The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

New ambassadors to enhance international admissions

By Heather Johansen

International admissions will officially kick off its Global Ambassadors Program in 2013, though the department has already started asking students to be ambassadors.
“I initiated the program because I realized Mac had not been systematic in using some very important resources that could be extremely valuable in helping prospective international students learn more about Mac,” said Director of International Admissions Steve Colee.

The program will create a more structured system of recruitment worldwide with current and past international students speaking to high school students in their area when they return home.

“This is a school that represents itself as international and wants to put itself on the world stage, so this will give us a new opportunity to do that,” said Global Ambassadors Student Coordinator Vincent Siegerink.

The department is currently recruiting international students. Students who are currently abroad will be eligible to be Global Ambassadors starting this spring semester.

“The Admissions staff is unable to cover the globe,” said Colee. “But we have members of the Mac community in many places we cannot get to. And even when we do visit another country, students and alumni can bring a valuable perspective that Admissions officers lack.”
Many alumni from around the world have already performed a similar role in the past. They are willing to meet with prospective students and answer questions if a student near them showed interest.

“I started working on the concept of a network last year but it is gaining momentum this year, thanks in great measure to the student leadership we now have in place,” Colee said.

The difference with the initiation of this program is its structure, which puts an emphasison current students going home and recruiting abroad so students can actively speak about the current Macalester experience.

“It’s a great experience to go back and show students at your old school, from your old neighborhood, ‘Look, this is where I have ended up, this is what I have accomplished, this is what you can achieve too,’ and then you can give them the information about how to achieve it,” Siegerink said.

The program’s mission is to “strengthen the global network of people affiliated with Macalester College. It aims to use Macalester’s global network to reach out to prospective students around the world.”

“Right now Macalester does draw international students,” Siegerink said. “But it mostly draws them from the same areas, so I think in order to fulfill Macalester’s international mission we need to expand those global limits.”

Only two staff members are currently responsible for International Admissions. One of the goals of this program is to build a community of ambassadors that will promote Macalester wherever they go.

“As an international student Macalester [who] never visited my school, all I knew was from the website and I heard stories about an older girl from my school who had come to Macalester,” Siegerink said. “Obviously I am here, but maybe there is that person who wasn’t convinced by the website but maybe would have been convinced in person, hopefully this program can benefit them.”

International Admissions will launch its own website this semester to accompany the Global Ambassadors program.
“It will be exciting for international students to have their own space, because they have different needs and questions than domestic students,” Siegerink said. “This will be a place just for them, so that they can get all of their questions answered.” refresh –>

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