From quiet to confident: how the Student Ambassador Program changed my life
By Shenisse Monzon, Student Ambassador
When I started my life as a Douglas College student back in 2015, I never pictured myself getting involved on campus. I was just focused on my studies and adapting to life as a college student. But my mother had other ideas.
My mother came with me to my orientation back in May 2015 and as soon as she saw the student panel filled with Ambassadors, she whispered in my ear that she could see me doing something like that – sharing my experiences with others on how my college life balances with my personal life. I, of course denied it, but she made sure I signed up for a bunch of activities on campus and one of them included signing up to be apart of the Student Ambassador program.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into, nor did I really know if I really wanted to do this and put myself out there. So many new changes were happening in my life, but as I look back now, I am happy with the decision I made.
My very first semester with the Student Ambassador program, I didn’t really do many events – I was very timid and still getting used to the transition from high school to post secondary. But as my second semester came along, I got more involved and started getting to know both campuses a bit better and building connections with not only fellow ambassadors and staff, but also with different mentors and other services within Douglas College. Being a part of the Student Ambassador program has given me many valuable skills that not only help me in a professional setting, but in a personal setting as well.
Being a part of a leadership group provides many opportunities for professional development. We participated in resumé building workshops and mental health awareness activities hosted by Douglas faculty and other experts. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you not only gain valuable skills, but you get to connect with fellow Ambassadors in a relaxed environment where you can get to know one another.
One of the biggest ways I benefitted from the Student Ambassador program was improving my public speaking skills. Before, I used to be afraid to speak in front of people, especially in big crowds. Once I became a Student Ambassador, all I did was talk to people. It helped me gain the confidence I was lacking and I slowly became less and less nervous about speaking in front of people. Eventually I became that person who sat on the student panels answering questions and sharing my experiences. In April 2017, I was even asked to represent the Student Ambassador program by delivering a speech at the Student Leadership Awards.
Volunteering for the ambassador program has given me so much knowledge and insight about Douglas College that when someone has a question, I can answer it with confidence.
As an Ambassador, you’re required to volunteer at least 20 hours per semester. There are lots of opportunities to help you fill those 20 hours, such as information sessions and welcome week. It’s okay if you can’t attend every event, as long as you fulfill the 20 hours each semester. You can volunteer at either campus, before or after class. Once you’ve completed two semesters as a Student Ambassador, you can start to take advantage of the perks, like priority registration and other freebies.
What I love most about volunteering is that I get to meet a lot of different prospective students that I can help with their questions or worries about going to post secondary, and how at ease they feel after we’ve talked for a bit. Through volunteering, I got to enhance my communication and leadership skills.
I have now been in the Student Ambassador program for four years and it has shaped my life in numerous ways. For me, it was a great introduction to the Douglas College way of life and what our school had to offer. I formed friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I also gained many skills that will help me with my future endeavors. And what is most rewarding for me is knowing that I can help prospective students with their transition from high school to Douglas College through my stories, experiences and impact.
Do you love Douglas College? Want to share your stories and help prospective students decide if Douglas is right for them? Join the Student Ambassador Program! Upcoming application deadline is May 12.