Why Should I Become a Student Ambassador
Every student ambassador’s motivation for joining Unibuddy is as unique as each conversation on the Unibuddy platform.
However, if you’re still contemplating whether you’d like to be a Unibuddy ambassador, we hope you’ll have your mind made up by the end of this post.
(Highly sought after) Employability skills
It’s no secret that to succeed on Unibuddy you’ll need to be able to manage your own time and your own workload; so you’ll be glad to hear that LinkedIn recognises that self-management is “the most in-demand job skill of 2021.”
They define ‘self-management’ as involving active learning (or continuous personal development), resilience, stress-tolerance, and flexibility. The latter three come as part and parcel of the job role as a digital ambassador for Unibuddy.
You can easily achieve ‘active learning’ through keeping informed of the higher education landscape (via HE News websites such as Inside Higher Ed, Times Higher Education and PIE News, to name a few) and keeping in the loop of the ins and outs of your particular institution.
Along with self-management comes a level of responsibility and trust. Becoming a Unibuddy ambassador means becoming a representative of the university; your institution is putting you directly in front of their potential future students.
There is an expectation that you’ll be polite, sensible, and conscientious in your conversations with prospects and that you’ll stay on top of the messages you receive.
Responsibility in the form of trustworthiness, self-discipline, conscientiousness, and accountability are soft skills that are highly regarded by any employer.
According to Business Insider, ‘emotional Intelligence’ is one of the key soft skills employers are looking for in the job market of 2021.
Using Unibuddy will help you hone this skill as you chat with a whole range of people from different backgrounds with different life experiences, and you may have to tailor the conversation to the individual.
Being empathetic and understanding with the prospects you’re chatting to will also contribute towards gaining this skill.
Whether it’s communicating with colleagues or customers, communication is an integral part of any job role. Being a Unibuddy ambassador shows that you are able to hold a conversation with a ‘customer’ and that you can successfully inform them of your experiences of higher education.
Some ambassadors like to refer to themselves as ‘storytellers’ (particularly if you’re writing blogs or creating vlogs for your university), which is another means of communication you will perfect by engaging with the Unibuddy platform.
An opportunity to ‘give back’
A fact that often goes unspoken is that Unibuddy offers the opportunity to give something back to your university.
This can be particularly poignant to students who were granted entry to the university on a scholarship or honorarium. It could also be relatable to those who felt their university gave them a chance when others didn’t, or alumni who feel that their university experience massively changed their life.
William Ndut spoke about this willingness to give back and why he took the opportunity to share his experiences as an alumni ambassador at our 2020 conference (you can watch the session here).
Speak to people from all over the world
The digital nature of Unibuddy means that you won’t only be speaking to prospects from the same postcode as you, or even necessarily the same country. It’s likely you’ll be chatting to prospects from all over the world.
You’ll also be chatting to people from all walks of life; school-leavers, career changers, scholarship recipients, all with very different interests and questions to one another.
The variety of these conversations is what truly makes Unibuddy interesting and exciting—you never know what someone’s going to ask you next!
If all of this still hasn’t convinced you, then perhaps some hard incentives will.
Each university is different in the way that they approach Unibuddy; some choose to pay their ambassadors an hourly rate, others offer gift cards or vouchers for your contributions, and some present Unibuddy as a voluntary scheme.
Any way your university decides to define Unibuddy, it’s likely there will be some sort of hard incentive along the way to make the opportunity even more enticing.
Be part of something bigger than yourself
Last, but certainly not least, one of the main reasons current ambassadors state for wanting to become an ambassador is to be part of a community and to be part of something bigger than themselves.
As a Unibuddy ambassador, you’re part of a community of ambassadors at your university, but you’re also part of a community of Unibuddy ambassadors all around the world.
We have ambassadors from Canada, Iceland, Qatar, Botswana, Australia, China, Russia, Mexico and so many more—so you really are part of a global community.
Building Your Online Reputation
It’s no secret that people interested in you, such as employers or anyone wanting to take a chance on your skills, research you before or after meeting you. They can look up what you’ve done online and what kind of presence you have on the Internet and social media. Being a Unibuddy Ambassador means cultivating a reputable image under a trusted brand. Anyone seeing your posts or association with Unibuddy can see with confidence that you’re capable of maintaining a good online presence, and you can show off honed skills of writing, customer service and understanding a brand’s voice.
If your future career aspirations are in writing, this is an excellent way to build a portfolio of work that you can show to employers as a proven ability to write relevant content and fit your writing within a brand. It also helps you develop a strong writing style that is a good skill to take to any new job.
Communication skills are a must in any workplace, and honing them is not always an easy task. As a Unibuddy Ambassador, you’ll be learning to effectively communicate with people from different walks of life, and convey information in the way that is best received for each individual. Though this skill is useful in terms of employment, you’ll find that it applies generally to your entire life, and being able to share your thoughts in a way others understand will make your life much easier.
Networking and Long-term Connections
The opportunity to kick start your career connections as a Unibuddy ambassador is a real draw. Unibuddy ambassadors connect with prospective students, who need guidance and support, and you help set them up for success. Though some interactions will be more surface-level, others might really have a profound impact on an incoming student, and you can be reasonably confident that they’ll remember what you did for them and be motivated to help out later if they can.
You’ll also likely get contact with university staff, faculty and alumni. These are folks who have established networks and can likely set up informational interviews, share what companies are hiring and what they’re looking for, or even get you a warm connection with an employer. However, every institution uses Unibuddy differently, so be prepared to connect with a lot of people and seek out opportunities to talk to staff and connect over your experiences.
As an ambassador, you’re doing a job that has you meeting a lot of different people. Fostering these initial relationships means that you’ll have connections well after graduation and perhaps some lifelong friendships with peers and other collaborators. As you support others now with your experience, this can make a difference in your career later when you’re in need of support from your network.
Even better, you can connect with this global community via our Ambassador Lounge on LinkedIn.
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