Esta Jacob is a firm believer in the idea that one person can make a big difference.
The growing sophomore major in Financial and Legal Studies wanted to be one of those people who showed up and made a difference during her time at Drexel University, and she’s already figured out how to do it – by becoming a student ambassador.
The Student Ambassador Program offers paid positions on campus to students determined to help Drexel grow and prosper by organizing campus tours and sharing their knowledge and experience with prospective students and families. Although the hiring of new ambassadors has been delayed along with in-person campus tours for most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new ambassadors like Jacob, who are ready to undergo the necessary training, are now needed as the University ramps up to reach normal activity levels this fall.
For Jacob, who also visited Drexel in person as a potential student once she was admitted before the pandemic, being a student ambassador allows her to make others see Drexel as she sees him – as the right one. choice.
âI like the idea of ââbeing the person who can convince someone that Drexel is a school for them. They come on tour and they’re always on the fence, and then this person does an amazing tour and all of a sudden they’re like, âYeah, this is school for me. “That’s kind of what happened to me,” said Jacob. âI just want people to see how great a place Drexel is. I love this school. I can’t imagine going anywhere else now so I really want people to see the great things Drexel has and really see Drexel as an option and enjoy it.
Jacob started giving informal tours as a member of the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) in the spring, then went through a rigorous and accelerated training program to become an ambassador last month. This involved requirements such as arranging virtual and in-person tours, “guided tours” where she partnered with an Executive Ambassador and provided at least half of the information needed, and does so throughout milestones. such as the week of finals and the first year move. Oh, and there were also a ton of studies.
“I think the trick is just to keep reading it over and over again because eventually the repetition will create memory,” Jacob said of studying the tour material during Spring Quarter Finals week. , who was pretty much halfway through his training. âThat’s what I mostly did. It was a bit difficult, especially with the deadlines. So I tried to do it as soon as possible. But of course, I also have to worry about my exams.
Throughout the month-long training process, Jacob went from studying the tour material during his walks to and from classes and practicing in the mirror to providing a comprehensive tour of the campus to a group of 20 people with ease. This was the case on June 24 when Jacob wrapped up his final âtag tourâ alongside veteran Ambassador Brandon Cisneros, a fifth-year marketing student.
Through her jokes and numerous prompts for potential students or their mates to ask questions, Jacob presented in real time the two traits she considers essential to be a good student ambassador: accessibility and lightness.
Of the first feature, she said, âIf people don’t feel like they can come and ask you questions, they’re going to leave the tour with tons of questions and they’re going to be as clueless as they are. they were when they showed up. So I think it’s huge. And on the lightness: “If it’s awkward and it’s just dead silence, you have to be able to play a joke so that it’s not so awkward. So I think that’s important as well, otherwise it will feel more like a job and less like a fun experience.
Jacob also has fun relaying some of his favorite facts about Drexel, such as whether the 80-foot biomur at the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building is the largest in North America, or that members of his tours are guessing what material. recycled are the floors of the URBN center. made from (the answer, the bowling alleys!). Despite this, there is still more about Drexel that she learns on her own. As a student in a four-year program, she will not go on a work-study program until her third year, so she has no personal cooperative education experiences to pass on during the tours. Instead, she educates them about businesses she’s already eyeing, as well as experiences she’s heard from upper-class friends.
Jacob can also learn a lot from the tours themselves, as she has already discovered. In addition to learning communication and people skills, she enjoys chatting with people from across the country and around the world. Some have even offered her career advice, which is why she is now considering internships to do while in undergrad, before entering law school.
âYou meet new people, crazy people with different histories, like someone from Houston or someone from Puerto Rico. So it’s really cool to hear them too,â she said. said, “The simple feeling of knowing that you might have had an impact on their college decision is pretty powerful. So I love it. It’s a great experience.”
For now, becoming a Student Ambassador is Jacob’s way of staying involved with Drexel during what could have been a quiet summer after his freshman year. Instead, since completing her training, she has been heading to campus from her home in the King of Prussia and giving tours almost every day despite the heat and rain and a lot of walking. She is also taking online classes this term and will be a counselor at Camp Business at LeBow College of Business later this month.
âPeople have asked me why I take classes and tours and camp and everything, but I’m not good at being bored,â Jacob said. âI’m terrible because I’m just going to sit in front of my laptop and watch Hulu and Netflix and go crazy and binge. So it’s definitely safer for me as a long term option. “
While she’s likely cutting back on her schedule, Jacob plans to continue giving tours and being a student ambassador throughout her time at Drexel. She hopes to rise through the ranks and one day become an Executive Ambassador who helps run the entire program.
âThere’s no way I’m going to stop doing this,â she said. “I love him so much.”
In the meantime, Jacob hopes that more new students will consider joining her by becoming student ambassadors in the coming months. In doing so, perhaps they could give prospective Drexel students the opportunity to have a great campus tour – something they might not have been able to have due to the pandemic before making their decision at the middle School.
âGiving good tours, regardless of the pandemic, is our responsibility. So I’m proud of it, âsaid Jacob. ââ¦ For future students, this is your chance to make sure the kids get the visit you weren’t able to get. So this is your chance to do it and you’ll end up learning a lot about Drexel that you won’t learn anywhere else. So I would definitely encourage him. You also meet so many new people which will definitely help you too. “
To find out more about how to become a student ambassador, Click here.