Are you gonna eat that? Getting to know CBS Volunteering – A Two-Part Series
When great things are done from the good of people’s hearts, it’s not enough for us to simply write a single article about it. Instead, two of our writers, Sara Gholami and Olav Soldal, have joined forces to create a two-part series on CBS Volunteering, and their recent event on food waste. This is the second part of the series. Make sure to check on our website for part 1.
In relation to their event on the business of food waste, we asked CBS Volunteering to have a chat with us, and let us know what their organisation is all about. We sat down with founders Kilian Reck, studying BSc. Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Karen Jensen, studying BSc. International Business, who have been working with CBS Volunteering a little less than a year now. They were eager to explain us what their organisation brings to CBS.
What led you to create CBS Volunteering?
Kilian: We started thinking about the idea when a friend and I did a course on social entrepreneurship. We figured that volunteering was a very good thing for society and for the individual as well. We asked ourselves: Why have we never volunteered? Well, we had never been asked. That is, actually one of the biggest reasons for why people don’t volunteer. So we thought it should be something at CBS that, when you come there, they ask you: Do you want to volunteer? We thought that it was missing. That was the reason we started CBS Volunteering.
What is CBS Volunteering, and how does this organisation differ from others at CBS?
Kilian: Our slogan is “Students in Action” and we try to promote volunteer work that has some sort of higher purpose, to make some sort of difference in society. We want to try to get people out and [to] get some new perspectives. [To do this] we connect students with non-profit organisations. We feel there are a lot of organisations connecting students with companies, but not really with non-profits. But one of the biggest missions we have is to help students get involved with volunteering. Both for them to get a better network, but also to help the non-profits. And to extend their perspective for their future career. Because, when they later get jobs, and if they then have experience working with [say] socially disadvantaged people, they might take different decisions then and we are hoping this has an effect on them.
Karen: We would like to make [volunteering] more present at CBS.
Explain your social media tag #CBSmeansmore
Karen: The idea behind it was that CBS [means] more than just coming here and doing your degree and getting a job in a big company. This is obviously very general, and we felt that there is more to CBS and to CBS students than just what people usually would assume.
Kilian: I think our event today (the business of food waste, red.) showed that there are more people interested in societal issues, social problems and so on, which shows that they are interested in making a difference. To have a purpose at work, not just earning a lot of money. We felt that there is really a demand for [these kinds of events].
What kind of activities do you do, and what projects do you have going?
Karen: It’s the awareness side where we arrange events, where we try to create awareness about these topics. Then there is the volunteering side where we try to get students to volunteer. We have a database, where students can volunteer, and we try to cooperate with non-profits, charities and such [to] provide volunteering opportunities to students.
We are also aware that students can’t always commit to once a week, so we also try to have one time events where students can come in to anything shorter term.
Kilian: We try to have both short term and long term activities available, where you can just jump in. We also try to have very varied kinds of volunteering. Everything from helping refugees, or homeless or dealing with food waste.
Kilian: If the organisations have something they need people for, we can provide it to them. We hope in the future to contact the organisations asking if they have anything they need help to do and then say we have people interested in doing volunteer work. For example in a refugee camp last year we did a job, [where] they said “yeah, we have this container of donations standing around, we need help to do something with it, so just come by”.
Karen: A great example of that kind of short term work. It was one day, and that was it. I mean, people are very busy with school and jobs and school. We understand they don’t have much time.
Take the average CBS student, let’s call him Søren Hansen: He’s studying at his 3rd year bachelor in HA Almen, got a part-time job and is overall very busy – why should Søren volunteer through you?
Kilian: Well firstly, volunteering helps your future career. Many companies actually look for that. But I think that just the fact that you meet different people… You can also get happy by helping others, something that is proven by psychological research.
Karen: You can also get out of the CBS bubble a bit – get out of your comfort zone, do something you wouldn’t normally do. If just for personal growth.
Kilian: I mean, it’s still a job, even though you are volunteering, so you can prove yourself and experience how it is out in the real world.
Karen: Still, volunteering through us should not be replacing other part-time jobs. And we try to make it as easy as possible to engage!
Why do you yourself volunteer for CBS volunteering?
Kilian: For me it’s about doing something different. Doing something that actually makes a difference, because in your studies you are writing many assignments that the professor reads… maybe. It doesn’t really change anything. Then it’s the teamwork, and organizing new events, managing the organization etc.
Karen: It’s also about meeting other people than those you would otherwise normally meet. You also gain a lot of experience. Today [for instance] we learned a lot.
How can you get involved with CBS Volunteering?
Karen: Firstly, we have to make it very clear that if you just want to sign up to an email list and get notified to take any volunteering opportunities; you are not committed to anything. You get a mail if there is something [available]: If you want to come, great! If not, that’s fine as well. Then if you want to be part of the board [of CBS volunteering], we are going to be at the Student Society Day. We are going to need a lot of new people next year.
Kilian: There are many ways you can help. [For example] organising events like today, holding a stand, contacting organisations, negotiate what help they need and maintain contact. And of course communications and marketing over Facebook etc. We need someone who can do some kind of media design. So if you are the right person…
Any future events to look forward to?
Karen: We had actually planned that this would be our final event this semester, but we may have something coming in June. So stay tuned!
Thanks to Killian and Karen for answering all our questions. CBS Volunteering will be organising more events like this one and will continue to arrange volunteer activities for students at CBS.
Check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CBSVolunteering
Or at their webpage: http://www.cbs-volunteering.dk/
If you haven’t already read part 1 of this two part series, make sure you do! You’ll find it on our website, and our Facebook page!