When Max Gocala meets with prospective students and their families, he wants to make them feel welcomed, impressed, and enthused with a Mason education. As the undergraduate recruitment and outreach coordinator, Gocala recognized he’s limited in what he could offer from an actual student’s perspective though.
His desire for an authentic look at life as a student prompted him to create the School of Business Ambassador Program.
“If a student’s up there, it’s a whole new spin on that and they can relate to what students are really looking for in our programs,” Gocala said. “We want to make sure that students know what we have to offer and why they can get a world-class education.”
Ambassadors attend School of Business events for prospective freshmen and transfer students to share their own experiences in the classroom and on-campus.
“I love being a Patriot because of all the opportunities that I have had. I have grown not only in character, but also in my academic knowledge. I enjoy all of the friendships I have made through social events, clubs, classes, and housing,” said Madison Strano, an accounting sophomore.
Strano sees the ambassador program as a way to gain more leadership experience.
Sahar Kandahari, a marketing senior, is a second generation Patriot. Her mom graduated from Mason with her bachelor’s degree in 2000, and a master’s degree in 2014.
“I would like to share my experience as an undergraduate to help new students transition into Mason smoothly. I hope to be a valuable resource for students and look forward to making connections with them,” she said.
Senior marketing major Niels Bulskov joined the ambassador program to share his unique experiences as a student entrepreneur. “I hope to show people that studying at Mason isn’t just a chance to plant your future opportunities, but also to build something great today,” he said.
Bulskov has started his own business, Ground Control Coffee, while at Mason and has received financial and mentorship support from Mason along the way.
“We want anyone who has shown that being a Mason student has helped them to succeed. We want someone who’s going to be relatable to students, so someone who’s been involved or set themselves apart and has shown that Mason is their home,” Gocala said.
School of Business ambassadors serve for a year, and must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in their second semester at Mason. Two recommendations, with one being from a faculty member, are needed to apply.