What Being a Student Alumni Ambassador Means to Me

10 Sep

The Student Alumni Ambassadors were founded to strengthen the bonds and connections between alumni and the university, enlighten alumni on the current university culture, engage current students in the alumni community and develop future alumni leaders. The Student Alumni Ambassadors serve as representatives of the Office of Alumni RelatioErin Kns and the entire student body at high-profile university and alumni events throughout the year.

My father was an administrator of a high school, and he’d often give tours and host events. Though he never really needed my help, he always asked me to tag along. I loved telling the alumni about the school and learning about their experiences. When I came to DePaul, I knew I wanted to be involved in the alumni association. I wanted to be with the alumni. Being a Student Alumni Ambassador has given me all that I hoped for and more.

I joined the Student Alumni Ambassadors as a sophomore and I attend as many events as I can. There is such variety that we get to choose from and we always can find a balance between our interests and our schedules. I’ve attended alumni panels and meetings. I’ve attended the Dinners on DePaul—career specific dinners where small groups of students get to talk directly with alumni who work in their fields of interest. The dinners are intimate and personal, and also a great networking opportunity, as all alumni events are. I’ve also attended college specific receptions. At these events, I talk to recent graduates, older graduates and DePaul staff. I once had a long conversation with the Dean one of my colleges—she wanted to get to know me, but not just in an “our-college-is-pretty-great” way. She wanted to know me. Not many students get to have that experience.

At another event, I talked to a man who graduated from the business college 40 years ago. He worked on the East Coast after graduation, and hadn’t been back to Chicago since. He felt out of place, knowing many things had changed within the city and DePaul’s campuses and he didn’t know anyone at the event. By talking to him, I felt that I was the link that helped him get comfortable. Before we separated, I introduced him to another man I had met earlier and they enjoyed themselves the rest of the evening. My responsibility is to make alumni more comfortable, reach out in any way that they need and help them feel more connected to the event and DePaul.

As a Student Alumni Ambassador, I know DePaul in ways that most students cannot imagine: the history, the mission, the stories that get passed down to you and that you carry with you always. I didn’t just live DePaul for four years; I’ve lived it dozens of times over again.

What we do is not a superpower, but at the end of the night I feel as if it is. Happy. Strong. Helpful. Impactful.

— Erin K. (CMN, LAS ’16)

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