Being an Alumni Ambassador all started through my interaction with CEA when I studied abroad with them in Paris. From the first day I arrived, I was using social media to share my experience. I always hashtagged #ceaAbroad in my posts and loved posting about my experiences in Paris interacting with CEA on the digital media-level. After studying with CEA in Paris I spent a semester in Dublin with my home institution, but still interacted with CEA on Twitter. When I arrived home from my semester in Dublin, I was still posting throwback photos of my time in Paris. I just couldn’t get it out of my head!
I continued interacting with CEA via social media and one day their social media manager reached out and connected me with Tara and Kristi, two wonderful CEA employees who run the Alumni Ambassador program. It hadn’t really crossed my mind to become a part of the Alumni Ambassador program since I attend a small college in Vermont and wasn’t sure how I could contribute being so far from their offices in Phoenix, AZ. Kristi and Tara assured me that it would be a great opportunity and suggested that I at least applied for the position and gave it chance. So I did, and I have been an ambassador ever since!
So you might be wondering, what does a CEA Alumni Ambassador do?
Well let me give you the lowdown. During my time as an ambassador for CEA I have:
- Tabled at my institution's study abroad fair to promote CEA
- Met with students interested in studying abroad with CEA
- Interacted with CEA’s social media, from Twitter chats to Facebook posts
- Worked with another ambassador to create an Instagram takeover
- Reviewed CEA’s Paris program
- Written blogs for CEA and StudyAbroad.com
Not only have I been able to improve my own professional skills, but I’ve been able to continue using my experience with CEA to inspire other students to study abroad with CEA! And these are only a few of the opportunities that an ambassador can participate in.
I recently stepped into the role of being a Senior Ambassador which has allowed me to gain leadership experience and meet a whole new group of CEA Ambassadors. As a Senior Alumni Ambassador, I am responsible for meeting with a group of ambassadors and helping them keep track of their CEA activities, find and think of new ideas, and connect with them about their study abroad experience. This has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of being an ambassador with CEA.
I’ve met fellow CEA alumni who have studied in Paris and we’ve been able to talk about our mutual experiences, which is really helpful when you’re experiencing a bout of wanderlust, post-study abroad (it happens pretty frequently!).
Alright, so you’ve got an idea of what we do... but why would someone want to be an Alumni Ambassador at CEA?
Well, why not?! It is a great opportunity to improve your professional skills from marketing and sales, to leadership and more. It also helps you gain experience in study abroad, which is perfect if you're interested in working in the field after graduation! Finally, it is a great networking opportunity and opens the doors for you to meet and work with some amazing people from CEA, as well as students from around the US. You're part of a team larger than yourself and everyone is working towards a common goal that everyone is passionate about. It's a team where you feel supported in all that you do. Who doesn't want to be a part of something like that?
Being an Alumni Ambassador for CEA has allowed me to continue reliving my study abroad experience through sharing it with other students. I have been able to network with many professionals in the international education field, which is helping me improve my professional network. I've been able to connect with peers, share our experiences, and make new friends. If you’re looking for a way to continue reliving your study abroad experience or want to share your experience with others, being an Alumni Ambassador might be the perfect opportunity for you!
Karisa Desjardins is a Senior Alumni Ambassador who studied abroad with CEA in Paris in the Fall of 2014. She is currently a senior at Champlain College.
Read more about our CEA MOJO Bloggers & Photographers.