President's Ambassador Program

The Bluffton University President’s Ambassador Program is an extension of the university marketing office and will assist in recruiting prospective students, welcome and greet guests to campus, and engage with alumni and donors. This group of high-achieving students will be positive, enthusiastic and well-informed about Bluffton University and all its programs to best represent themselves and the university. This program touches students of the past, present and future.

Responsibilities:
President’s Ambassadors will provide campus tours to prospective students and their families, sit on student panels at admissions events, greet and have conversation with special guests of the president and other cabinet members, and engage with alumni and donors at special events on and off campus. They can be called upon to participate and appear in print and digital materials for the university and be utilized in other various marketing tactics as needed, including presence on the university’s social media accounts. A minimum of 5 tours/events and 1 staff/training meeting per month must be completed.

Off-campus events:
President’s Ambassadors could be asked to attend events at President Wood’s home or at another off-campus location. At these events, students may serve as greeters, be asked to mingle and network with guests, or host a table. These events could happen on weekdays or weekends but will not include overnight commitments. These events could include community leaders, donors, alumni, and/or other distinguished guests of the President’s Office.

Qualifications:
All President's Ambassadors must have successfully completed one year at Bluffton University and earned a minimum 3.0 GPA with no disciplinary action taken while at Bluffton. These students must be currently enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours and commit to a one-year work agreement, including some availability over winter and summer breaks.

Required qualities:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Successfully address and communicate with diverse groups of people
  • Positive and enthusiastic about Bluffton
  • Reliable, organized and responsible
  • Works effectively in a team

Preferred qualities:

  • Involvement across campus, including athletics, academic clubs and student organizations, campus jobs, and volunteerism
  • Junior or senior standing
  • Connection with other students in a variety of areas outside of your own tendencies

Benefits:
All President's Amabassadors will be trained to extraordinary networkers and will receive consistent leadership and professional development training. Where available, President's Ambassadors will have opportunity to connect with local leaders and be trained on important topics such as etiquette, conversational skills, networking and interview skills, tour training, how to write thank you notes, cover letters, resumes, etc., and be partnered with a faculty/staff mentor. In addition, each President's Ambassador will have an opportunity to connect with President Wood and Wayne McGaugh twice per semester.

Lead ambassadors:
Stand-out candidates will be considered for a Lead Ambassador position. Lead Ambassadors will be the first called upon for high-level events and assignments and will be a leader to other ambassadors in the program.

Selection process:
Please note all ambassadors must re-apply each year.

  1. Submit the program application.
  2. Request a reference from a campus mentor, advisor, professor or coach.
  3. Once all materials are submitted, your application will be reviewed and qualified candidates will be invited for an interview.
  4. After interviews are completed, selected candidates will participate in training from the admissions, marketing and alumni offices.

Selection committee:

  • Robin Bowlus, vice president of advancement and enrollment management
  • Claire Clay, marketing and alumni relations manager
  • Samantha Shrider, group visit coordinator
  • Jessi Samuel, annual giving manager
  • Karen Bontrager, director of the president’s office

Selection timeline:
January – February: Application goes live to current and potential ambassadors

February: Selection committee reviews application materials and recommends qualified candidates for interviews. Interviews for Lead Ambassadors take place first. Interviews for President's Aambassadors will follow.

March: Candidates are notified of selection and on-boarding process begins. Trainings and relevant materials are distributed to students to utilize over the summer.

April: Students may request to shadow some tours and learn how current ambassadors utilize the sticking points to determine how they would like to incorporate sticking points into their tours.

May: Training committee begins preparation for summer and fall training.

August: Summer training before school begins. Fall training when classes start.

Training and certification:
Each ambassador will fully be trained and certified prior to completing a full tour on their own. The training committee is Claire Clay, Samantha Shrider, Jessi Samuel and Alyssa Eby.

The certification process is as follows:

  1. Spring training – Training meetings to learn sticking points and content. Sticking points should be practiced over the summer.
  2. Summer training – one full day, half training and half team building
  3. Fall training – begins immediately when students return

Failure to complete certification is a possibility. If a trainee is deemed unable to be certified by the committee, they will recommend the student re-apply to the program the following year.

Expectations and consequences:
Being a member of the program is a high honor and should be treated as such. Expectations listed are to be met with no exception; however, each situation will be judged on a case-by-case basis by the program staff.

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • No disciplinary action or incidents
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours
  • Some availability over winter and summer breaks

Consequences:

  • Conversation – You may be asked to have a conversation about an unmet expectation or disciplinary incident that affects your participation in the program
  • Written warning – The situation may not result in immediate termination, but you could receive a written warning that a behavior must stop, or an incident cannot occur again
  • Termination – The program staff believes your participation in the program must end. Terminated participants cannot re-apply for the program in following years

Examples for disciplinary action or removal from the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Not meeting monthly minimums for tours, events and trainings
  • Not representing Bluffton University in a positive, enthusiastic and/or appropriate way in person, in writing, and/or on social media
  • Not wearing appropriate attire for assigned events

Applications for the 2021-21 academic year are due at 11 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.

Questions? Contact Claire Clay at clayc@bluffton.edu.

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