What is a Family Ambassador?
Family Ambassadors (FAs) are a community of student volunteers dedicated to supporting families throughout their Northwestern experience. This is an excellent leadership opportunity and a great way for students to find community on campus.
Family Ambassador Responsibilities Include:
- Assisting with all aspects of Parent and Family Orientation which includes parent and family check in, hosting various sessions, participating in the “Day in the Life of a Northwestern Student” skits, giving campus tours and mingling with families and guiding them to various events around campus.
- Assisting with various aspects of Wildcat Welcome which includes new student move-in day, March through the Arch, and assisting with other initiatives that arise throughout the program.
- Assisting with all aspects of Family Weekend which takes place in October or November (date will be announced in March). This includes checking in family members, hosting sessions, directing family members to events, giving campus tours and mingling with family members throughout the weekend.
- Periodically participating in the Wildcat Family Webinar Series during the summer and throughout the academic year.
- Learning about campus resources related to the parent and family experience.
- Offering a student perspective to parents and families.
- Interacting with parents and family members on campus by answering their questions and helping to meet their needs.
- Ensuring the overall success of family programming and events.
- Family Ambassadors represent the diverse Northwestern community. We are looking for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with varying levels of NU involvement, and a wide range of personalities and backgrounds.
Characteristics Found in Successful Family Ambassadors:
- Organizational skills
- Responsible & Accountable
- Positive Attitude
- Relatability to others - and would relate well to parents and family members
- Willingness to share about your family and their experience when you transitioned to Northwestern
- Desire to speak about your Northwestern experience and share a student perspective
- Desire to serve as a resource for nervous and overwhelmed families
- Open-minded towards cultures, ethnicities, lifestyles, and backgrounds
- A willingness to learn and grow
The 2023 Family Ambassador application is now open. All applicants are required to attend a 45-minute in-person information session to learn more about the role before applying. If you are unable to attend any of the sessions below, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before February 16.
Family Ambassador Info Sessions
|Saturday, February 4||11:00 AM – 11:45 AM||Shepard Hall, Room B25|
|Tuesday, February 7||5:30 PM – 6:15 PM||Annenberg G21|
|Friday, February 10||4:00 PM – 4:45 PM||Willard Hall, Room B72|
|Sunday, February 12||5:00 PM – 5:45 PM||Schapiro Hall, Piano Lounge next to Lobby|
|Thursday, February 16||7:00 PM – 7:45 PM||203 Lake Room, Norris University Center|
If you are still interested in serving as a Family Ambassador after attending the information session, please fill out the application and submit by Friday, Feb. 17 at 11:59 pm. We highly encourage you to submit your application sooner than this date in case there are any issues.
The FA application includes two essay questions. We recommend you craft your essays in a Word doc and then paste them into the application in case there are any technical difficulties. Once you start your application, you will not be able to go back to it later so please plan to complete it in one sitting.
Following are the essay questions for First-Time FAs:
- Why are you interested in serving as a 2023 Family Ambassador? (250 words allowed)
- Reflect on your own/your family’s unique identities and describe an experience you had that could help aid other families in their transition to Northwestern. Please include what was challenging about the experience for you and/or your family, what you learned from the experience, and how this experience prepares you for the Family Ambassador role. (500 words allowed)
- Why are you interested in returning to the Family Ambassador role? What do you believe you can contribute to the FA program now that you have served as an FA? (500 words allowed)
- Describe a challenge that you encountered either during training, Parent and Family Orientation, or Family Weekend. How did you handle that challenge and how would you approach it differently this year? (800 words allowed)
2023 Family Ambassador Application
2023 Application for First-Time Family AmbassadorsPlease complete this application if you have not served as a Family Ambassador in the past.
