You might think that working in outreach as a Student Ambassador is a role which is limited to your time at University. Many companies, however, are investing their resources into outreach initiatives to increase brand awareness, cultivate consumer loyalty, and give back to the broader community. Your time as a Student Ambassador provides you with experience and skills that you can bring into new roles after graduation and gives credibility to your CV as someone who is willing to go the extra mile.
As an Ambassador, you will gain experience working with the public, communicating your experiences in Higher Education to students, parents, or other people curious about life at University. At outreach events, you are the first point of contact about university culture (what university is like, what you do at university, etc). The ability to communicate a clear message, fact, or piece of information in addition to sign-posting is a crucial part of recruitment, sales and administration when entering the workforce. You may be surprised how many of your future co-workers have trouble communicating clearly their thoughts, ideas, or the work they’ve completed to unfamiliar audiences outside of their industry. Working as an ambassador gives you the opportunity to try out different ways of imparting knowledge to groups and grow confident in speaking to new faces.
Companies build extensive models around company culture to differentiate themselves from similar organisations. If you are an outreach tutor, staying on track with lesson plans devised by the Partnership Development Office shows that you can identify and expand on the knowledge your university has compiled. Being able to identify key concepts, goals or positions held by your future employer in a similar fashion speaks to your ability to align with company practices.
You also feed two birds with one scone by working directly with schools and other educational institutions. A willingness to get involved with various age groups shows you are adaptable, flexible, and have the patience to work with all learners. Adjusting your approach to new material, lessons, and policies in education gives the chance to show professionalism through your personal timekeeping and a positive demeanour.
Most positions will expect you to travel for further training, to cover other employees that may need time off, hold meetings with stakeholders or potential customers. Travelling for work with schools around Kent and Medway (off-campus ambassador opportunities) can let you manage your time around bus and train timetables. Hopefully you can plan ahead to keep productive, even on long journeys. While it may not always be ideal to study or prepare material on the go, it is in your best interests to try every once in a while to work in a new setting. You might even find yourself accomplishing tasks while in transit, giving you more free time when you arrive back home.
Acting as a Student Ambassador can have its challenges, but you are gaining excellent experience that will help diversify your employability after your degree is done. You are gaining the skills to become marketable outside of your studies and getting the chance to represent the University of Kent.
This post is written by CA York, current student ambassador and outreach tutor.