An established ambassador program can be a powerful tool; not only to help you attract and convert more students throughout the funnel, but also to help nurture relationships with your existing community of students, staff, and alumni. To learn more about the student journey and understand what motivates ambassadors to sign up to represent their institution, we interviewed two fantastic representatives from Manchester Metropolitan University; Hannah and Yetta.
Hannah is currently a Recruitment and Admissions Assistant at Manchester Metropolitan University and helps manage the student ambassador program on and off the platform. Hannah previously studied for both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Manchester Met, and worked as a student ambassador on The Ambassador Platform while studying for her Masters.
Yetta is a student ambassador at Manchester Metropolitan University, entering the third year of her Physiotherapy (Honours) course. Yetta is from Hong Kong, and applied to the university through an agent. While making her decision to study at Manchester Met, she also interacted with an ambassador on the platform as a prospective student.
Yetta and Hannah - thanks for joining us today! Everyone has their own unique journey to university. I’m sure you will both have had quite different experiences applying from different countries. Hannah, tell us how you came to study at Manchester Metropolitan University. What course did you choose?
Hannah: I have a bit of a false start! I initially applied for a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Manchester Met but after two months in the program, I decided that that course wasn’t actually for me. I dropped out of university, moved back home, and spent the remainder of that academic year working. But, by that point, I had decided that I wanted to go study at university - I just hadn’t got my course choice right. The amount of support I had received from Manchester Met during my time on the Foundation course and when I was withdrawing from my studies was incredible and instrumental in my decision to apply to the institution again. I returned to Manchester Met the following year to study English and stayed on for 3 years until I studied for my Masters (at Manchester Met as well)!
It’s great to hear that although you weren’t on the right course, to begin with, you knew that the institution was the right fit for you. Why did you pick Manchester Met as your preferred study destination, to begin with?
Hannah: I didn’t know anyone at the university but my cousin had studied at University of Manchester and liked the city, so that’s where I started my research. I’m from Reading and I had never actually visited Manchester before I applied - the first time I visited the university was when I went to the interview for the Foundation. I had a great experience at the interview and a gut feeling that Manchester was the place for me.
Yetta, what about you? How did you decide that studying in the UK would be the best choice for you? I know that you applied as an international student during the pandemic - a very brave decision indeed!
Yetta: I started my A-Levels in the UK, but moved back to my homeland (Hong Kong) in Year 13 and continued my A-Level journey there. However, my studies were disrupted due to COVID-19 and studying at home made the university application process very stressful. I needed a lot of support and information about my options! I met an agent who helped me and, thanks to their advice, I decided to apply to Manchester Met during clearing. At that time, I also connected with a current Manchester Met student on The Ambassador Platform. They were very kind and helpful. They gave me a lot of information about the university, which I found really supportive.
I would love to know a bit more about the conversation you had on the platform when you were applying through clearing. What types of questions did you ask, and how did you find the experience of chatting on the platform in general?
Yetta: I asked the ambassador about the teaching at Manchester Met, what the environment was like on campus, and how to apply for accommodation. I felt less nervous after speaking to them and more confident that Manchester Met was the right choice. This positive experience led me to want to apply to be an ambassador myself!
It’s so interesting that your experience as a prospective student on the platform actually encouraged you to become an ambassador!
Yetta: Yes, I want to be as supportive of future students as the ambassador had been when I was applying through clearing. I enjoy feeling like I’ve made somebody’s day! Also being an ambassador and speaking to different people on the platform is a huge accomplishment for me personally. Opening up to others can be challenging (I see myself as an introvert) but being an ambassador and sharing my insights is helping me overcome this. I find that posting content has definitely helped and made it feel less daunting to connect with other people - it [content on the platform] gets conversations flowing.
Hannah, what was your main motivation for applying to be an ambassador?
Hannah: I saw the job description on Jobs4Students linked to the Manchester Met website. It was the first time Manchester Met had worked with The Ambassador Platform, but I had already been an on-campus ambassador, so I was used to the types of questions prospective students typically ask. I was particularly interested in being a digital ambassador because I was studying for my Masters at the time, and the flexibility of the role really appealed to me. I had also had such a great time at university, so I enjoyed talking to students about my experiences.
Did you notice any differences between the interactions or questions you typically received from prospective students on the platform versus chatting face-to-face at an event or open day?
Hannah: One of the things I noticed during my time being an on-campus ambassador and a digital ambassador is that the platform allows international students and also students that might be a bit quieter and unlikely to attend or speak up at an in-person event to get their questions answered. There’s still an element of anonymity to the interaction, but they know they are asking legitimate student ambassadors and they’re going to get to hear about the actual student experience.
We wish Yetta all the best with her future studies in Physiotherapy. We also look forward to continuing working with Hannah and the Recruitment Team at Manchester Metropolitan University on their fantastic student ambassador program!
If you want to kickstart your ambassador program or take it to the next level, don't hesitate to book a demo with us to find out how we can help you.
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