Who are our Student Ambassadors? Meet Amaal Ali

What does a Student Ambassador do?

A student ambassador is a representative of SOAS. We help out on Insight Days and Open Days. This means we meet a lot of prospective students and are usually expected to give advice and an opinion on SOAS or the course we study. Student Ambassadors also help out on certain special events to make sure these run smoothly. For example, being ushers or something minor, like holding a microphone.

Does it take up a lot of your time?

If I wanted to summarise it in one word, it would definitely be: ‘flexible’. You can work whenever you want to: as little as once a year or at every single event.

How do you see that you are doing a good job – how do you measure success?

I usually work on Insight Days, which usually consists of helping prospective students. So I measure success with how they find the day.

Why is it good for you to be a SA?

My favourite part of the job is meeting students in different years and different courses. The job also lets you get to know SOAS better.

How does it help with your leadership skills?

Sometimes you’re expected to think on your feet, especially if something unexpected happens. This is beneficial as you are left to your own devices. This means skills such as communication is key. Being a student ambassador helped my leadership skills in this sense.

How is this beneficial to other students?

I think the most beneficial and most insightful on Insight Days is not the lectures or the professors but we, the students that currently study at the university. We offer prospective students true insight. It’s real. So I think this job is really insightful in that sense.

What drives you?

Attending talks that interest me are related to the career I want to pursue. Being at SOAS, this is very easy. For instance, I have attended talks about Brexit and mental health in the Somali community. Very different things that give me a drive.

How do you navigate in an intercultural social setting?

I have done a lot of ambassador work in my previous educational settings, so it wasn’t very new to me.

What made you come to SOAS?

I really wanted to get a qualifying law degree but with a more ‘worldview’ and this was available in the SOAS LLB course (with compulsory modules such as Legal Systems of Africa and Asia.) Also the university is known for its very unique opportunities such as the LEP (free language classes). Plus, it’s a close knit community.

Name someone inspirational.

And as cheesy as it may sound, my mother has been an inspiration to my life. She is the strongest woman I know. Also, Iman Abdulmajid fashion model, who was a pioneer in her field and also ‘broke the game’ with her cosmetics brand that focused on Women of Colour.

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