Gain leadership skills, make friends and build your resumé
By JC Joaquin, Psychiatric Nursing student
I was a Student Ambassador for Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 Semesters. As a new student, I saw the Student Ambassadors mingling in the concourse during events and it looked like a lot of fun. I wanted to be more involved with the College community and thought becoming a Student Ambassador would be a great way to do that. I was also very interested in participating in the recruitment of new students – one of the duties Student Ambassadors have – because I had just gone through that transition from high school to college myself and wanted to share my knowledge and experience with others.
Fake it till you make it
At first, I was a bit apprehensive about the program because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough confidence to be successful in a leadrership position. But after I participated in numerous information sessions about becoming a Student Ambassador and learnt more about the inititives I would be involved in, I became excited about stepping outside of my comfort zone and taking on new challenges.
Over the first few weeks, I came into my own, honed my public speaking skills and really got to connect with prospective students. I was also able to start with small, simple leadership tasks and work my way up to bigger roles with more responsibility.
Get involved as part of a team
I participated in events such as Counsellor’s Day, when the College hosts high school counsellors from around the region, information sessions and high school visits where we talked to prospective students. The Student Ambassadors also attended team-building meetings and would get together to organize events and prizes, all of which proved to be an important learning experiences in teamwork.
Over two semesters as a Student Ambassador, I enjoyed working with my team members and even made new friends. Even though Summer Semester 2020 will be online, Student Ambassadors will still be able to work as a team virtually and do their part online to promote Douglas College.
Expand your network and professional skills
Monthly Student Ambassador meetings offer plenty of opportunities for professional development. These meetings illustrated the basics of communication to employers (in this case, Douglas staff), how to mitigate conflict in the workplace, professional self-conduct and so much more. Events also offered us the chance to practice these skills, Counsellor’s Day in particular. It placed an even greater emphasis on punctuality and accountability, and made way for professional connections, friendships and – my personal favourite – hearing about the ins and outs of being a counsellor for high school students. Summer Semester will continue to offer professional development sessions and opportunities to connect, just in an online format.
After two semesters as a Student Ambassador, I decided to move on to a new role. I’m now a Campus Tour Leader – taking prospective students on tours (once in-person services start back up) of the campus – and my time as a Student Ambassador really prepared me for this role. As a Tour Leader, I have to talk a lot about Douglas College; however, all those management and communication workshops I attended as part of the Student Ambassador program molded me into the confident person I am today, and I have no fears about public speaking.
Overall, I think the Student Ambassador program is a great way to jumpstart your involvement in the College as the program presents many unique opportunities. Above all else, there’s a phenomenal family vibe, which makes Douglas College feel like home.
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! Apply May 22.