There are plenty of qualities that you are used to looking for in your student ambassadors, but if you’re new to digital student ambassador programs you might be unsure of what to be looking for.
Finding ambassadors is the first (and arguably easiest) step in establishing a university ambassador program. There are enthusiastic students on every campus, loads of whom are looking for opportunities to build their skills and experience. But what should you be looking for?
Many of the skills are similar – but there are some different ones and some that might surprise you. Here is our rundown.
Digital ambassadors must be great communicators – but they also need to be digital natives. Being a great communicator online means writing in a clear and concise way, coming across as open and friendly and maybe even using emojis.
The ability to communicate effectively online through chat channels is different from the ability to speak to a big tour group or give a presentation.
You can assess this in the application stage. Send students example questions and see how they respond. You could also ask them for examples of digital content they’ve created in the past.
Digital student ambassadors tend to work more independently from other ambassador or student roles. Whether they are creating content, working on social media, or chatting on an online platform like Unibuddy – a lot of this is done in the student’s own time.
With studying and extra-curricular activities, it’s vital to find digital student ambassadors that can fit the work into their schedule. Ask at the interview for examples of how they organise their time.
It’s vital that your ambassadors online are just as engaging as those offline! They should be friendly, keen to help and get to know prospective students.
Those with great empathy for the student journey to Higher Ed – a journey they were on not long ago themselves – thrive in all ambassador roles.
Students who can create compelling and engaging content will also be an asset to your ambassador team.
Working online and independently can sometimes mean digital ambassadors won’t be as directly managed as your ‘offline’ ambassadors. You need ambassadors who have initiative, can answer questions independently and know when is appropriate to seek help, or redirect an enquiry.
They also need to be responsible: for managing their own time, projects and conversations. You could try asking them some ‘tough questions’ they might receive as an ambassador to see how they respond, or what they do.
Above all else, you want your digital ambassadors to show enthusiasm and passion for your institution. That is the most important part of any ambassador program, and it’s why positive interactions with current students result in such high conversion.
Enthusiasm for the institution should come across in the application and interview.
Ambassador recruitment doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s essential to get the right processes in place and a good idea of what skills are key. 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.