2023 Application for Past Family Ambassadors
Candidates will be notified via e-mail if they have moved on to the interview round by the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 22. If you have been invited for an in-person interview, you will be asked to select your interview date and time by 11:59 pm on Thursday, Feb. 23. The 20-minute interviews will take place the following days, times, and locations:
|Friday, February 24||2:00 PM – 7:00 PM||204 Scholars Room, Norris University Center|
|Saturday, February 25||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM||103 Chicago Room, Norris University Center|
|Sunday, February 26||2:00 PM – 7:00 PM||103 Chicago Room, Norris University Center|
|Friday, March 3||2:00 PM – 7:00 PM||
600 Haven Street, Suite J100
Office of Student Transition Experiences
|Saturday, March 4||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM||600 Haven Street, Suite J100
Office of Student Transition Experiences
Those who interview will receive an e-mail by the evening of Thursday, March 9 to let them know if they received the FA position.
FA Spring Training | April 10–June 2
To cultivate the FA community and prepare FAs for their role, in-person training will take place for two hours every other week from April 10 – June 2. FAs are required to attend all trainings which will take place in the evenings during the week. Applicants will be asked to fill out a form regarding their spring schedule, which will help determine the date and time for spring training. The FA application and interview process is not complete until this form is submitted.
FA training dates will be announced by Friday, March 17. If you will have a conflict with any of the training dates throughout the quarter, you must notify the Family Engagement team at least one week in advance and you will be required to make up the training session.
Fall FA Camp | September 7-10
Fall FA Camp (training) is tentatively scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 7 and end on Sunday, September 10, 2023. FAs can move into the residence halls and residential colleges starting Wednesday, September 6 with FA Camp starting on Thursday, September 8 at 5:00 pm CST.
If you are a member of a fraternity/sorority planning to live in the house for the fall 2023 or are planning to live off-campus, it is your responsibility to secure early move-in approval from your house or landlord as soon as possible. If you are not able to move in early, it is your responsibility to find alternate early move-in housing. In the past, FAs have worked out arrangements with other friends or FAs if they needed a place to stay. Family Engagement will not be able to provide early housing for any FA not living in a residence hall or residential college.
Each day, training will take place from about 9 am – 9 pm with some breaks so no other plans should be made during this time (i.e. you cannot take part in other events, activities, or work any jobs during this timeframe).
Parent & Family Orientation + Wildcat Welcome
- Parent and Family Orientation will take place Monday, September 11 - Tuesday, September 12.
- Wildcat Welcome will take place Monday, September 11 - Monday, September 18.
- Classes begin Tuesday, September 19.
FAs are expected to be on-campus and remain available during the above timeframe to fulfill all responsibilities associated with Parent and Family Orientation and Wildcat Welcome. Please note that Parent and Family Orientation and Wildcat Welcome are planned to occur in-person for September 2023, though format and dates are subject to change based on health and safety guidelines.
Family Weekend 2023 will take place all day Friday to Sunday afternoon in October or early November. FAs will be expected to participate in a Family Weekend training session prior to the start of the program and should plan to be busy the entire weekend. The date of Family Weekend will be announced by March. If your family plans to attend Family Weekend, you will still be expected to fulfill your FA duties however, some schedule accommodations can be made if necessary.
Family Coordinators (FamCo) are hard-working and dedicated student leaders who have previously served at least one year as a Family Ambassador. These individuals:
- serve as the student coordinators of the Family Ambassador program
- work with the Senior Program Coordinator to design, implement, and facilitate training for Family Ambassadors
- supervise and hold Family Ambassadors accountable for their responsibilities
- help to coordinate and execute Parent and Family Orientation and Family Weekend
- assist with webinars
- provide general administrative support for Family Engagement when appropriate
Family Coordinators are selected in January and serve in their position until the following January.
2023 Family Coordinators
- Monica Williams (she/her) is a junior from Indianapolis, Indiana majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to FamCo, Monica serves on the executive board for Seesaw Theatre, volunteers at the Evanston Animal Shelter, and works in a research lab in the Feinberg School of Medicine.
- Alex Cervantes (he/him) is a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina majoring in Journalism in the Medill School of Journalism and minoring in Political Science in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to FamCo, Alex serves as a Senior Staffer for The Daily Northwestern and volunteers as a youth soccer coach.