An Engineering Student’s Personal Guide to ASU

October 28, 2022

When you take on such a challenging endeavor as pursuing an engineering degree, it’s good to know what you’re getting into. Future students considering Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University have access to Fulton Ambassadors program, a student organization dedicated to giving a personalized and inside look at the life of an engineering student.

Whether they’re showing students and families around campus on campus tours, visiting local high schools, or answering one-on-one questions, Fulton Ambassadors show prospective students what’s possible in embodying the Fulton Difference – The Fulton Schools culture of developing well-rounded engineers through experiential opportunities outside of the classroom.

A Fulton Ambassador speaks with the family of a prospective student during a tour of Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. Fulton Ambassadors are highly engaged engineering students at Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering who host tours, visit high schools, and answer questions about life as an engineering student at ASU. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU
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Ambassadors continue to support students throughout their engineering journey at ASU, serving as mentors and guiding their peers to resources to help them thrive.

“At Fulton Schools, we believe in achieving more than just a degree, and that’s where Fulton Ambassadors play an important role,” says Marilynn ArandaAdvisor to Fulton Ambassadors and Senior Coordinator of Outreach and Student Recruitment at Fulton Schools.

“This is a group of high-achieving students who are actively involved, allowing them to provide guidance and lead by example,” says Aranda. “It’s inspiring to see the connections they make and how incoming students would love to follow in the footsteps of our Fulton Ambassadors.”

Fulton Ambassadors have served as mentors to high school students preparing for the transition to college life since 2010. Over the years, the Fulton Ambassador program has grown from 26 to over 100 students and evolved to be entirely led by students, with eight leaders. coordinate the work of organizational members on two ASU campuses.

The program’s prolific growth has been invaluable in broadening the diversity of its membership, allowing more prospective students to see themselves in the faces and experiences of today’s engineering majors.

“Becoming a mentor and a role model is about more than a person who is actively involved – it’s a person who can build strong connections with others in a unique way,” says Aranda. “It’s great to see students from all walks of life being part of this organization.”

Participating in the volunteer program is an equally rewarding opportunity for Fulton Ambassadors to grow and expand their own leadership and professional development horizons.

We spoke with Fulton Ambassadors student co-chairs Deepit Arora and ian mcdonald about what it’s like to be part of the program. Arora, co-chair of the Fulton Ambassadors at ASU Polytechnic Campus, is a junior majoring in engineering with a concentration in robotics. McDonald is the co-president of the Tempe campus and a mechanical engineering senior. Both have been Fulton Ambassadors for about two years and say their experience has resulted in relationships and skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

A group of people take a tour of the ASU Tempe campus with the Fulton Ambassadors.

Two Fulton Ambassadors walk back while giving ASU a tour. In addition to the rewarding experiences of interacting with prospective students, Fulton Ambassadors gain leadership and professional development experience in this student-run organization. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

Did you have the opportunity to interact with a Fulton Ambassador prior to attending ASU?

ian mcdonald: I had the opportunity to take a tour with a Fulton Ambassador during my visit to campus. It was a great opportunity for me to ask questions, see what the campus was like, and get inside the mind of an engineering student. I heard about ASU’s amazing programs and how they shaped my tour guide’s experience as a student and future professional.

Deepit Arora: I never had the chance to meet a Fulton Ambassador when I was making my decision. I wish I had known about this program sooner. This way, I could have met other students from my major, and it would have relieved some stress. From my interactions with potential students, I know that talking to another student in the same field helps them understand the program and make an informed decision.

Why did you want to be a Fulton Ambassador?

Ambassador Fulton

Deepit Arora

Arora: During my first semester, I was looking to join organizations to work on my soft skills and build a professional network. I realized Fulton Ambassadors was a great place to do it. It has provided me with multiple opportunities to develop my public speaking and leadership skills, to connect with my peers and also to help incoming students.

Mcdonalds: Throughout high school and college, I always tutored others, helped select schedules, researched schools, and shared my experience as a tour guide. These previous experiences made me realize the positive impacts I could have on others simply by sharing my experiences and giving advice. By guiding the next generation of engineers, I am able to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to learn and grow in any field of engineering.

Why do you think Fulton Ambassadors are an important resource for prospective students?

Arora: Fulton Ambassadors play a vital role when it comes to speaking with prospective students. We can give hundreds of presentations about our facilities and resources, but for a student, talking to someone who is currently using these facilities is very important. For a prospective student, hearing about a student’s experience makes a huge difference. They feel more connected. Also, as students, we are more accessible and understand them better because we were in their shoes just a few years ago.

What are the typical questions that future students ask you?

Mcdonalds: The most common questions revolve around classes, class size, dining options, transportation, dorms, and AP credit transfers. These kinds of questions allow me to make the connection between my research and my personal navigation of ASU’s programs and pathways. Some of the anecdotes I like to share relate only to my freshman experiences, passions, interests, and fondest memories so they can see how exciting college can be.

What is your favorite interaction with a prospective or incoming student?

Ambassador Fulton

ian mcdonald

Mcdonalds: My most memorable interaction with a prospective student came from a summer camp I helped organize called the National Summer Transportation Institute, which exposes prospective students to ASU and engineering through field trips, activities, and discussions with counselors at this overnight camp. Some of the campers in particular made it a point to come to me during breaks and get-together times to just ask about school and ask the exact same questions I had when I started college. To get that one-on-one interaction, to see that wonder and interest in engineering build over the course of a week was just so rewarding as a Fulton mentor and ambassador.

Arora: One of my favorite interactions was a one-on-one session with an Indian student. He had a background very similar to mine and he also wanted to study robotics. When we started talking, we realized that we were both from the same city and had very similar research interests. We talked for over an hour and didn’t even realize it. He joined the engineering program at Polytechnic and is now a good friend of mine.

How has the Fulton Ambassador experience helped you on your own student journey?

Arora: Throughout my time with Fulton Ambassadors, I have grown tremendously. From my public speaking skills to my leadership and management skills, I have seen a huge change in the way I behave. In addition, I find myself surrounded by a network of many high-level engineering students who will become great engineers for sure!

Mcdonalds: In addition to developing my personal network and communication skills, Fulton Ambassadors has given me a group that I believe closely models my own educational journey. Engineering is tough, and it’s great to hear others’ experiences and share those late nights and spectacular opportunities. Bringing together some of the most talented and fun people at Fulton Schools creates such a wonderful community to share the college experience with at the end of the day.

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