This strategic research initiative is done for students and with students. Students are central to both the research findings, the final outputs, and the ongoing process of research. At the project start 40 students have gotten involved with the project. As a “student research panel”, they are considered primary sparring partners and will be engaged and integrated into the overall research design. Through a close collaboration with students and in a forum where their lived experiences related to stress and well-being can be shared, Pernille Steen Pedersen aims to gain new insights into the topic. She wishes to uncover the specifics of how students experience stress, in which kinds of situations and the characteristics of the situations that potentially could trigger stress, which equally can shed light on the conditions necessary for students to feel more safe and well in different study situations and settings; All of which, there is a lack of knowledge about. Within this network of students Pedersen will facilitate that ideas related to stress-prevention and well-being can be shared, developed and tested. To Pedersen, it is essential that students are included into the development of new measures that concern their well-being and study environment. This collaborative method is, furthermore, also being developed and used to experiment with integrating students more into research projects at CBS as a means to advance teaching methods and enhance learning possibilities. The group of students involved with the project will be connected to the ongoing process through an online Forum for Dialogue where surveys can be done, questions asked, and ideas shared. Participation is fully volunteer and more students are always welcome to join throughout the research project.
Hear below from two students, why they have engaged to participate in the research project.
In the spring semester of 2021 two bachelor students, Josephine Kugelberg Pedersen and Karoline Keller Rolsted, are conducting research on stress and shame among students at CBS for their final bachelor thesis. Their project is titled “Shame, stress and students” and supervised by Pernille Steen Pedersen. Part of their work has been to develop and conduct a survey among CBS students on experiences with shame and stress, and this collected data will also contribute to Pedersen’s research project “stress prevention and well-being amongst students at CBS”.
As a response to the immense challenges that the Corona pandemic has brought about for CBS students, Student Affairs in the program administration decided in early 2021 to launch a new campaign to focus on well-being and strengthening of student community. On this basis the idea for the well-being ambassadors was born. While Student Affairs sets the platform and gives support, the idea behind Well-being Ambassadors is that it is students who help other students on issues like loneliness and lack of motivation by focusing on solidarity, togetherness, and building a trusting community. Over 100 bachelor students from different programs are now volunteering as well-being ambassadors, creating dialogues and activities among students. In an interview to CBS Wire, Student Coach Mette Gøtterup-Tang, who has been involved in the initiative, says: “It’s great that wellbeing is on the agenda. This means we, as an organization, acknowledge the importance of it. And we have great expectations about that and the wellbeing ambassadors. We hope the students’ activities will help the ambassadors to improve the situation.” Read more about the initiative and how it came about, in the full article here.
The work of the Well-being Ambassadors is well aligned with the ideas behind this research initiative on preventing stress among students and enhancing well-being. It is our hope to collaborate and share ideas on this shared agenda. It could for example be in the form of sharing research findings on what triggers stress among students with the group of Well-being Ambassadors, which might be relevant in their conversations and activities. It could also be to test some ideas together, like, to develop some dialogue cards to assist in addressing these topic in new ways.
Each year new bachelor students at CBS are invited to participate in an introductory program consisting of intro courses and activities lead by experienced CBS students who volunteer as intro-guides. The activities are planned to help new students to be introduced to each other, to get familiar with CBS, and generally to settle better into their new study life at a given program. In other words, “to ensure a good start to academic and social life at CBS”. The introduction activities are organized by the study boards in cooperation with the intro-guides. Study Affairs also work with the processes and training for becoming intro-guides – again with a strong focus on student well-being. Student Affairs are constantly looking into how the introductory week can serve as a support and good start for new students at CBS.
Student Affairs at CBS host different initiatives aimed at providing new students at CBS with the best possible start to their new studies and life as students. One such initiative is the CBS Mentoring Program. Thus far, more than 160 mentors and 375 mentees representing more than 60 nationalities have participated in this program. As CBS alumni the mentors will both share experience from their prior studies as well as from their subsequent careers. The purpose is to support new students in developing their study techniques, study approach and balance in their life as students and also to provide sparring on the choices and transitions students come to face regarding their careers. A central focus point is that academic, social, and personal life all needs to function well and in balance; which is an important life skill that also can help students navigate the work-life balance when entering the work marked. All mentors must apply to enter the program and take a two-day training workshop where topics of well-being and balance are a central part.