29 August 2018
Hello! My name is Ellie Hamill and I’m a Campus Brand Ambassador (or a CBA – we love our acronyms) with Teach For Australia.
I’ve been working with Teach For Australia for nearly two years in this role. I’m also a student at the University of Melbourne, all CBAs are students at universities all around Australia. Our work involves engaging at a grass roots level with students on university campuses to spread awareness about educational disadvantage, what we do at Teach For Australia and to recruit for our Leadership Development Program.
I’m part of the one of the two Victorian Recruitment Teams. Each team is lead by a Recruitment and Advocacy Manager (or RAM) and I’ve been lucky enough to have two amazing RAMs in my time: Josh Farr and now Taylor Clark. Our team this year has four CBAs and together we work across the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Victoria University, La Trobe University, Deakin University and Swinburne University.We have united goals and work together as a team, but we also have a lot of autonomy and flexibility to work independently.
But what do we actually do?
It’s very flexible and different times of the year can mean different things whether it’s emailing clubs and societies, building awareness through social media and marketing, getting to know potential candidates through coffee chats, attending club events, co-hosting events, lecture bashing, flyering, postering, team meetings and catch-ups, attending career fairs, O-Week and so so much more!
So what does a week in the life of a CBA look like? Let’s take a couple of weeks ago as an example, the week which I took over the Teach For Australia Instagram account.
I had uni classes all day so didn’t have a chance to do any work for Teach for Australia. All CBAs are students and TFA absolutely respects that and allows us to manage work around our study commitments and exams.
We had our team meeting at TFA HQ on Flinders Lane. We meet every week to touch base with what we’ve done for the week. As a majority of the role is quite independent, it’s nice to check in, see how we’ve all been going and what the tasks and priorities are going forward. We each have slightly differing portfolios but all work towards a united goal.
I was back on campus at the University of Melbourne on Wednesday. At the time, we were in need of STEM applicants – specifically Maths and Physics – so I hit up the Maths and Physics Faculty with some posters, especially in high traffic areas such as around lecture theatres. As CBAs, it’s important that we work toward both brand awareness and engagement. Postering may seem like simple task but it’s so important for students on campus to be aware of Teach For Australia and the organisation’s mission!
Afterwards, in the afternoon, I popped over the Victoria University’s Footscray Campus for a Clubs and Societies Festival. Our role is often events-based: attending events, organising events with clubs or hosting our own events. This means that the role is always changing and we’re always meeting wonderful new people to engage with.
I attended a Winter O-Week Clubs and Societies Festival at La Trobe University Bundoora campus. At this event, I hosted a stall and spoke to interested students about Teach For Australia and our program. It was fantastic chatting to lots of students and touching base face-to-face with clubs and societies.
I worked from home on Friday, another bonus of the role. I followed up some discussions from the events during the week and touched base with some people regarding events coming up in the next couple of week.
All in all, it’s a really fantastic role and a wonderful organisation. You have the chance to work toward a really important cause, and you feel part of something so much bigger than any of us by partaking in Teach For Australia’s vision of an Australia where all children, regardless of background, attain an excellent education. As a part of this role, I’ve also had the privilege of being able to visit Associates in the classroom and really see how passionate and talented they are, and witness firsthand the amazing work they do in schools around Australia every day.
The job amazingly flexible, making it work around a busy student lifestyle. You get the chance to have really inspiring, passionate conversations with students, see the passion in people’s eyes as they realise they could make a difference and undertake a path in life that they might not have considered before.