Student ambassador profiles
Course: English and French
Reason why you applied to be a student ambassador: It looked like a lot of fun! I remembered coming to an Open Day and thinking one of the most useful aspects had been talking to Student Ambassadors who had a lot to say about Exeter and I really wanted to help out prospective students with that in mind. The role looked really flexible so I could fit it in around lectures and societies, as well as being incredibly varied work. I just thought talking about my experience of Exeter sounded like a fantastic way to get involved with the University and the pay, whilst not my main reason, is also definitely a pretty great added benefit!
Best job you have done so far and why: It’s difficult to choose only one seeing as there’s such a variety of work, but I think my favourites have been the tutoring scheme I did last year and helping on the Open Days. Getting to tutor a group of Year 10s at a local school to raise awareness of Higher Education options was a complete first for me, but I absolutely loved it. Admittedly I might have been a little anxious on my first day, but it really quickly became something I looked forward to every week; the kids were so great and it was such a buzz to see them engaging with what we were talking about. I’d never even considered teaching as a career option but doing this completely opened my eyes to just how enjoyable it can be. It honestly was a fantastic experience and (hopefully!) looks really great on my CV. The Open Days are probably the most tiring work I’ve done for the ESA scheme, but are definitely rewarding; I remember how great it was meeting so many enthusiastic students at Exeter when I was visiting the Open Day, so I really enjoyed being given the opportunity to give a similar impression.
What you feel you are getting out of it: The diversity of job options in the ESA scheme mean that you are constantly developing new skills every time you work. It’s a job that is based around speaking to people, so my communication skills have improved enormously; giving talks and lessons made me practice my presentation skills, which I also really appreciated. As well as all of this, I’ve made a bunch of really great friends through the scheme and have got to work with all the fantastic staff in the Student Recruitment Office experiencing a side of the University that most students don’t get to see.
Future career: This is a very good (if slightly scary) question! I’m not quite sure at the moment, but definitely continuing to work in a job that is based around people and hopefully spending a few years abroad.
Course: Exercise and Sport Sciences
Reason why you applied to be a student ambassador: There are several reasons why I was keen to be a student ambassador. Firstly, the range of work on offer really appealed to me. There aren’t many jobs with so many opportunities to get involved in different experiences (from tours of the accommodation and campus to tutoring A-Level pupils). The work is flexible; I can choose which days and hours I work, so I can tailor the work around my study / job / sport. Moreover I am able to share my pride and enthusiasm for Exeter University. After only a few months at Exeter I knew I had made the right decision. It’s great to meet prospective students and chat to them, to help them to decide if Exeter is right for them. The student ambassador that I saw on my Open Day in 2013 was so enthusiastic and really honest about her experience. I wanted to be that person for the next cohort of students.
Best job you have done so far and why: It’s hard to pick a single job that stands out, as every job I have done I have enjoyed. One of the most fulfilling jobs was tutoring an A-Level psychology student. This was really great work experience, getting to sit down one-on-one with the student and help her with revision. It felt great seeing an improvement in her understanding of the curriculum. Most importantly though, it was satisfying to watch her confidence grow and knowing I had played a role in that.
I also really enjoyed being part of St Luke’s Open Days and Exercise and Sport Sciences Offer Holder Days. There are many of these days in semester 2, but no two days are ever the same. It was fantastic to talk one-on-one with the prospective students and answer any questions they (or their parents) had. It was great to show off Rowancroft and the St Luke’s campus and explain that as ‘Lukies’ we get the community feel from the smaller campus yet get to be involved with all the events and sport on Streatham. I think meeting a student ambassador really helps a prospective student to get an honest opinion of the University and course, and to see if they can see themselves being comfortable here. Being a small part in that massive decision is really rewarding.
What you feel you are getting out of it: There are many things I feel the scheme has given me.
- Mostly importantly I enjoy working as a student ambassador. The range of work, the flexibility, meeting new people and making friends with the other ambassadors makes being a student ambassador the perfect university job.
- Being a student ambassador is satisfying. You play a role in helping prospective students decide if Exeter University is right for them. For only a few hours work a week (or more if you are available) I feel like I am making a real difference.
- The varied work also gives me great (paid for) work experience. For example I have taken part in mentoring an A Level student, tutoring year 10’s, and many open days and tours. I am considering teaching as a career and getting school based experience is invaluable.
- I have also become more confident. I have travelled to places I haven’t been before. I have also spoken with a lot of people I have never met before. So I definitely feel more confident going into new situations and approaching new people. I also have gained greater communication skills as student ambassadors give talks and tours, so you need to talk loudly and clearly and let your enthusiasm come across.
- Lastly, I have gained new friends as a result of being a student ambassador. St Luke’s is a smaller campus and throughout the Open day and Offer-Holder Visit Days I saw the same student ambassadors very regularly. So it’s nice walking around campus and chatting to the other student ambassadors between lectures.
Future career: I have always thought I would like to teach. As I want a job where you are not at a desk all day, and get to work with people. I feel the student ambassador scheme has given me skills that are transferable to teaching. Once I have graduated I would perhaps like to spend a few years abroad working or travelling.
Anyone considering becoming a Student Ambassador should do it!
Penryn Campus Ambassadors
Course: English with Study Abroad
Reason why you applied to be a student ambassador: I first encountered the ambassador scheme as a local sixth form student. My school was visited several times by ambassadors who delivered workshops about higher education; covering topics such as the UCAS application process and budgeting techniques. I was consistently impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of these students and researched how to become an ambassador as soon as I’d secured a place at the Penryn Campus. I was also attracted to the scheme due to the flexibility of work available. I felt that having a job at university would boost my funds and my CV, but I never wanted my degree to suffer as a result of other time commitments. As an ambassador I’m able to choose the amount of work I take on, so I never feel like my studies are being compromised.
Best job you have done so far and why: It’s so difficult to pick just one, but I loved working at the 2014 Excellence Awards. The event celebrates the achievements of local school children and is hosted by the university. The campus looked stunning this year, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many balloons! The children were immensely proud of themselves, bringing along grandparents and parents to enjoy the evening as well. Apparently, they’ve since been trying to use their “Excellent” status to get to the front of lunch queues. I think that’s just great!
More generally, one of the most rewarding aspects of this job is helping sixth formers to choose which universities to apply to and which courses to take. Sometimes an unsure student will come across a course or institution which really captures their interest and it’s as if a light bulb has been switched on. It’s amazing to see that enthusiasm blossom in such a short space of time.
What you feel you are getting out of it: The student ambassador scheme has definitely improved my confidence. This time last year I was really nervous about starting university and would have run a mile before delivering a presentation. Now I can comfortably address a room of people and truly believe that the ESA scheme is helping me to become the person I want to be. Socially the scheme has been fantastic too. I now have friends on different courses and in different years from myself who I never would have come across without being a student ambassador.
Future career: I’d like to complete a Masters in Cultural Heritage Management once I’ve finished my degree. My ultimate goal is to work for The National Trust or English Heritage, possibly in an educational or curatorial capacity.
Working as a student ambassador is genuinely one of my favourite things about university. If you’re unsure whether to apply please do; I wouldn’t have missed out on this past year for anything!