As a student at the University of Surrey, one of the opportunities you can take advantage of is to become a student ambassador for the University or act as a student helper at one of our very busy open days.
The open days are incredibly important for prospective students who are considering the University of Surrey as one of their options. We, as ambassadors and student helpers, are an essential part of making open days an exciting and informative experience.
One of the most important opportunities prospective students can take advantage of on open days is the course information tent. This is where lecturers and students, from nearly all of the degree options Surrey offers are, to answer questions on the course and on student life in general. Future Surrey students can get a real student’s perspective on the course they are interested in from someone who is currently enrolled on the degree programme.
Having been a student helper at one of these events I know how seriously these future students take their degree choice. I’ve been asked everything; from how many nights out I could manage with the course load to how many exams they should expect to take, and everything in between. Of course, as a student helper part of my role is to sell the University and the course, but this is made so much easier when other staff and students are all so passionate about their subject. This is made obvious to potential students by the easy interaction between lecturers and students, and the sheer excitement to explain the ins and outs of the course and student life here at Surrey.
Inevitably, there are a few awkward questions like having to explain that ‘yes, there are plenty of female lecturers in the sociology department they just aren’t currently here to represent themselves’. Also, of course, there are plenty of people who are just too shy to ask any questions at all which can feel a bit disheartening. But these difficult moments are overshadowed by the overwhelming enthusiasm shown by other prospective students who are keen to talk to everyone about the Surrey student experience and get as much information as possible from us. They are eager to get a real Surrey student’s point of view.
Of course, there is so much more to the open day experience than just the course information tent. All throughout campus there are things to see and do, all with the help of fellow Surrey students.
Taking part in an open day was a fantastic opportunity to really embrace my Surrey pride and passion for my degree. Sharing this with my course mates and future students was a great way to get involved in the day and to build better relationships with some of my lecturers and other student helpers.
I would encourage everyone to help out on an open day, it’s more fun than you expect and you’re getting paid to talk about a subject you (hopefully!) really enjoy; what more could you ask for?
Text by Holly Butteriss
Picture research by Donna Darafshian; featured image from surrey.ac.uk.