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The NOVA Ambassadors in JSOM are a crazy group of current students who show up to recruitment events and convince high school kids to come to UT Dallas by being absolutely insane. I’m just kidding, of course, but our odd little family turns being ourselves into the perfect recruitment platform that shows prospective students what UT Dallas is really about. I’ve been beyond fortunate to be part of this group for the past two years and cannot imagine how my UT Dallas story would read without NOVA in its pages.
Who are we?
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that we are a family. We’re the biggest bunch of goofballs you’ll ever meet with personalities ranging from sweet-as-apple-pie to off-the-chart levels of snark and sass. We’ve got professional figure skaters, master salesmen, this kid from South Africa and Sam (who’s in PPA, if you were wondering). We have members from all eight undergraduate majors in JSOM, ranging from sophomores to seniors. Our backgrounds are as diverse as we are, meaning that we get to represent people in many situations all over the world. Despite our varied life experiences, it only took us one official training session to become a family. Also on our team are the faculty and staff in the JSOM Recruitment Office and the Office of Undergraduate Programs. We all work together to make JSOM an even better place to learn and work.
What do we do?
Our duties include working events for current JSOM students, networking with employers and donors, and recruiting prospective students. We honestly do a huge mishmash of things — I have given countless campus tours, served on dozens of student panels, toured various high schools, had meals with donors and alumni, and answered hundreds of questions. If there’s an event that needs poised and professional volunteers, we’re there!
The Comet Experience is our largest recruitment event of the year. Prospective students and their families come on campus, grab a free breakfast, listen to presentations (about JSOM, all eight of our majors, the Career Management Center, Davidson Management Honors Program, and more), ask questions during a student panel, get a JSOM tour, get a campus tour, and end with free lunch and a T-shirt in Dining Hall West. It’s a day jam packed with information that we NOVAs get to help students sift through in order to help each student make the best college decision for them.
We also get to go to events like Exchange-Giving, an event that provides our international exchange students with a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. Here, we network with all sorts of JSOM faculty (including Dean Pirkul!), make sure that our international students have a great study-abroad experience, and even get a delicious Thanksgiving dinner! These events allow us to give back to JSOM by both increasing our overall numbers and helping out our current students. On a human level, we also get to connect with people at every event that we work. By talking to prospective students, JSOM faculty and administration, donors and alumni, and even each other, we get to meet and bond with others all the time. Probably one of the most valuable things that we do as NOVAs is make genuine connections with others in an attempt to help make their lives easier.
What does it take?
So now you want to be a NOVA Ambassador, right? To join our family, you need to be a JSOM student who is hardworking, professional and willing to serve. You should be open, friendly and get along well with others. Basically, if you love helping people and you love JSOM, this is the organization for you. I cannot put into words how much NOVA has altered my UTD experience; so I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested. I’m blessed to have been on the team for the past two years and am beyond excited to see where we go next.
You can apply to become a NOVA Ambassador by filling out an application online. Don’t forget — they’re due on March 11!