Elizabeth Aiello-Coppola just recently graduated from NAU and received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. During her time here, she worked as a True Blue Ambassador. The True Blue Ambassador program first piqued her interest when she came to Orientation as a freshman. After she saw the True Life play during her orientation session, she told her mom she had to get this job and be an ambassador herself. Elizabeth started working as a True Blue Ambassador during her sophomore year after an extensive hiring process. She had to pass an application review, succeed in a group interview, and then present herself well in two individual interviews.
As a True Blue Ambassador, Elizabeth and her fellow Ambassadors give tours of NAU to prospective students throughout the fall and spring semesters. They also answer questions about NAU from prospective families and students via phone and email, and staff DNAU events. During the summer, the ambassadors run Northern Arizona University’s Freshman Orientation. As Orientation Leaders they each work individually with groups of 15-19 students. Elizabeth said that being an Orientation leader has given her the opportunity to be a mentor for each new freshman. She loves being part of a team working to make good things happen for other people. The ambassadors give the new students a chance to see what it is like to be at NAU. During orientation these students discuss the situations presented in the True Life play with their groups, and occasionally they get really deep and share sensitive personal stories. Orientation leaders use this time to ensure that these incoming students feel safe about being a college student.
What is your favorite thing about being a True Blue Ambassador?
“I like seeing how excited students get about NAU. I love NAU and I want them to be happy and love NAU too. What’s cool is that sometimes I’ll see my orientees passing by during the school semester and they smile at me or some even come up and hug me. It’s the best feeling ever.”
“We have multiple retreats throughout the year. There, we share a lot of things, get really deep, and bond. We even take a class together during the Spring Semester, EPS 415 & 416. We also have a 10 day training and camp where we get prepared for Orientation. We all live in the Wilson Residence Hall over the summer and work in the administration office together too.”
What kind of skills does being a True Blue Ambassador teach you?
“Speaking in public, personal skills, and knowing how to sell the school. We are also taught great work ethic. For example, if we have a meeting at 6:30 and someone is late, then we push the meeting up to 6:15 the next time. We are taught how to follow while being a leader at the same time. But most of all, we learn to have fun!”
What kind of relationships do you form with students that you meet during Orientation?
“It varies, sometimes I won’t have a connection. There have been other times where I had students tell me, ‘You helped me break out of my shell!’ One student told me that I helped them not be shy because I forced them to talk and be social with the other students. You just form these connections that you’ll never forget. I’ll recognize them even when I see them around campus during classes.”
“I’m going to stay in Flagstaff for another year to work and save up money to travel. I want to go back to Ireland and visit places like Europe, Japan, Greece and the Netherlands. I’m buying a one-way ticket and seeing what happens.”
It sounds like Elizabeth has definitely learned how to have fun, work hard, and take risks as a True Blue Ambassador. If you are interested in following her lead, check out the True Blue Ambassador Application process and talk to one of the ambassadors you see giving campus tours in their snazzy blue and yellow polo shirts.