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Icelandic business exec spends week at UNB speaking with students

Author: Communications

Posted on Jan 23, 2013

Category: UNB Fredericton

When most people think of university students hard at work, images of laptops, books and USB drives usually come to mind. This week at the University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton campus, business administration students are having opportunities to learn in a different way.
Jón Diðrik Jónsson, owner of Draupnir Investments based in Iceland, is on campus this week as UNB’s executive-in-residence to present to a number of UNB classes and advise various student groups on upcoming projects.
Jónsson’s visit to UNB comes in between a five day stint in New York City last week, where he attended a digital publishing conference, and the completion of a three week owner/president management program at Harvard Business School beginning next week.
Jónsson completed an MBA in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1990 and a bachelor of science in marketing from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1988. While he has been operating his own investment company since July 2007, and is currently an operating chairman of Sena, an entertainment company, he has 23 years of experience in management, advisory and investments.
“I believe I can talk to students about many important business issues,” admitted Jónsson, “but planning their career paths is probably not one.” Jónsson’s own career is an interesting story of happenstance and changes in direction and positions with a variety of organizations around the globe.
Some of his previous assignments include working at Islandsbanki as the executive vice-president for international banking and later becoming CEO for the Icelandic operation. From 2001 to 2004, he was CEO of Olgerdin, the local Tuborg and Pepsi bottler in Iceland. He worked for The Coca-Cola Company from 1990-2001, located in Oslo, Singapore, Poland and Slovenia. In 1988, he worked as marketing manager for Olis hf (oil importer, distributor and service station operator). He has also served on various boards such as Sjova Insurance -Iceland, BN Bank- Norway and Gutta Juices- Latvia and currently serves on the school board of The Commercial College of Iceland.
When speaking about his different jobs around the globe, Jónsson says, “All of these different positions and projects have been about strategy and managing change.” International marketing, change management and strategic planning, and their importance in an entrepreneurial environment, will be the focus of most of his talks to students throughout his visit with UNB.
Throughout his week as executive-in-residence, Jónsson will be visiting several classes in the business administration faculty and the TME Centre within the faculty of engineering, as well as meeting with different student groups on campus. He will deliver the keynote lecture during lunch on Thursday to students from across Canada who are here to compete in the APEX Business Plan Competition hosted by the International Business and Entrepreneurship Centre.
"We're thrilled to have Jón Diðrik Jónsson in residence this week,” says Rob Austin, dean of the faculty of business administration, “and delighted that our students will have the opportunity to interact and learn from such an accomplished and experienced executive. It's just terrific for our students, and our faculty enjoy and benefit from the encounter as well."

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