By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
Baylor’s Career and Professional Development (CPD) department is known by students to help out with building a resume and with the “career closet” program, and the new campus CPD ambassadors seek to help spread the word about all that CPD does to assist other students.
The CPD ambassador program is comprised of eight ambassadors and three interns who all work with Baylor’s marketing department to promote the CPD department on campus through events and sharing on social media.
Shelby Cefaratti serves as a marketing and design specialist for the CPD department and supervises the CPD ambassador program. She appreciates how the program uses peer-to-peer interaction in an effort to make things, like applying for a job or creating a resume, less intimidating for Baylor students.
“Looking for a job is scary enough, especially when you’re twenty years old,” Cefaratti said. “You don’t want to think about it, and it’s something you have to do that you’re not looking forward to. When creating the program, I thought about what I could do from the marketing perspective to make it more approachable and fun.”
The CPD ambassador program includes a group of students meant to be representative of the Baylor community, who were chosen out of sixty applicants for the positions. Along with promoting the CPD department, Cefaratti said that the ambassadors gain valuable skills through the work they do.
“We looked for a diverse group across campus in terms of grade levels and majors, and we have some transfer students, first generation students and international students as well. It’s an incredibly diverse group that represents Baylor as a whole,” Cefaratti said. “The ambassadors gain amazing skills to add to their resumes, as they manage groups for campus wide events and work with marketing in a major department for a major university.”
A recent CPD ambassador event on campus was Handshake Homecoming on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, in which students were located at tables in the Bill Daniel Student Center and the Baylor Science Building to help spread the word to students about what the CPD department can do to assist them in planning for a future career. They specifically promoted Handshake, an online database that can connect Baylor students to future employers and opportunities.
“The whole idea behind it was for the ambassadors to let students know about the benefits of Handshake and what Handshake can do for them,” Cefarratti said. “They helped students start a profile and then handed out free swag for homecoming.”
Cefaratti is particularly impressed with the work done by Fort Worth junior Simba Masando, the marketing assistant intern for the CPD ambassador program.
“Simba [Masando] blew me out of the water,” Cefaratti said. “He’s a neuroscience major but also a marketing intern. He schedules the ambassadors and is the main point of contact. It’s impressive that a junior at Baylor is helping a major department run this program.”
Masando sees one of the most successful aspects of the CPD ambassador program being its student-run nature — creating a welcoming and friendly environment for students on campus to learn more about the CPD department by simply talking to their peers.
“At career fairs students are often apprehensive and a bit confused, so the ambassadors answer any question they may have at the event, as well as conduct censuses about how the event is received by students,” Masando said. “One of the main goals of CPD is student engagement, and one of the best ways to reach students is to utilize students. This peer-to-peer system helps expand ‘Success Beyond Baylor’ through our proactive engagement on campus.”
Being a CPD ambassador is a paid position and accepts applicants yearly. Masando believes that qualities of a good ambassador include being proactive and willing to work well with others.
“A great ambassador is able to work with, serve and help others,” Masando said. “They’re able to do what is asked of them and show an initiative in tasks and goals. Through the program, ambassadors grow skills in professional demeanor, career expectations and sociable skills beyond marketing.”