The Role of a Student Ambassador…
My name is Adam, and I’m a first year English Literature and Linguistics student at the University of Manchester. I’ll be posting on the UMASS website frequently, so please feel free to leave any questions that you may want to ask a current student as a comment at the end of the post! J
The first few weeks of university can be extremely daunting; in many cases, moving to a new city and having to fend for yourself is a completely foreign experience that can take a while to get used to! For the first few days, finding routes around your new campus may prove confusing, but thankfully, students tend to familiarise themselves with their environment quickly!
One of the ways that I became used to my new home at the University of Manchester was by becoming a student ambassador. Student ambassadors act as a link between the institution and the outside community. My current role as an ambassador requires me to be able to share my own student experiences with people who are interested in university life and what it is like to be an undergraduate at a large-sized campus such as Manchester.
Leading campus tours, facilitating classroom learning, and attending schools to deliver presentations and talks allow ambassadors to build on their personal skills, and provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in fields of work that they may want to pursue in the future. Skills such as communication, teamwork, and time-management are all utilised as a student ambassador, allowing individuals to hone certain aspects that are used daily in the world of work.
One of the most useful and enjoyable parts of being an ambassador is being able to meet a multitude of different people from a variety of different subject areas, walks of life, and backgrounds. Each week, I am able to interact with other students that are from different countries and that study different subjects than myself, allowing me insight into other peoples’ experiences and knowledge; through my ambassador position, I have been able to meet an abundance of second and third years that have been able to pass on their valuable undergraduate tips to me. When I first arrived at the University of Manchester, I wasn’t sure about where was the best place to buy food, or where the cheapest places to go for entertainment at night were. Being well acquainted with more familiar and informed people definitely allowed me to become conscious of my surroundings and who I should talk to when I needed additional information, such as who to talk to when signing up for subject modules.
At the University of Manchester, student ambassadors are encouraged to socialise with each other outside of work; the university has hosted a number of events that have allowed us to meet in a less formal setting. On my first week of working, an event was held at the indoor skiing and snowboarding slope, Chill Factore, which is where I met a number of people who I am still in regular contact with and work along side every few weeks. Because there are so many different job opportunities available everyday of the week – science events, campus tours, school open days, advertising, survey representatives, gateway programmes and summer schools, to name a few – it’s incredibly easy to get to know your peers!
Being an ambassador is also useful when it comes to enhancing your CV and increasing your employability after university. Organisations like to see that people have taken the opportunity to enrich themselves through extra-curricular activities. By becoming an ambassador for your chosen university, you immediately show potential employers that you are able to represent them in a positive light, and that you have the confidence to independently improve your interpersonal abilities.
Finally, most of the work that you can opt for will be paid, giving you extra money each week. As Susie states in her previous blog, the hours that student ambassadors work are extremely flexible; you can work as little or as much as you want to, which is great for building up a sense of independence. If you’re planning on going out and spending money – say, for a friend’s birthday – working can ‘earn back’ what you spend without affecting your budget plan: the money you spend is instantly replenished by what you’ve earned from working a couple of hours.
I would definitely recommend applying for the position of student ambassador when you arrive at your chosen university. This job position offers opportunities not only to make money, but also to engage, learn, network with, and befriend welcoming and approachable people who are always available to help and advise. 🙂