Senior Student Ambassador Case Study – Christianah Babajide
Unitemps candidate and final year Law student at City, University of London Christianah Babajide previously wrote for us about working through Unitemps in the role of Student Ambassador. Now, she has been promoted to Senior Student Ambassador at her university and spoke to us about how she settled into her new role in the marketing department and why she would recommend others to apply.
Unitemps: What made you apply to become a Senior Ambassador?
Christianah: In the last two years, I have developed my public speaking skills and ability to retain information by giving campus/accommodation tours to visitors and prospective students. I had also developed a rapport with the Marketing department staff, which proved invaluable when applying for my current position. Besides the developed skillset, my family’s support and encouragement were the impetus behind my decision to apply for the higher role. After being a Marketing Ambassador for two years, I thought it was fitting to apply for a more Senior role, one which I naturally fell into. I applied for Senior because I yearned for the opportunity to develop my leadership qualities while sharpening my communication skills. Serving as a Senior Student Ambassador has been a pleasurable experience for me. It is one of the best opportunities many university’s Careers service (affiliated with Unitemps) offers its students and has really helped refine my priorities and career goals in life. I had the opportunity to not only encourage (junior) student ambassadors to apply for this role but I have been able to serve as a good role model for them.
Unitemps: What does a Senior Student Ambassador do?
Christianah: Everything from being a team leader to helping in the Marketing office. A Senior Student Ambassador can supervise groups of other ambassadors during open days, applicant days and taster days, represent the university at Higher Education conventions, deliver student experience talks, sit on the recruitment panel and take part in interviewing prospective student ambassadors. They can also attend regular student input focus sessions to provide constructive feedback into various student recruitment activities, support the marketing office department with complex administrative duties and help create resources to be used during events.
Unitemps: What can you tell us about the application process?
Christianah: The application process is straightforward. You are asked to email your responses to the following two questions:
(1) Why do you wish to be Senior Student Ambassador and what experience and skills will you be able to bring to the role?
(2) What is your favourite part about being a Student Ambassador?
If your application is successful, you are then invited in for an informal face to face interview with two members of the Marketing department. Here you are questioned about the skills and qualities of being a good Senior Student Ambassador, your motivation behind applying for the role and your knowledge about your university as an institution. Afterwards, you presented with complex scenario questions to test your responses of how you would deal with a range of different situations – the staff assess your responses to decipher leadership qualities and decide if you would be a good Senior Ambassador. In your written application, it is important to emphasise your people’s skills and speak enthusiastically about the university as a whole – because, if successful, that is essentially what you will spend the duration of your time doing.
Unitemps: Which skills or experience do you think are essential to this role?
Christianah: The most important skill for a Senior Student Ambassador is to be a people’s person; this means being enthusiastic, active listening, ability to relate with others on a professional or personal level, willingness to work together with others, ability to work independently and as part of a team. Coming across as approachable and friendly is a huge part of your job description. This is because, whilst speaking to a visitor or prospective student, you could either be the reason they come to the university or the reason they don’t. The Senior Student Ambassador role is very influential and should not be underestimated. Other desired skills include: leadership skills, public speaking, taking initiative, ability to think on your feet, being reliable and punctual, excellent communication and interpersonal skills. As a Senior, you will be a visitor’s first point of contact – they may ask you a question or a situation may catch you off guard; you must be able to use your initiative and common sense to provide a solution quickly. It also helps to have substantial knowledge about your university’s higher education and be willing to share this with others in an engaging way.
Unitemps: What do you feel you are getting out of it?
Christianah: This role offers a plethora of benefits and opportunities, just to name a few; you receive satisfaction gained from the knowledge of raising awareness of the advantages of Higher Education and encouraging prospective students to apply to your university. You get the chance to enhance your employable skills and boost your CV with all your experience; an ambassador wears many hats! I’ve had the chance to work closely with the city staff in the marketing office and I feel that I am making a significant contribution to my university’s student recruitment activities.
Unitemps: Why would you recommend others to apply for it?
Christianah: Being a Senior Student Ambassador is a great way to meet other students across different departments while having a part-time job. It offers the perfect opportunity to build key transferable skills such as event management, leadership, organisational and communication skills. Such skills development will be supported by a mandatory and ongoing training programme. You will eventually become a specialist in these areas whilst building valuable skills which will boost your employability. Your role as a Senior Ambassador will be in addition to your existing role as Student Ambassador and you will be employed to work on both levels depending on the specific job allocated to you. However, the flexibility of the role allows it to fit well around your studies and is offered throughout the year. You can choose which types of work you would like to do based on your availability and academic timetable. It is only the larger on-campus events (such as Open Days) that are mandatory.
Christianah is a final Law Student at City, University of London.