A newly launched student ambassador program aims to connect undergraduates with more internship opportunities.
The Hire UCLA Ambassadors program will publicize UCLA Career Center’s internship opportunities and advise students about internships, said Cian Mitsunaga, Career Center’s industry relations manager.
“There are so many different opportunities that come into this center,” Mitsunaga said. “The student ambassadors will help bridge the gap between all the great internships and the students knowing about them.”
The Hire UCLA Ambassador program is an updated version of an existing Career Center program, the Internship Peer Advocates, rebranded by Career Center’s Industry Relations Team and the Undergraduate Students Association Council Office of the President.
The new program’s main focus is to better connect students with internship opportunities. The program redefined the role of student ambassadors, who will manage social media accounts and advise undergraduates about relevant internships, said Alexis Rampaul, career education and internship coordinator.
The ambassadors will help increase student outreach through social media promotions and hold on-campus events, such as the internship drive-thru table that will be on Bruin Walk in spring quarter, said Rampaul.
The ambassadors will be located on the second floor of the Career Center to guide students one-on-one on how to find internships. Ambassadors will be able to show students how to navigate BruinView and find internships in their interest areas, for example.
They will also work more closely with the Industry Relations Team to identify employers who are trying to recruit students, said Chris Howell, Career Center’s industry relations manager.
Howell said the new ambassadors will be well-informed about when recruiters are hiring or visiting campus so they can connect students with relevant opportunities.
USAC President Danny Siegel said he thinks many students do not use the Career Center and hopes this updated program will better connect students with the existing resources at the Career Center.
Ara Shamsian, a third-year communication studies student, said he has never visited the Career Center and felt too intimidated to look for internships during his first quarter at UCLA. He thinks the program will be great, and will take advantage of the program.
Jack Lam, a third-year communication studies student, said finding internships often felt impersonal and thinks students should have a setting to build organic relationships with recruiters.
The Career Center opened applications for ambassador positions through BruinView from finals week of winter quarter until Tuesday of week one this quarter.
Howell added that starting the program in spring quarter was a practical decision to accommodate students who still need to find internships.
“Additionally, the ambassadors will operate during the summer,” Howell said. “And it was easier to hire a team of students when they are still on campus.”
The Career Center hopes the new ambassadors will establish a foundation for the program through trial and error throughout spring quarter, and plan to broaden its reach in future quarters.
The program received about 37 applications, and the center selected a team of six ambassadors that represent diverse student groups on campus, Howell said. The first cohort will attend its first orientation and staff meeting this week.