Becoming a Colonial Ambassador

Brittany Capozoli and Amari Jacks

Becoming a colonial ambassador at Robert Morris University is a very intense process, only a minimal amount of students are selected to represent RMU as a whole. Last semester about 10-12 students were hired according to Merrit Donoughe, a junior communication major and president of the colonial ambassadors.

“It was intimidating for sure. You need to be able to market yourself from the get go, no excuses. It also really prepared me for job interviews in my career,” said Donoughe.

The colonial ambassadors give walking tours at RMU to potential students and their families. They also participate in other on and off campus events to recruit students, office work, move-in day, fundraisers and more.

“They just want to make sure that you’re able to articulate yourself,and have confidence in yourself because you deal with a lot of awkward situations,” said Quaheem Brown, a junior colonial ambassador who majors in marketing management.

The hiring process starts out with a group interview by Victoria Fleisner, assistant director of admissions, and Cindy Kronk, office assistant in the admissions office, are in charge of the Colonial ambassadors. About 100 applicants are present, and 30-35 applicants are chosen for a two-on-one interview with Fleisner and Kronk.

The number of senior ambassadors graduating, and the number of ambassadors going away for internships, will determine how many students will be hired as the new colonial ambassadors.

“It is kind of hard, I will have to admit, to find every major that has good communication skills,” said Fleisner.

During the interview the students are put into scenarios of what they would do if certain questions were asked such as, “What would you do if a dad on tour ask what the party scene was like?” The interviewee then has to say what he or she would do in that type of situation.

“We have to make the questions pretty difficult to answer since we have so many students who want the position,” said Fleisner.

Once the students are selected, throughout the school year they prepare for open houses and discovery days. A discovery day is for students who have already been accepted to RMU. The ambassadors also fill out an inquiry card, which is for the incoming freshmen to fill out for when they want to receive more information about RMU.

“More questions, more people,” said Brown in reference to the open houses. “I like open house tours because not only do we give a tour, I’m usually on the panel to answer questions that students come up with so that’s a lot of fun.”

Many current students attending RMU are here because they were given a tour from RMU ambassadors. The students and the ambassadors recognize and acknowledge each other when they are seen.

“I gave this one girl and her family a tour, they asked a lot of questions, and I remember they were from Maryland,” said Brown. “I actually helped them move in on ‘Move-In Day’ too so that was pretty cool. I still see her around, it’s more of a hi and bye type thing though because we don’t cross paths as much.”

“Move- In Day” is the day freshmen move into their dorms with the help of their families, friends, community advisors or “CA’s”, and of course the colonial ambassadors.

There are around five colonial ambassadors per shift that give tours at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Most tours are done by walking but they also offer golf cart tours for parents or students who are not able to do the walking tour. Not all buildings are included in the tours because the tours are done by majors and are only one hour long, according to Fleisner.

If a student comes to the campus for a tour and is undecided, the ambassadors will give them a tour of every building on campus. The ambassadors are also given a six page tour route for each semester on what to do and what to talk about while giving the tour.