“I opened a fortune cookie last week. Fortunately, it told me I was doing a great job at CBS. I really needed that message, as I was neck deep in preparing to launch The Welcome Project,” says Mette Gøtterup-Tang.
She is a Study Coach and Project Leader for The Welcome Project at CBS, and the fortune cookie with its uplifting messages is just one element of The Welcome Project, which constitutes this year’s study start campaign.
Traditionally, CBS welcomes new students with a study start campaign addressing themes such as doubt, sexual harassment, loneliness, inclusion and diversity in a humorous way. But 1.5 years of lockdown and a pandemic have laid the foundation for The Welcome Project, which is for everyone at CBS; new students, current students and employees.
“We could have had business as usual if we had believed that everything would go back to business as usual. But we don’t. A lot of students and employees have had a tough time during coronavirus, and we believe that it will do everyone good if they feel that CBS cares about them and welcomes them,” says Mette Gøtterup-Tang and continues:
“Current students might feel like new students all over again when returning to CBS, and some haven’t been at CBS for 1.5 years”
The Welcome Project will run from week 34, which is intro week for all the new CBS students, up until September 10. During that period, a range of pop-up events and gimmicks will take place.
For example, the President of CBS, Nikolaj Malchow-Møller, and the Dean of Education, Gregor Halff, will be welcoming the students personally for semester start and handing out tote bags with short, handwritten quotes on them.
Also, coffee wagons, popcorn machines and cake trays will be rolled out at different locations so that students and employees can meet and have a chat.
And then there are the fortune cookies. CBS has ordered 4,000 of those to hand out.
“The campaign has an overall positive message that everyone is welcome at CBS, no matter who they are. The diversity is also found in our messages, that we both embrace the joy of study start and address the more serious topics like study doubt or not fitting in,” says Lene Højland Bergh-Hansen, Graphic Designer at CBS and member of the sub-committee planning and executing The Welcome Project. She adds:
“The Welcome Project is a kind of campaign we have never tried before, as you can add all sorts of ideas and events to it. It’s a way of saying welcome in 1000 ways.”
More than just a building and a logo
The campaign also includes information about who the students can go to if they need help. Whether they need help to navigate in the library, find study coaching or just someone who can listen to their doubts and insecurities.
“Some have a feeling of doubt from day one, and that’s perfectly normal, and we hope to make it legit to talk about this doubt and the thoughts about not fitting in,” says Mette Gøtterup-Tang and continues:
“At least, we want to show them that help is available and people are here to talk to about these things at CBS. Of course, we cannot erase all the doubts and insecurities in students with a single campaign, but if you feel seen and heard, it’s a lot easier to deal with.”
Beannie Susanne Kauling Sloth, Communications Advice at Student Affairs, hopes that the campaign will give a clear picture of what CBS is like.
“With the campaign, we want to demonstrate that CBS is more than just a building and a logo,” she says and continues:
“That whether you are doing well or facing adversity because of exams, CBS is here to help.”