The Benefits of Being a UC Berkeley Campus Ambassador

The Campus Ambassador team grouped on the front steps of Wheeler Hall on Cal Day

You may have seen us around campus before: always yelling about the Campanile, gesturing boldly towards Memorial Glade, or cruising around on golf carts while giving special driven tours. We’re always out and about on campus, so many people know us as tour guides. However, when you look past the golden name badge, cleanly labeled jacket, and witty campus facts, you start to see the extent to which Ambassadors are actually involved on campus.

Throughout my four years at Berkeley, I have been lucky enough to work as an extension of not only the student body, but of Public Affairs and the professional Berkeley sphere, as well as in outreach, marketing, and communication roles that extend far beyond the 1.5 hour limits of a campus tour. Whether it be fulfilling my roles as a lead coordinator for Cal Day (Berkeley’s annual open house where we welcome over 40,000 people to campus every year), working press conferences and community conversation events, welcoming visitors to the Campanile, writing for the Bear Talk Blog, or facilitating joint department events on campus (collaborating with Cal Athletics, Cal Housing, and many more), this job has kept me incredibly busy, never quite knowing what next shift I could pick up, or what new people I could meet. On the Berkeley campus, as a paid employee and representative of all that Berkeley celebrates, we are trusted with high-profile VIP tours, donor outreach, and important information management, and we are put on the frontlines of the visitor center to field any and all questions about the university. In all honesty, I have never participated in an ambassador/guide program quite like the one at Berkeley, and have certainly never been given such high responsibility, respect, and recognition from the surrounding community as I have in this role. read more

What is Undergraduate Research, and Why is it Amazing?

Undergraduate research happens all over campus. In any department, students of any major, age, or career goals can be found researching. Berkeley is a unique place to be an undergraduate researcher because we are guaranteed to have some of the most accomplished faculty and promising graduate students in your field (regardless of what it is).

Girl in lab coat, face mask, and protective plastic apron
Me in my appropriate personal protective equipment for working with acids.

There are lots of different ways to find research positions on campus, but one of the most popular is URAP (the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program). URAP allows students to complete an application and be matched with faculty projects, while receiving academic units for their time. I found my current research position through URAP two years ago as an undeclared Freshman in FPF, which is proof that research isn’t always an exclusive club made just for upperclassmen. Some departments also sponsor paid research positions with stipends or work-study, and there are more scholarships for undergraduate research projects provided by Berkeley’s Office of Research & Undergraduate Scholarships (OURS). read more