A dark room full of candles and paw prints. We’re ready to start! We’ve gathered here to become full-fledged ebsters!
The doors open, a guy wearing a black robe enters followed by four girls. They’re here for the ceremony – the ceremonial opening to christen all the new puppies into true EBS members. The vows are read out and new students give consent signing with their own paw print. But that was just the beginning. Challenging yet fun Puppy School was waiting to be completed. In addition to the crazy pub crawl and a lot of new friends and acquaintances. Of course, all puppies were served with delicious appetisers to keep their spirits high.
The Orientation Weekend (OW) is meant for all the first year students to help them find their fellow students, get to know the school and have a great time.
We asked four of the participants about their impressions, how they felt about the adventures and what new they learnt. Also, we interviewed the head organiser Kaisa for feedback.
Participants: Davor, Christin, Henri and Karmen
Why did you choose EBS for your studies?
Davor: I knew I wanted to study at EBS even before I joined the Defence Forces. I researched various universities and study programmes but felt that the entrepreneurship and business administration programme at EBS would be the one to take me closer to my goals. Like many others, I wish to be independent and do the thing I desire the most – run my own business.
Christin: Because I know I want to do marketing in the future and become a manager, not just a regular employee, so EBS was the best choice. My friends gave me great feedback and since the course is taught in English, the students and lecturers are international as well.
Henri: A big wish of mine is to start the next innovative Estonian success story just like Taxify, TransferWise, Skype, Starship and improve people’s lives by doing so. I chose EBS because of the technology specialization module, which helps me study the startup industry and learn from the lecturers’ experiences.
Karmen: I went to EBS high school and ever since I was little, I’ve known that business is my thing. Choosing a school was very easy for me. The only one I applied to was EBS. Already during my high school years, I understood that it’s not just an average school, it’s something special. The campus and people feel like home and I learn something new every single day. I already feel that my network has expanded and my values have changed a lot.
What did you like about the Orientation Weekend and what not so much?
Davor: Sadly, I only made it to the Friday and Sunday’s events during the Orientation Weekend. I’ve always enjoyed social games and I did so this time around as well. What I liked the most were the puppy vows – it was unique, innovative and memorable. It surely had been planned thoroughly. Personally, I liked everything about the Orientation Weekend since I met a lot of new people, some of whom I already consider good friends.
Christin: Everything was fun, especially the pub crawl after party at Magnet with all the students. It was nice talking to everyone about life and why they had chosen EBS.
Henri: I especially enjoyed the second day of the Orientation Weekend (1st September). The pub crawl and the early afternoon games were thought through and helped a lot in regard to finding new friends. The only con was that the first day seemed a bit short and everyone didn’t manage to fit into MySushi.
Karmen: It’s probably hard to believe if I say I enjoyed everything, but I did! The weekend passed by so quickly that I didn’t even have time to focus on anything negative. It all must have been great then! My favourite day was Saturday, when we played fun yet challenging games at school. I can say that I had the best team, because we all got along great, we had fun and we won! The day ended with a proper pub crawl and the student life could begin.
How many new friends did you make?
Davor: I met a lot of my new course mates and some of the older students as well. I talked to some of them on a daily basis.
Christin: Definitely over 20. new acquaintances from the Orientation Weekend have already morphed into so to say groups among the school and classes.
Henri: I talked to over a half of my course mates. Sadly, I remember few of their names/faces, but everyone seemed great anyway. I’m really pleased with the students in my course.
Karmen: A lot. I think, during the week I’ve gained over a hundred new acquaintances whose names I know as well.
What kind of information did you get?
Davor: I got a lot of useful information from the older students. For example, in the marketing class I was advised to sit in the first row in order to get better exam results. I also learned that in some subjects, if I get good results during the course I don’t have to do the exam. I suggest all the new students to delve deeper into that!
Christin: I had done great background research, so I’m not sure what brand new information I learned.
Henri: I got to know the secret passages around the campus. I found out what my new course mates are up to and I also got to know the bars of Tallinn.
Karmen: Everything one needs to know regarding the beginning of university. Which classes are more difficult, how and where to learn and so on. It was a great opportunity to ask the older students how to make it.
Did the weekend help to calm the first-day-of-school nerves? Would you recommend it to other new ebsters?
Davor: Despite missing Saturday’s events, I did feel more comfortable going to school on the first day since I had already met some of my new fellow students.
Christin: It definitely helped, and you should continue doing it, otherwise I wouldn’t know the faces of the people in my course to this day.
Karmen: Definitely. I met so many new and old students. It’s great to come to school now and see familiar places. It helped to morph us into a family and made me want to come to school more and more. These kinds of events make university more fun.
Kaisa (Head organiser of the Orientation Weekend)
Why should the new Ebsters take part in the Orientation Weekend?
Primarily, to become an ebster! That’s already a reason to participate. Puppy vows, new friends and a fun weekend full of interesting people, games and oh-how-so-awesome pub crawl are a great start to the university experience.
What’s something unforgettable every Orientation Weekend participant will experience?
To be completely honest, when I started the university, I sadly didn’t manage to take part in the Orientation Weekend. But seeing all those excited faces and hearing the loud laughter makes me believe that everyone gets at least one, if not more, new friends to go with on their university journey. The best experiences were probably the puppy vows and the exciting pub crawl.
How did you come up with the idea that instead of the freshmen oath you’ll do the puppy vows? Could this become a tradition?
The mascot of EBS is a cute British bulldog named The King of Business. So, we figured that our university should have something different from others, such as British bulldog puppies. The vows were given by small puppies who also completed the puppy school to become proper ebsters. I truly believe and hope that the puppy tradition will be honoured amongst the new students.
Looking back, if you could plan something differently, what would it be?
You’re always smarter looking back. I would think through the marketing plan more thoroughly and no matter how many times we have practiced time management, it’s something that still needs a lot of work.
What was the total success of the event?
Unlike previous years, I created new systems to help the organisers keep track of their tasks. For example, during the Puppy School we had a system that showed which next two teams were to enter the room and it worked great. It didn’t stop queues from forming before some of the games, but all the time we knew where exactly every team was and if they weren’t, where they were supposed to be. I believe that coming up with innovative and working systems is the secret to a successful project management.
Editor: Kärt Mättikas
Translator: Triin Tikk
Pictures: Arles Krämann