Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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My Work as a Student Ambassador Part 1


December 3, 2020

Getting Involved

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Ever since I attended my first information session for USC’s OT program being a student ambassador seemed so cool! My interest in applying for a position was largely influenced by how great my experience was with my assigned student ambassador, Melissa. I appreciated how approachable she was and how willing she was to answer any questions I had. She responded to my emails very promptly and overall made me feel very supported as I waited to begin my first summer session.

The opportunity to apply for the position presented itself my first year during the spring semester. One of my favorite professors of all time, Dr. Celso Delgado Jr., told me about the position and encouraged me to apply. So, I went for it! It was definitely nerve wrecking because many of my peers were also applying, all whom I thought were also great candidates. After a bit of waiting, I was lucky enough to find out I was one of the students who had been selected. Woo!

Being a student worker through this position has been challenging, but manageable. This fall I worked 10 hours a week, but luckily because of everything being remote I was able to complete a few of my hours over the weekend and later on in the day. This position has also challenged me to stay organized. I have had to make sure to prioritize my school work, get work done for my fellowship, and also balance my personal life on top of working on my student ambassador duties. It’s been difficult at times, but I am grateful to have a wonderful team to lean on when I need help.

Every member of our team takes the lead on different projects, but we all work together as one to make sure our goals are met. Here’s a little bit of what I’ve done so far:

1. Write blogs!
Part of what I do is share my experiences as an OT student by writing blog posts. Our entire team does it! This is an awesome way for people who are interested in our program to learn about different people’s experiences and to connect with those whom they feel may have experienced similar challenges (e.g., being waitlisted, first-gen students).

2. Attend/assist during information sessions
You may have seen some of us if you’ve attended an information session before. Part of what I do is attend these sessions to answer questions as they relate to the student experience for students who are interested in applying for our program. It’s always so fun getting to know all of you!

3. Connect with current and prospective students
You may have also seen us on our website — we’re here for you! I stay in touch with current students to answer any questions they may have about certain classes/electives, how to best prepare for exams for classes I’ve taken before, or simply to listen and support during stressful times during the semester. I also stay in touch with prospective students to support them as well. My goal is to make prospective students feel welcome and provide guidance as they apply for our program!

4. Get OT’s name out there at grad fairs
Another thing that I do is attend different grad school fairs. At these fairs I present on our program and get OT’s name out there. Sometimes students who are already interested in OT attend, but students who have no idea what OT is will also come to our booth to hear more about it. My goal here is to convert the whole world into future occupational therapists! Just kidding, or am I? During these presentations I also share about my personal journey to finding OT. I answer different questions students have about occupational therapy/occupational science, about our program, about my experience as a first-generation, underrepresented student, etc. You name it, and I will answer it!

5. Support admissions
As you may know, the deadline to apply to our Entry-Level Professional Master’s Program just recently passed. We get hundreds of applicants, which means the admissions team has a lot of applications to read through as they decide who will be admitted. So, something I’ve done this year is help make that process a little easier for them. I’ve helped put together student applicant files, so that when admissions goes through to read everyone’s application everything can be ready and organized for them.

6. Bring new ideas
This year I’ve been able to add my own twist to presentations. Continuing to diversify our program is something that I am really passionate about. With that said, I began brainstorming on how this could continue to be done in new ways. An issue that I identified that many first-generation, underrepresented students face is that they simply don’t know about OT at all. For example, they may not have family members that work as/with OTs and they may not have access to or have ever received services from an OT.

I decided that I wanted to find a way to reach out to younger students to expose them to OT and to also serve as an example of someone who has been able to make it to grad school. When I was a younger student I definitely didn’t see grad school in my future for various reasons. So, I decided to collaborate with the AVID program at different LAUSD schools. If you’ve never heard of AVID, it is a program that supports first-generation students, many of whom are low-income, during their journey to obtaining a higher education. As a previous AVID student myself, I thought this would be a great way to reach out to younger students! I am happy that I have been able to bring new ideas to the team as we continue to work towards diversifying our program.

I hope this has given you all a brief glimpse into what I have done so far as a student ambassador. I decided to call this part 1 because the year is not over yet — stay tuned for part 2! As always, if there’s any questions you may have about my position as a student ambassador or anything at all please feel free to send me an email. Fight on and happy holidays to you all!