Welcome back! This is a continuation of my previous blog post on the same topic (this tends to happen a lot… maybe I should try being a bit more succinct in my writing). Anyway, if you’re still on the fence about applying for the scheme, perhaps the next points will change your mind:
2. Develop your skills
Because you’re given immense freedom to select your tasks from the portal, you can either play to your strengths and apply for jobs that are right down your league, or you could step out of your comfort zone and try something completely different. Whichever the case, your competence in that area will certainly grow as a result. To illustrate my point, here are the main skills that I personally feel I’ve seen improvements in:
- Writing skills
I’ve always had a passion for writing, so I seized at the chance to contribute to the university’s international blog (such as the one you’re reading right now!). Choosing to pursue a healthcare degree meant having to peruse and produce numerous scientific reports on a regular basis, so I’m sure you can imagine how this is a much-appreciated break from the monotony of methodical writing. Well, that got depressing really quickly, so let’s move swiftly onto the next point:
- Communication skills
This is pretty much a no-brainer! Speaking to new people forms the basis of what an ambassador does, so you can expect to improve your communication skills by leaps and bounds as you progress through the years. Speaking in front of the camera terrifies me to no end, but I still took on the challenge of hosting a Facebook live-streaming session during an open day last summer, and I’m now one step closer towards conquering my fear!
Furthermore, delivering weekly campus tours to groups of different demographics and nationalities has developed into somewhat of a routine for me, and I’ve found myself getting much more comfortable at public speaking. Also, I’ve been a phone operator for the Clearing call centre for two years now — the role really challenges you to adapt your approach depending on the student’s emotional state and to give crystal clear responses to avoid any confusion.
- Problem solving ability
You’ll be surprised, but incidents do occur even in something as innocuous as an orientation event! Last summer, since I was leading a game involving visuals and auditory effects in a closed hall, many of the participants didn’t so much as flinch even when the building’s fire alarm started buzzing at full volume. I had to lead the students out calmly, and this was made all the more challenging considering it was their first day of university! This is obviously a bit far down the spectrum, but things do happen and you’ll need to think on your feet to keep problems from getting out of hand.
3. Integrate into kings
This point resonates with me particularly as an international student because being an ambassador played a huge role in me acclimatising to the university community. I was surrounded by an amazing group of people, namely my marketing managers and fellow ambassadors who were incredibly accommodating to me. Also, I began to know the university inside out through giving campus tours and working with various departments across the institution.
4. Give back to the university
As nice as it is to develop yourself through the scheme, it’s also immensely gratifying to give back to the community by helping:
- New students
Ambassadors are employed during Welcome Week to help students move into residences, manage queues for ID collections and deliver culture shock quizzes to name a few. You may also get the opportunity to call 1st year students to check in on how they’re getting on and provide them with any sage advice you might have garnered as a senior.
- Promote King’s to the world!
The university is regularly visited by students from all corners of the world, and you might get the opportunity to not only share some of your experiences with them, but also deliver “Welcome to King’s” presentations as well. Some jobs might even involve you travelling to schools or attend education fairs to represent King’s.
As I had alluded to in the previous blog, signing up for the ambassador scheme was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made at King’s. Since I’m getting precariously close to my graduation, I would like to end this article by thanking everyone who had helped make my journey as an ambassador such a pleasant one, particularly that one friend of mine who had given me just enough confidence to click ‘send’ on my application document all those years ago.