A Q&A with the Diversity Ambassador Captains

Wait, so you are telling me there is another group of ambassadors who walk backwards and give tours around campus?! Kind of — but not quite. The Diversity Ambassadors, otherwise known as the DAs, do much more than just walk around backwards and give tours.

I had the privilege to interview Teya Siva, who is one of the four captains of the Diversity Ambassadors.

Read on about these amazing people and what they’re able to accomplish here at Ohio State:

1) What exactly is a Diversity Ambassador and what do they do?

Diversity ambassadors are a combination of the duties of both telecounselors and University Ambassadors, but they also go on high school visits. Additionally, they put on events for prospective students. The mission of all of these duties is to increase the diversity here at The Ohio State University. Diversity Ambassadors provide a wealth of experience and information charged with connecting students and their families to our Buckeye community. They provide support to on- and off-campus events, high school visits and tours.

2) Are Diversity Ambassadors affiliated with University Ambassadors?

No, not at all. Diversity Ambassadors have their own program. University Ambassadors give tours, while Diversity Ambassadors do that along with the telecounseling, high school visits, and other events that bring to light the importance of diversity here at The Ohio State University that were mentioned above.

 3) Do DAs have to be “diverse” or represent a minority to get involved in the program?

Nope, not at all. Diversity Ambassadors as a whole represent a wide variety of people from different races, religions, nationalities and cultures. However, they all have one thing in common: they all have the passion for diversity and the program’s mission.

4) How do you get involved to become a Diversity Ambassador?

First you must be qualified to become a DA — those requirements include a minimum GPA of a 2.75, completion of at least one semester at The Ohio State University and that you are not graduating in the spring of the year you apply. If you have met all these requirements, then you can apply!

Diversity Ambassadors have two hiring seasons, one in the winter to start during the spring semester, and another in the summer for the following autumn semester. The application is not put online, some people are invited to apply through email if an advisor, professor, or current Diversity Ambassador think you are a good fit. However, if you are not invited to apply, no sweat — all you have to do is email Diversity Ambassadors that you are passionate and interested in their mission and they will be more than happy to provide you with an application. The hiring season for the upcoming semester will begin in December so email esue-diversityambassadors@osu.edu to get an application.

The application consists of background information, university involvement and 5-8 essay responses (250 words each). After you submit your application, if the DAs are interested in you, they will extend an invitation for an interview, and then they make their final selections. Being a Diversity Ambassador is a huge responsibility to take on, but it is a paid job. During admissions season — so before November 1 — you can expect to put in 5-7 hours per week, and after November 1 it is about 3-5 hours per week.

5)   What is your favorite thing about Diversity Ambassadors?

DA captain Teya Siva said her favorite thing about Diversity Ambassadors is the impact that you can make on a future Buckeye. Dexter Haynes, a DA captain, said one time a student randomly came up to him on campus and told him that he was the reason she chose Ohio State — because of the one-on-one talk that she had with him during her campus visit. It’s those moments that mean the most to him, he said.

Teya added that along with the impact that you could have, you also get a lot of professional development from such a huge leadership position. She said she feels more prepared for the “real world” and to take on a real job. She also added that it does not feel like a job and she’d do it even if she weren’t being paid.


So what do DAs do again?? They “ambassadate.” Dexter explains ambassadate as a verb, and its definition is “to provide an authentic and honest perspective of The Ohio State University student experience.” Add it to your dictionary because I just did.


Now that you are informed on the DAs and are probably on the edge of your seat to apply, thanks to all 45 of the Diversity Ambassadors for all of the hard work they put in to represent our campus well and to show how diverse we are as Buckeyes.



If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to email the Diversity Ambassadors directly at esue-diversityambassadors@osu.edu

5 Q&As with Those People Who Walk Backwards

You probably know exactly who I’m talking about when I say “those people who walk backwards” — University Ambassadors. For many of you, they were some of the first students you had contact with when you took your tour of the Ohio State University. While you “ooh” and “ahh’-ed” they watched you fall in love and decide that Ohio State would be your home for the next four years.

If you don’t personally know an Ambassador, you may not know anything more than the fact that they give tours of the university.

“But I want to know more!”

Well you’re in luck! I have reached out to my dear friend Holly Yanai and asked her five questions that shed light on the position.


1. How does one get into the art of tour-guiding?

“Great question, Leila! First, one must apply, go through an interview process and be hired. However, just because you are hired does not mean you are ready to lead students throughout the campus. First you have to complete several full days of training where you will be introduced to the various routes, scripts, scenarios and questions that you may encounter on tour. After that you are ready to go through the certification process where you will memorize scripts, shadow two tours, before working your way up to giving a full tour. If the senior ambassador who is evaluating you believes you are ready to move on then you will give a certification tour. You have three chances to successfully complete your certification tour and then, once completed, you will officially be a University Ambassador!”

2. Do you only give tours to incoming freshmen?

“Ambassadors give tours to anyone who wants to sign up for a tour. We give admissions tours for students applying to the university, transfer tours for transfer students, admitted tours for students who have been admitted and even group tours which can be given to anyone who requests a tour whether that be a high school or a new Ohio State employee.”

3. How hard was it the job when you first started?

“When starting the process it was definitely nerve-wracking to talk about my Ohio State experience and to convey all of the facts to the students and their parents. However, it became easier not only because I had memorized my tour over time, but also because the training that we went through was meant to ensure our success. Once I was certified I felt comfortable leading guests around campus. On occasion, there will be a question that I don’t know the answer to or a guest who is not as excited about the visit as I am but there are ways to work around that and make sure that by the end of the tour, their questions are answered and they feel better about Ohio State than before.”

4. What’s your favorite story to tell from becoming an Ambassador?

“Over the summer, about a month after President Drake began his tenure here at Ohio State, I was walking past Bricker Hall and telling my tour group that Bricker Hall houses the offices of the president of the university. I was just telling them about President Drake when I turned the corner and ran right into him. Although slightly embarrassed that I was just talking about him, I turned to say hello and he stopped my tour group and talked with me, the parents and the students for a few minutes. It was awesome because it created a moment that, to me, proved Ohio State is not as large as people make it out to be and that people are always there support you, no matter how high-up their position may be.”

5. Do you have any advice for freshmen at Ohio State?

“I say this so many times on tour and I will say it again here, get involved. Whether a student is involved with Greek Life, a student job, an internship, research or one of our 1,000 student organizations, it is the best way to figure out what you love, meet amazing friends, and discover a home here at the university. My involvement with various organizations and with the Ambassador program is what has made my time at Ohio State memorable and talking about those experiences is what gets the students on tour excited. I promise, even just joining one organization that you are passionate about will impact your Ohio State experience in ways you had not thought possible.”

With that, I’d like to thank Holly and all the other wonderful Ambassadors for helping new Buckeyes find their home.