Verb

Definition:

To Lead with Inspiration, and Inspire with Leadership

On Being a Student Ambassador

Student Ambassador Leaders, from Left: Ashley Lyman, Holly Musser, Ryan Wright, Emily Lyman

Schuyler Deeney has never been on a formal college tour unless he’s been the one leading it.

Holly Musser, who is from Pennsylvania, came to SUNY Cobleskill because she didn’t want to be a follower.

Ashley Lyman is both a leader and a follower; she transferred to SUNY Cobleskill where her sister, Emily, was already studying Dairy Management.

There are just as many reasons to become a student ambassador as there are perks to serving as one. “When you’re an ambassador, you’re one of the very first people a student is meeting,” says Ryan Wright, an ambassador and Animal Science student.

“You want that first interaction to lead to that student deciding to come to here and be part of our community.”

Ambassadors balance their own lives as students with the interests of those they hope to one day see on campus as their peers. It takes a rare blend of flexibility and leadership.

We spoke with five student ambassadors to ask them why they do it, what it takes, and why they’d do it all over again.

Coming to Coby

  • “My ambassadors played a huge role in my experience when I was touring colleges. They were the positive messengers that gave me all the information I needed to consider.”

Ryan Wright

 

  • “Leadership wasn’t actually much of an area of focus for me in high school. I was a professional cyclist. That is where a lot of my energy went. But I was also an open-minded person and enjoyed seeing myself improve. I knew the hands-on nature of the school and (the Fisheries and Aquaculture Program) was a good fit for me. I never actually took a tour.”

Schuyler Deeney

 

  • “I immediately felt more welcome here than at my first college. Right away it was easy to fit in on campus. There were so many options to choose from and they were all accessible.”

– Ashley Lyman

 

Why You Became an Ambassador…

 

  • “I knew I didn’t want to be a follower. Graduating seniors typically go to (one of two or three schools) where I’m from. Not being from this area, I was amazed when I toured Coby. I owe a lot of that to my ambassador leader.”

– Holly Musser

 

  • “I was an FFA chapter officer in high school, and this seemed like a logical way to keep practicing leadership qualities. Being an ambassador is the way to get to know all the reasons behind why you’re doing something on campus, and how to make your experiences as enjoyable as they can be.”

– Emily Lyman

 

  • After I transferred, becoming an ambassador seemed like a good way to continue getting involved and learning about campus life and the student experience. It was a way for me to get more connected more quickly.”

– Ashley Lyman

 

  • As soon as I got here, I felt a sense of wanting to promote the College to those who wouldn’t normally be considering going to school in this area. I wanted to show how great the school was, especially to the out-of-state population. I was very tuned into their needs.”

– Holly Musser

 

…And how You Became a Good One

 

  • “Everyone you come in contact with is different, and their needs are different. You need to be prepared to share everything. Any question is a good question. All information is good information.”

– Ryan Wright

 

  • “I think you need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the school. Everything is on limits when you’re giving a tour or talking to a family. You have to be open-minded to everyone’s interests and talk about anything.

– Schuyler Deeney

  

  • “You have to be quick-thinking, outgoing, and engaging. You are doing more than answering questions and giving directions. It is about making connections.

– Ashley Lyman

 

  • “Make getting out of your comfort zone part of your personality. A big part of being an ambassador is filling in the blanks in a positive way.”

– Holly Musser

 

Favorite Messages

 

  • “I tell everyone that the faculty are genuinely great people in addition to great teachers. Being an ambassador lets you work closely with the faculty, but they’re great for anybody to work with.

– Emily Lyman

 

  • “Make sure every incoming student knows about all the offerings. Every student’s passion is clear. I try to match that passion with the offerings that fit with it. It is amazing what Cobleskill can do. It is a place where you can do anything you want.”

– Schuyler Deeney

 

  • “I think we are really fortunate to be rural and small when you are also as hands-on as we are. That combination creates some really great opportunities.”

– Ryan Wright

 

Benefits

 

  • “This is fun. You never work with the same people over again, unless you see them on campus as a fellow student. That is rewarding, too – they remember you.”

– Schuyler Deeney

 

  • “Being an ambassador is a way to make friendships with different populations on campus. It is also a great way to make professional connections with fellow ambassadors and the faculty. You get to work with everybody.”

– Ashley Lyman

 

  • “You have great information about everything that happens in the community. In terms of keeping a schedule, I thought I was an organized person before I became an ambassador. Being an ambassador has really helped me build and adjust a full schedule.”

– Holly Musser

 

  • “The personal connections I’ve made have helped lead me into other activities on campus. I am a member of the Student Conduct Board. The skills are transferable. I have learned how to speak up on behalf of myself and my College.”

– Ashley Lyman

 

Final Thoughts

 

  • “I’m heading to Alaska this summer to work at a fly fishing lodge, and the ability to communicate a message to a crowd is a skill that being an ambassador has helped me develop. I will always appreciate the friendships with the ambassadors and the Admissions staff.”

– Schuyler Deeney

 

  • “I’ve become comfortable carrying on a conversation about anything. That’s part of what it takes to be an ambassador. That is how you make sure you are passing on all the great things about our school.”

– Ryan Wright

 

  • “Applying for college is a crazy time. Being able to answer questions and give students relief is something I take a lot of pride in.”

– Ashley Lyman

 

  • “The skills that I’ve picked up are so varied. I have learned how to ask questions, how to interview, how to plan, and how to make formal relationships that I can transfer to the workplace.”

– Holly Musser

 

  • “Ask the specific questions. You aren’t going to get the information unless you ask the questions. You can’t overlook all the programs, all the support, and all the extra opportunities we have here. Don’t be afraid to ask about them.”

– Emily Lyman