OXFORD, Miss. – Andrew Smelser has a passion for helping students succeed.
“It’s a really great experience to see students enjoy Ole Miss and really thrive in our program, especially those that you help to recruit,” said Smelser, a native of Owens Cross Roads, Ala. who is enrolled in the third year of the University of Mississippi’s early entry pharmacy program.
Smelser is among 18 students who are part of the inaugural group of UM School of Pharmacy Ambassadors, who help the school recruit prospective students.
“The ambassadors have been a huge asset to our recruitment program,” said Chelsea Bennett, the school’s assistant dean of student services. “We’ve been able to reach even more prospective pharmacy students this year because of their help. We are receiving great feedback from prospective students, who love to hear what the School of Pharmacy is like from the vantage point of a current student.”
The 18 student ambassadors, who work on a voluntary basis, are assisting with university recruitment days, local high school college fairs and welcoming prospective students and their families.
“I’ve attended a few of the career fairs and talked to students who were interested in the program,” said Rachel Jenkins, a native of Olive Branch and an ambassador enrolled in the second year of the early entry program. “I feel like it’s really helpful for prospective students to have someone who is already in the program show them the ropes.
The ambassadors mentor students who are interested in the early entry program, which enables select high school seniors to be admitted to pharmacy school immediately upon entering the university.
“Coming in as a senior in high school, I felt really unprepared,” Smelser said. “It would have been great to have a mentor who was older than me and already in the program. That’s the main reason why I wanted to help out as an ambassador.”
The ambassadors, Bennett said, “are a very dedicated group, often voluntarily giving up weekends to help with recruitment events. It shows how dedicated they are to this program and how focused they are on doing what they can to help future students succeed.”
New School of Pharmacy Ambassador positions will be available in August and will be open to early entry students. For more information on becoming an ambassador, contact Bennett at email@example.com.