October 19, 2023, by UoN School of English

From going to Open Days to wearing that bright blue shirt yourself

Three student ambassadors wearing the blue ambassador t-shirts, standing shoulder to shoulder with big smiles in front of the English tent at an Open Day
When I came to my Open Day for Nottingham back in 2019, I remember sitting in Trent Café with my dad, who asked me, ‘Can you imagine yourself studying and living here?’. That is now the question I ask every prospective student I talk to while working for the School of English on Open Days. As someone who has recently graduated with their English degree, I know what it was like to be in their shoes while also knowing what comes after. And working as a student ambassador has made me realise that though your course can determine how the next 3 or 4 years of your life are going to go, at the end of the day the people here will have an even greater impact. The people in your accommodation, your course, the societies you join will build your experience and your own community at university.

I had the pleasure of receiving the Undergraduate Community Prize for my work as a student ambassador in the School of English, which was a wonderful honour. But you can also gain much more out of being an ambassador than a certificate and £100 monetary reward. I’ve gained many different skillsets that can assist me career wise, like public speaking, crowd management, customer service and more. So, if you’re an English student yourself who wants to add to their CV and have an all-around enjoyable part-time job while doing your degree then being a student ambassador might just do it for you. Even if those bright blue student ambassador shirts are hard to style.

During my undergrad I was also heavily involved with Creative Writing society and Taylor Swift society. And whether it was while I ran stalls at Fresher’s Fair or a taster session, it was always the most rewarding thing to have faces I could recognise and have them recognise me from Open Days the year before. Continuing to be a part of peoples’ journeys this way, seeing where they started and where they go, has been really special. Being able to give back to this community that I have also created for myself during my time here always made me enthusiastic to work the Open Days. Especially, when it was also just a great opportunity to share my passion and interest in literature with people who were just as passionate as I am about gothic and speculative fiction, as well as theatre. So, it was always really exciting to have prospective students who wanted to debate those topics and learn more, giving them a taste of what it would be like to engage with others academically and essentially geek out over our favourite books. After all who wouldn’t love a work opportunity where you get to chat to people who are just as interested in literature as you? You might find that you look good in blue.

– Aldea Toth, BA English graduate

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