There are many fears and concerns for incoming freshman before they embark on their degree program. At Mason, Student Ambassadors create a link from prospective students to new freshman, answering questions, calming nerves, and sharing lots of advice.
Established in 2016, the Student Ambassador program employs current students to help create a connection with prospective students and campus visitors. “Student Ambassadors speak about the student side of the program,” says Max Gocala-Nguyen, director of undergraduate recruitment and engagement. “Often we pair students with faculty members who speak to the program structure and course work, while the students lighten the language to help make it more real for visitors.”
Gocala-Nguyen started the program after realizing that prospective freshmen and transfer students could benefit from hearing first-hand from students they could relate to. In addition to speaking with students, Ambassadors also give impromptu campus tours to groups, lead panels during events, and provide insight into the school’s email marketing campaign. Currently there are nine Student Ambassadors ranging in majors and class years.
“Outside of recruitment events, having a diverse cohort of engaged and passionate students to give feedback about the undergraduate business student experience is invaluable to our ability to create positive change across the academic unit,” says William Hailey, undergraduate recruitment and engagement coordinator, who manages the program. “Our hope is that students that arrive at Mason having connected with a Student Ambassador will have a better understanding of the opportunities and resources available to them within the School of Business, easing their transition and increasing engagement throughout their time at Mason.”
Information Systems and Operations Management (ISOM) student Juhee Jain has been a student ambassador since her freshman year. “I think the Student Ambassador program is really great because it allows students to gain insight directly from Mason business students,” says Jain, who wished she had the same opportunity before joining Mason. “As an ambassador, I have the chance to do that for other students, which not only helps them, but also helps me learn what other students are looking for when searching for a major.”
School of Business ambassadors serve for a year, and must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in their second semester at Mason. Two recommendations, with one being from a faculty member, are needed to apply. For more information, contact Gocala-Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Even though I am educating future students, I learn more about the school and my major and have developed more confidence in my path towards graduation,” says Jain.