The campus ambassador program is in the midst of one of its crucial recruiting sessions and is searching for students who are looking to volunteer for their school in a rewarding way. The program involves students representing NAIT in a variety of functions including program previews, Open House and new student orientation. Their most common duty is running tours of the campus.
“They’re [campus ambassadors] involved in a lot of interactions with prospective students,” says Campus Visits Coordinator Nicole Blomme.
This means that often times they are the face of NAIT to students as young as 13 or 14, in addition to those in high school or older looking at pursuing post-secondary education. But as
campus ambassador Mihnea Gavrila explains, the job really is so much more than that.
“I’ve found that the core purpose of being an ambassador is to share the spirit of NAIT and create a welcoming and positive experience for every visitor,” says Gavrila.
Gavrila is starting his second year in the campus ambassador program and his fifth year at NAIT. The Bachelor of Business Administration student is glad he’s joined the program and feels that it’s one avenue for students to make themselves more integrated on campus.
“Once in a while, someone would mention something extra-curricular they’d done at NAIT and I would think to myself: ‘Well, I haven’t done much of anything besides focussing on my studies.’ And in the summer of 2016, I decided I should be more involved, with the intention of both being out of my comfort zone and feeling like I was a substantial part of the NAIT community.”
Gavrila volunteered to help run tours during new student orientation and, through his volunteering, was encouraged to apply to the campus ambassador program. His decision to finally pursue a more fulfilling student experience was a long time coming.
“One reason I joined was to break out of the isolated bubble I was living in. I wanted to meet new people and grow as an individual and I’ve found there isn’t a more supportive group of ladies and gents.”
The benefits Gavrila has seen don’t come just from exchanges with potential new students. It’s the collaboration among the ambassadors themselves that also creates a lot of value. One of Gavrila’s fellow ambassadors created a club last winter and a NAIT extension on the website jack.org which engages in positive mental health discussion. Gavrila says he’s fortunate to
be a part of the club as VP Finance, a position he would not hold if he hadn’t gotten involved with the campus ambassador program. It’s these instances that make the experience so worthwhile in his eyes.
In just the last two years, the program has increased 10 fold, from four students to 40,
proving it’s making great leaps. After being accepted, there are two training sessions ambassadors go through, then event notifications are run through e-mail.
“To anyone interested,” Gavrila says, “I would say it’s an enriching experience and an opportunity to build your confidence to develop a number of valuable soft skills, interpersonal communication, public speaking, leadership and the ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, etc. And of course, to share your NAIT pride. All you
need is a willingness to learn.”
If you’re interested in becoming a student ambassador, fill out the application form at nait.ca/campusambassador.
– Michael Menzies, Senior Editor