosts 5 professors and 8 doctoral students this 2015-16 academic year in institutions throughout the country.

Danish roots

Even though the last name implies Danish ancestry, the daily interaction with students and colleagues at Cphbusiness is in English. Carol Jensen comes from California, where she was born and grew up as the daughter of Danish immigrants. She claims to be American made with Danish parts.

Cphbusiness was the right choice

As she describes it herself, it did not require much time for reflection, when picking the destination for her Fulbright Scholar Program. Cphbusiness proved a perfect match for her skills.

- The only country and culture I could relate to for the application was Denmark, because I am Danish. So I went out and did a little digging through the academic options. Cphbusiness has a program that stands out. Cphbusiness requires one to teach in English, an MBA, focus on small businesses and innovation, plus teaching and professional experience. I possess all these attributes and an affinity for the people and culture. All the planets lined up, luck was with me, and here I am, Jensen says.

Not surprisingly, the visit at Cphbusiness has fully lived up to her expectations.

- Quite frankly, I cannot recall the last time I have enjoyed teaching, as much as I have enjoyed teaching here, the California instructor explains. She gives the students great credit for the positive experience.

Quite frankly, I cannot recall the last time I have enjoyed teaching, as much as I have enjoyed teaching here.

Carol Jensen 


- The students here are outstanding. They come to class on time, they ask questions, and they pay attention. You are teaching to people who have life experiences and can relate textbook reading to employment experiences. Better yet, Cphbusiness students can apply the organizational and cultural models used in class to their own work and personal lives.

A better academic starting point

If you ask Carol, part of the reason for Cphbusiness student success in the classroom is that young people, enrolled at a business academy in Denmark, have better academic starting point compared to young people in the United States.

- When you come out of gymnasium in Denmark, it is more than the equivalent of a United States high school education. Danish students begin college with the equivalent of a United States high school diploma plus at least one, perhaps two years, of community college education (13th and 14th grades)

Young entrepreneurs wishing to start their own business also have better options in Denmark compared to the U.S. claims Carol.

- You have an advantage as an entrepreneurial student in Denmark. First-of-all, your education is free. Secondly, you receive a direct government stipend. You also have access to the Cphbusiness Incubator program with a dedicated staff. Then there is the part-time job that many full-time students maintain. With funds and security, there is less distraction. The final ingredient for success is just innate Danish intelligence.

When time comes to expanding the business beyond Danish borders, she encourages the young Danish entrepreneurs to look to the west and the North and South American markets.

- I would probably take a magnifying glass and study individual American market segments. The United States comprised of over 330 million residents is too broad to globally address. Find ones niche or boutique market. That does not mean you have to move to America, at all. You can still market and sell to specific United States markets from Denmark by drawing heavily still in the Danish name “brand” that originated decades ago and still maintains cache today.

Post Fulbright actions

Cphbusiness is looking into establishing student internships in the United States particularly in the areas of real estate, banking, finance, and insurance. To that end, Carol will be working with her colleagues in San Francisco and Aptos, Santa Cruz counties, California to facilitate study tours and internships in business. We at Cphbusiness look forward to new relationships colleges on the West Coast and future visiting U.S. Fulbright scholars.

Carol Jensen’s resume

After a long career in financial services, the wind turbine industry, real estate and business reorganization, Carol's focus turned to teaching. Today, Carol has been an instructor in various topics including economics and finance for more than 20 years in private college, state universities, and local community colleges in California. Apart from academia, Carol is an entrepreneur herself and works with small businesses and other entrepreneurs. Her services focus on advice and guidance on economic issues concerning business start-ups, finance, accounting, and information management.