Ambassador Reflections: Ellie Tomlin

Lead Ambassador and Outreach Tutor, Ellie Tomlin, looks back on her time on the Ambassador Scheme as she gets ready to graduate from her French and Religious Studies degree.

Ey up! I’m Ellie and I’ve just finished my degree in French and Religious Studies and I’m celebrating without knowing my results because ignorance is bliss…

Without a doubt, one of the best things I’ve done during my time at Kent was joining the Ambassador Scheme in October 2017 of my first year. I joined the scheme because former ambassador, Ellie C, came into one of my language classes at school and gave a talk about how good being and ambassador was and, well, I believed her! The first event I worked was the Lego League which was so much fun and after that I was hooked (my team for Lego League won the tournament which did help!). My fondest memory is probably working my first summer core team, because I was a bunch of nerves on the training day but everyone got on really well and whilst the weeks were intense, it really gave me a chance to improve my confidence and meet staff members. It also pushed me to apply to become a Lead Ambassador and Outreach Tutor at the start of my second year and apply for the summer core team again the following summer.

I enjoyed a lot of events I took part in, including the Modern Languages Day (I’m a little biased because of my degree), Science Extravaganza Days, Year 10 Residential, the Succeed Programme and visiting local schools. I love travelling and getting to know the local area’s train links, so to be paid to do that was even better!! I’ve gained so much from the Scheme that there’s not enough time to write it down. But skills include confidence, presentation skills and just friends to go out for a drink with whilst at University. It’s also helped me decide that I’d like to work with young people in the future.

My advice for new ambassadors would be to get involved straight away. I know your first event, whether in person or online, can be scary but please push yourself to sign up on Heat. If you aren’t sure of anything, just email outreach, or someone in the office you know, and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have (I know, I’ve tried it multiple times!). Next year I’ve applied to be an English Language Assistant in one of France’s Overseas Departments (French territories not situated in Europe), but if not overseas, then in the south of France, so hopefully covid won’t mess up another year abroad! Then we’ll see where the wind takes me…

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every staff member in the team especially the ones I have worked with over the years and those who have also spent time giving me advice outside of the Scheme. Your support has been greatly appreciated over the last four years. It has honestly been my favourite job I’ve ever had (although selling pies in a football stadium is a close second!) and I’m so gutted it’s coming to an end. Sorry that it wasn’t possible to meet in person this year but I hope everyone is well and I give lots of luck to students graduating and to new ambassadors starting out. My inbox is always open! I’m going to end this now before I cry, but thank you again, it’s been a proper blast. You’ll catch me on Darwen Moor, Lancashire, sporting my blue ambassador hoodie FOR YEARS.