Opinion: NYU Admissions Ambassadors deserve more respect

Before you roll your eyes as you pass us on the street, try to understand the amount of effort NYU’s student representatives put into their work.


Kiran Komanduri

(Kiran Komonduri for WSN)

Molly Koch, Deputy Opinion Editor

Imagine this: You’re a first-year student walking toward Bobst Library for your 12:30 p.m. class. On the way, you unsurprisingly see not one, not two, but three campus tours. Your first instinct might be to roll your eyes, but our job as Admissions Ambassadors — the student representatives who lead tours and staff recruitment events — is much more difficult than it looks. Although you will find us dressed head to toe in NYU’s signature purple, we are not just representatives of the university – we’re human, too.

We are well-known for the tours we lead, but training and preparation for those tours takes much more effort than most people realize. As a new hire, you begin training to give tours by creating your own unique script. A prospective student’s impression of the university hinges on how engaging, personal and memorable you can make your tour — preparation goes well beyond simple memorization. It took me a week to finalize my script, and another week to memorize it. Admissions Ambassadors must prepare their tours in addition to the normal student workload of studying for exams, writing essays and doing homework.

When tour training is finished, you finally set off, doing tours by yourself or with a buddy, but that’s not the end of the road for Admissions Ambassadors. Between people yelling on the streets, or even throwing eggs, you always have to keep in mind not only your safety, but the safety of your tour group. Being a New York City resident means you always have to be on your toes, and being an Admissions Ambassador as well adds another layer of concern — a reminder in the back of your mind that other students are not burdened with.

If you’re not giving a tour, you may be welcoming prospective students and their families to prepare for a later tour. Just like the task of giving a tour, this job isn’t as simple as it sounds. Between rushing late arrivals to join their assigned tours, and dealing with awkward stares and small talk in the Bonomi Family Admissions Center, Admissions Ambassador shifts always require an abundance of energy.

In addition to giving tours, Admissions Ambassadors also answer phone calls for NYU’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and some of the calls that come through are far from easy. During my first shift in the office, someone called to yell at another Admissions Ambassador who was also on their first shift. The ambassador took it well, but that’s beside the point — we shouldn’t have to deal with this in the first place.

Some of the hardest calls come from prospective students themselves, whether they’re about how tuition is too expensive for them or about a recent admissions rejection. Being an ambassador means you have to tackle both the easy and the hard questions, call after call, with little preparation.

The Admissions Ambassador Program has a cohort of nearly 200 students dedicated to improving the admissions process and making it as smooth as possible. I have met some of the most kind and empowering students through this program, and together we’re like a big family inside the massive NYU community. Even though acknowledgement from other students is not a necessity, it would be nice to know other students see the commitment we put into our job — not just for me, but also for the people in my cohort who deserve the recognition.

When you were a prospective student, you most likely went on a tour, called the admissions office or even sent an email — and during those interactions, you were speaking with an Admissions Ambassador. We, as students and ambassadors, deserve a bit more respect from current students, just as we showed you when you were considering NYU.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Molly Koch at [email protected].