Leading 400 students at the NHH-Symposium
Nicholas N Drange (aged 24) is both studying for his master’s degree in finance and leading the 400 students organising Northern Europe's biggest student-run business conference.
NHH students are preparing to organise the NHH Symposium in March. Under the leadership of Nicholas N Drange, the students are making sure that everything goes according to plan when the symposium is held on 21 and 22 March.
The future of globalisation
‘We are hosting top international speakers, capable students, representatives of the business community, politicians and researchers. We're trying to create a perfect meeting place for people across generations, areas of expertise and perspectives. This should create fertile ground for the changes we wish to see in society,’ says Nicholas Nord Drange.
The conference is held every second year, and this year's conference is the 19th of its kind since it all started in 1983. The NHH Symposium is intended to be a catalyst for changes in society. The theme of the conference is based on the students’ thoughts, and what they want the decision-makers’ agenda to focus on.
This year's topic is the future of globalisation and how geopolitical changes will influence Europe’s position in the world in the years to come. The students’ perspective is that no company can succeed in a society that is failing. This will form the backdrop for the discussion, which Drange says will look at the driving forces behind the businesses of the future, and what it will take to succeed.
More than 400 students
More than 400 students help to organise the conference on a voluntary basis, and Drange, a master's degree student himself, admits that it can be challenging to manage that many people. He nonetheless points out that it is a privilege to be part of this year's symposium.
‘With so many dedicated and competent people in all areas, it's a pleasure to be in charge of all this, and it makes the challenges easier to handle. I'm part of a great board and all credit is due to the rest of the organisation, devoting thousands of hours to make sure the NHH Symposium can hold its own at an international level.’
Not the first time
The 24-year-old became involved in the NHH Symposium for the first time in 2014. When the time came to appoint this year’s board, there was no doubt in his mind that he had to be part of it. It was the combination of the social aspect and the ambition of making a difference in society that appealed to him. The finance student says it is a unique opportunity to challenge oneself alongside others who want to accomplish something.
‘What you learn in the student societies is just as important as what you learn in class. The combination of the two is fundamental, of course, but that's the great thing about NHH. You might attend a lecture in the morning, and then you get to test it out in real life in the afternoon.’
When asked whether he has taken on a full-time unpaid job, he nods.
‘Yes, I suppose you could say that. It takes up a lot of my time, but it's incredibly fun. When you’re really passionate about something, you don't think about how much time you spend on it. I'm excited by the fact that we're driven by big ideas and the belief that nothing is impossible. It may be unrealistic, but never impossible. The history of the NHH Symposium confirms this, and it gives us the inspiration and the wish to create a conference that everyone affiliated to NHH can be proud of. Whether or not we succeed remains to be seen, but, the way I see it, the journey towards the goal is just as important.’