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Masks for a Good Cause

The BSc International Business students sell ESB masks.

IB student Katja Friedrich was involved in the organisation of the project.

How can we organize everyday study life on campus to be as free of risk as possible? Particularly in the first few weeks of the semester, when classes were still being held according to the hybrid model, this question occupied students at the ESB Business School. Because wearing masks is currently mandatory on campus, a group of students from the BSc International Business School designed masks with an ESB logo. The masks are designed to protect students and teachers and are a valuable contribution to responsible cooperation in times of pandemic - both on campus and beyond. The proceeds from the sale of the masks will go to the German Red Cross’ Coronavirus emergency fund. Two IB students, Katja Friedrich and Nick Wilhelm, were instrumental in organizing the campaign. They talk about their project:

Almost everyone already owns regular masks with different motifs. How did you get the idea to produce ESB-specific masks?

Katja Friedrich: It was very important to us to design merchandise that benefits the students and at the same time strengthens the sense of community within the ESB. Especially in times of a pandemic, when students can’t get to know ESB and its real atmosphere, we wanted both to create a sense of belonging and offer the ESB community active protection from the virus.

For some weeks now, teaching at universities has been increasingly taking place online. Direct, personal exchange is hardly possible. So how did you determine the need for masks?

Friedrich: Our fundamental aim is to actively strengthen the feeling of togetherness across all the degree programmes. So we decided to offer the mask to all ESB students. We conducted a survey of all semesters and ESB programmes to get a rough overview of the demand. And we considered that professors might also be interested in the masks or that some students might want to purchase several masks.

The campus is currently empty due to the pandemic situation. How do you organize sales?

Nick Wilhelm: We have developed a concept that makes sales possible despite the pandemic. We mainly mail the masks to avoid causing activity on campus. In this way we also reach students in the higher semesters and those who are currently doing their internship.

What happens with the income?

Wilhelm: We will donate the proceeds to Coronavirus emergency funds. To be precise, to the German Red Cross aid project.

Friedrich: Especially in the current situation it was important for us to support an organization that is actively involved in the fight against the virus. The Red Cross Coronavirus fund seemed to us to be a suitable organization because it offers help on various levels.

The sale started this week. Are you planning to keep selling masks in the longer term?

Wilhelm: We certainly plan to sell them for a longer term, as the product is likely to remain relevant for a longish period of time. The goal is to provide as many students, teachers and employees at the university with our masks as possible.

Friedrich: We have also thought about new designs which will continue to protect ESB members and strengthen the feeling of solidarity. The ESB is a family and the current situation should not change that.

Have you already received feedback on your idea and on sales?

Wilhelm: Yes, the feedback on the product and the sales concept was positive throughout. We think this is mainly due to the modern and attractive design, but also because of the general situation.

Friedrich: We were pleasantly surprized by the high demand. It seems that everyone is looking forward to soon be spreading the spirit of ESB - instead of the virus.

Thank you for the interview.

Please note: Due to high demand, no more orders can be taken at the moment.