Do you despair at the applications you get for your ambassador scheme? Wish that you had a better spread of students across subject areas? Just wish that you got more applications full stop?
At Unibuddy, we’re all about human connections between future students and current students, and we do this by taking ambassadors online, available to message directly and securely. As Student Engagement Manager here, I’m often quizzed by our partners about the best way to get engaged, motivated students onto their scheme.
Drawing on my experience in HE and managing an ambassador scheme, best practice taking place amongst our partners, and of course inspiration from La Lipa herself, here are your new rules to getting the best ambassadors on board.
Call on your departmental colleagues and ask if you can have 5–10 minutes of their lectures for freshers. This is where you (or even better, a current ambassador) will promote the scheme and also the information sessions (see #2).
Think strategically to ensure that you recruit a diverse selection of students (course, nationality and year) and prioritise promo talks in shortage subject areas.
These promo talks work best when complemented by general on-campus and online promotion too.
These sessions are where you explain the scheme in more detail and crucially, what you’re expecting from the application form. Attendance at these sessions is also the only way to get an application form.
Why all this effort before they’ve even applied?
Make sure you factor enough time in for applications to come in and for you to shortlist them. If you’ve planned and promoted hard, it’s quite likely that you will have a high number of applications coming in, making it impossible to interview everyone (and you really DO want to interview).
If it looks like a lot of steps and work, then you’re right — certainly for the first cycle anyway. After that, like any process, it becomes embedded pretty quickly. And of course, it’s absolutely worth it — a university is only considered as good as its students and staff when it comes to the crunch. After all, it’s why UK HE invests so much in open days. Take your ambassadors online, and it’s even more important that you’ve got the best and most honest representatives of what it feels like to belong.
Now you’ve got your rules for recruitment, keep your eyes peeled for my next blog where I’ll talk about training.
Unibuddy is working with over 70 institutions around the world with some impressive results — but don’t just take our word for it. Have a look at www.unibuddy.com and find out what some of our partners say.
Amy has worked in education for over 6 years, most recently as a Student Recruitment Officer at Queen Mary, University of London. There, she managed a team of 75 ambassadors for the institution. She joined Unibuddy as Student Engagement Officer in 2018, bringing her expertise to optimising student engagement on the platform.
Amy has a passion for women’s history and is a big fan of NYC — visiting the Big Apple whenever she can.