The ESEI Ambassador programme offers students and alumni the chance to represent our community abroad and have a lot of fun meeting new people at the same time.
We spoke to our International Admissions and external relations manager Simisola Okoya about the programme and ESEI alumnus Said Badran about his experiences in Lebanon as a new member of the ambassador programme.
Hi Simisola, could you tell us what the Ambassador Programme is?
Sure! The Ambassador Programme connects our students and alumni to prospective students in other countries. It helps us to spread awareness about ESEI around the world and offers ambassadors the chance to connect with other people, visit career fairs and even build their own networks.
Who are the Ambassadors?
Our ambassadors are part of the ESEI family and, because of that, we feel that they are the best possible representatives of the school. They’ve been through (or are going through) the programme and understand the school ethos, they know the teachers and staff and are familiar with the ins and outs of life in Barcelona.
Why did ESEI decide to launch the Ambassador Programme?
First of all, it was about demand. We have students from many different countries and we’ve found that most prospective students want to talk with someone who can answer their questions from their own cultural perspective.
That’s why our ambassadors represent ESEI in their own countries; they understand local concerns and this puts them in a position to really connect with people. They are able to answer questions about the school, how it was to adapt to life in Barcelona, finding accommodation and relate it with their own personal experiences.
What are the benefits of this programme for potential students?
We want to make ESEI accessible to students everywhere. It’s important for us that potential students not only have access to the teaching staff and administration, but they can speak with our current and former students too.
Who can become an ambassador and how can they apply?
Current students and alumni can become ambassadors of the school. All you need to do is to come to the office. We have an open door policy at ESEI – come talk with us, tell us why you want to do it and we’ll show you how to do it!
Hi Said, can you tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide to become an Ambassador?
I first came to Barcelona in 2015 to do my Master’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism. I found ESEI to be a really lovely place to study. I really liked the vibe, the school itself and the people.
I started telling my friends about ESEI, just because I liked it and because I benefited from studying there. So, really, I was already an unofficial rep. When the school contacted me and asked if I wanted to be an ambassador, of course I said yes!
What is your role as Ambassador?
Simply put, I explain to students what it’s like at ESEI. This usually happens at career fairs and open days. Students come to ESEI’s booth and ask questions and I do my best to talk them through their options.
I tell them what life is like in Barcelona and explain what degrees would suit them best. I also try to help them out with their questions and concerns about living abroad, finding places to live, and so on.
The cool thing is you get to meet people from all around the world. And, being a former student, you can relate your experience to other people. It helps you connect with them because it seems that most university reps didn’t actually study in the universities they work for.
How did you find the training process?
When I agreed to become an ambassador it was a challenge. There was a lot to learn about the school and its study programme, but that wasn’t a problem because everyone in the school is so knowledgeable.
I really enjoyed doing research, going to ESEI, taking to people and learning. It doesn’t feel like work when everyone helps each other so much.
After your first visit to Lebanon this week, how do feel about being an Ambassador?
I’m really enjoying it! Lebanon is my home country, so I know what’s going on here, what students want to know and also just how expensive studying here can be! Students are surprised to find out that doing a masters in Barcelona is less than half the price of doing one in Lebanon.
And honestly my first experience has been great – I feel like I’m helping people. When you’re 21 and have just finished your BA, you don’t necessarily know what to do next. Perhaps you want to study more, but you don’t know which master’s degree to choose. In my case, I worked for 5 years before I started at ESEI, so I had some real work experience which I could use to help other people make decisions about which degrees would suit them best. Young people seem to find this advice useful.
Tell us what it’s like to be part of the ESEI community?
ESEI has really cool atmosphere. You can speak to anyone and it doesn’t have the feeling of a big unfriendly university. I had a great relationship with the staff and students and was able to build a network – even now I still meet people from my course.
Any final thoughts on being an Ambassador?
For me the ambassador programme is a win win situation. I’m travelling, meeting new people and exploring. I really like this type of stuff. My experience at ESEI was so good that I really do want to share it with as many people as possible.
Would you like to join ESEI’s Ambassador Programme? Check our our detailed guide or contact Simisola and discover how to take part today.