Hajera Thakur From Qatar University who was the UA Campus Ambassador 2017! Sharing her experience on being a UA Campus Ambassador.
Few weeks prior to my finals of the Fall 2016 semester, I received an email from my university’s Center of Volunteering & Community Service inviting students to volunteer for the Undergraduate Awards. Doing some research about it, I ended up on the UA’s webpage for the Campus Ambassadors. The words “Ambassador” and “based in Ireland” had me hooked right away. Come next semester of Spring 2017, I was encouraged to register by two of my friends, both of whom had been part of the UA experience in the past years. Soon enough, “welcome to the UA team” email had popped in my inbox and I was all-set to begin.
Since the filling out the application, I was filled with several ideas on how to feasibly pull this off. I began with getting in touch with Qatar University’s UA Faculty Contact and the Events Coordinator to better facilitate the promotion. Being a senior student, balancing my studies and graduation research project, I enlisted few friends and acquaintances to act as volunteers and assist me with my role. Qatar University’s undergraduate students and faculty were informed via emails, face-to-face talks, UA promo materials, and info booths were open for a week on both the male and female campuses. Social media posts were designed and contact cards prepared with both UA and the Campus Ambassador’s details on them.
What I enjoyed most was being able to organize and delegate tasks to volunteers, meeting new faces interested in contributing their works to the global academic community, and receiving helpful tips and suggestions from the UA staff.
Fast forward 3 months later, I’m eagerly awaiting the final verdict on who will be the Winning Campus Ambassador. I was already in high spirits by the time the email arrived, and thrilled for those who would be nominated, even if it wouldn’t be me. Scrolling at a slow pace, my eyes finally landed on the line that mentioned my name in bold. Unbelieving but beyond ecstatic, I kept refreshing and rereading the email several times to make sure I was reading it right. I was nominated as the Winning UA Campus Ambassador 2017!!! Visiting Ireland was going to mark my first international travel. My dream to step foot on European lands seemed to be coming true and my prayers finally answered. After I had calmed down albeit still excited, I surfed through Pinterest looking for anything and everything about Dublin- what is the weather like, what clothes to wear, what places to see, and the sorts.
A week later at my Clinical Practices training orientation as I’m still an undergraduate student, I received the most unfortunate news. The attendance policy states that all days of training are mandatory and compensation of missed days would be quite difficult. This meant I couldn’t attend the UA Global Summit, meet and network with new people, and experience new ideas and opinions. Not being able to see Ireland/Dublin in all its glory. Slowly but gradually, I did accept the fact, hoping one day I’ll be able to visit Ireland and the Undergraduate Awards.