I recently became a Visit Day ambassador for the Psychology department and before I got the job I always wondered what Visit Day ambassadors actually did. From tours to talks, here is an average day as a Psychology Visit Day ambassador.
11.20am: Arrive at the Ivor Crewe lecture hall to sign in and get my jacket (so that my tour group don’t lose me). Check all the different departmental ambassadors know the plan for the day and their timings. Then head into the lecture hall to collect the Psychology applicants and their families who have already had a talk welcoming them to the University.
11.50am: Once we have taken the large group of applicants and their guests onto square 5, we split them into smaller groups. This varies depending on the number of ambassadors working and the number of prospective students, but generally groups are around 10 people with 2 ambassadors (although last week I gave a tour alone but only showed 5 people around).
Time for the tour! The tour takes around an hour and prospective students are shown all around campus and are also shown 2 different types of accommodation (one en suite and one not). If we’re lucky we bump into Campus cat…
1pm: Now time for lunch! The tour ends where the prospective students will have their lunch. There are Psychology staff in this room and it’s a chance for guests to ask any questions to University lecturers. A short talk is given about the Psychology department and then 2 Visit Day ambassadors will give a short talk about anything they think would be relevant to the prospective students. I gave a short talk on Frontrunner placements last week and, although it was scary, it’s a great way to get used to talking in front of groups, especially in a big lecture theatre!
2pm: After lunch the prospective students are split in half and each group is taken to a short seminar style lesson with a lecturer. I took students to a lab given by Dr Gerulf Riegler on sexuality and the other group of students were taken for a seminar given by Dr Vanessa Loaiza.
Now it’s time for a break, I had around an hour to kill.
During this time prospective students are given the seminars and also shown on a tour of the Psychology department. They are also given a taster lecture to get an idea of what lectures are really like.
3.15pm: Visit Day ambassadors then meet back up with the applicants and all lecturers/parents/partners are taken away to the Silberrad student centre. It is then the student panel where the applicants can ask anything that they like and we, as current students, will answer honestly. I think it’s a great idea as the applicants can put forward the questions they really want to ask without their parents being there. We also ask the applicants about their hopes and fears as conversation starters, to try and help them learn how they could achieve their hopes at the University of Essex and try to ease their fears.
4pm: We then walk the applicants back to the Silberrad centre to meet up with their family and friends and that’s the end of the visit day! We sign out and give back the jackets and are then free to go!