[SMU Parents’ Day 2019] From the perspective of an SMU Ambassador….

SMU Parents’ Day 2019 has ended and it has certainly been a rigorous yet fulfilling experience. Let us hear from one of our Ambassadors, Bhargavi, who was a member of the programmes team of SMU Parents’ Day 2019!

1. How was the experience of organizing such a large scale event for over 1000 parents as a member of the programmes team?

Being part of SMU Parents’ Day 2019 was a very rewarding experience. Work for the programmes department started early summer, right after finals ended. It was certainly very fulfilling to ultimately see everything we have been planning on paper to roll out during the various SMU Parents’ Day runs. As a member of the programmes, I definitely gained a lot, especially on how to manage and communicate with the various stakeholders involved. It trained me to be meticulous and very detailed-oriented in the briefs that I was working on. It was very pleasant interacting with the parents and addressing their concerns because at the end of each run, you could really see the parents leaving with so much ease about their child’s budding SMU journey, which made everything feel worthwhile.

2. Could you share with me more about your role as an Ambassador during PD?

I had the opportunity of exploring various roles for each SMU Parents’ day run. For the School of Economics run, I was the moderator. For the School of Social Sciences run, I had the chance of being part of the moderator support team and I even got to try being a mingle with the parents for the School of Law and School of Accountancy runs. Apart from those role, I also did campus tours for parents. It was interesting to work in these various roles because each time I got to interact with different stakeholders, I got a more holistic understanding of almost every aspect of the event and how it ran. Also I was involved in the set up and tear down for each run which was certainly crucial to the event! Although it was tiring, this process built camaraderie amongst the ambassadors, which made it so much fun! Being on the ground with the operations also gave me a greater sense of ownership of SMU Parents’ Day, and a greater sense of belonging with my batch! I’m so proud of my fellow ambassadors and I for having planned and see through this event which is our way of contributing back to SMU!

3. I noted that you were a moderator for the School of Economics run, could you share about how you managed to host these distinguished guests?

Being a moderator was really the highlight of my PD19 experience. I was definitely nervous when I was first given this role. However, prior to the event, the SMU Ambassadorial Corps provided me with adequate training by professionals to equip me with the skills I would require. Furthermore, the moderators also sought out the profile of the guests which made it easier for me to prepare. On the day itself, I took a more facilitative role and actually got my panelists to interact among themselves. It proved to be useful because at the panel, they were very interactive and kept building on each other’s answers.

4. What was the most memorable incident you had in this experience?

It might be hard to believe but it was actually the set up and tear down process with the team. Everyone was very tired and it was getting late, yet, we were are all there helping each other and working so well together. It also provided opportunities for greater interactions between Senior ambassadors and junior ambassadors. It was a very nice feeling of “we’re all in this together”.

Of course, apart from that, I would have to say answering parents’ questions was memorable to me because listening to their various concerns or doubts made me more empathic towards parents. I could better understand what concerns they experience when their child starts university and it made me feel more driven to answer to my best, to address all their concerns. Giving them a sense of relief about their child’s journey was very fulfilling for me and was therefore, the most memorable experience for me.

5. What is your biggest takeaway/ learning point from SMU Parents’ Day?

My biggest takeaway is the reaffirmation of the role ASMU plays in SMU. It made me realise what an important bridge we are between the school and parents or any other external stakeholder. Thus, I value my position of a SMU Ambassador much more now, and it makes me look forward to my future commitments as an ambassador.