Friday, February 8, 2008
Admissions ambassadors share what OU has to offer
Twice a day, campus tours set out from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to guide prospective students and their families through their first experience of Oakland University. Leading the way for the excited visitors are OU’s admissions ambassadors, student leaders who provide facts and knowledge about the university and what it has to offer.
“We take the high school students and their families around the campus, inside the academic buildings, and through the residence halls to give them a peek at what life is like for students here at OU,” explains Corey Schmidt.
Schmidt, a sophomore majoring in Public Administration and Public Policy, is currently enjoying his second semester as an admissions ambassador. He was inspired to apply for an ambassador position by his own positive experience with campus tours at OU.
“When I took a tour of OU as a high school senior, I thought it was amazing how much information the ambassador knew. After adjusting to college life as a freshman, I applied to become an ambassador myself—and I am incredibly glad that I did,” Schmidt says.
Junior Julie Peplinksi agrees. “The personal benefits of being a part of the ambassador experience are countless,” says the elementary education major, now in her second year as an ambassador. “I love meeting prospective and incoming students and talking with them. Participating as an ambassador also makes me feel connected to the campus. I am able to discover OU’s history, learn about upcoming events, and meet awesome faculty, staff and students.”
Besides conducting campus tours, the admissions ambassadors also participate in planning and staffing recruiting events such as Go for the Gold, Discover OU, Transfer Student Open Houses and Welcome Receptions. Senior Emily Fox, a Human Resource Development major who has been assisting in the admissions office in various capacities for the past five years, feels that her experiences as an ambassador have helped her to discover a career path she is passionate about.
“I have always wanted to make an impact in student’s lives,” Fox says. “What better way to do that than by welcoming them to the university? I find helping students as they make a decision about attending OU very fulfilling.” In fact, Fox intends to build on her experiences in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with graduate study in student affairs and higher education.
Future use of skills developed as an ambassador is not exclusive to students pursuing careers in higher education, however. Sean Buono, a senior double major in Mathematics and English, believes that participating as a member of the ambassador team provides priceless experience that can be beneficial to any career.
“This position not only utilizes talents you may already possess, it also allows and encourages personal growth in a way that few other positions could,“ Buono says.
Among these skills is the ability to communicate effectively. “I am a strong believer in the concept that charisma and effective public speaking are learned skills. Through my work with the Office of Admissions, I have become comfortable with myself and my ability to speak to small or large groups of people, and have gained confidence in leading and helping others.”
For more information about the admissions ambassador program and other leadership opportunities at OU, visit the New Students Web site and click on “Leadership Opportunities.”