This academic year I am acting as the UEA Student Brand Ambassador for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where I am promoting their Travel Aware campaign around campus. Travelling is one of my main passions, therefore I wished to gain experience in a job that could feed my love of travelling! I found this role on the UEA Careers website and applied straight away. The application process was quite rigorous, but I was extremely pleased when I found out I got the role.
The role requires me to spread the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware campaign to my fellow students. The campaign is set up by the UK government and aims to ensure young people have hassle-free trips abroad. Ever wondered how to apply for an EHIC card? Which areas you should avoid in conflict zones? What the legal drinking age limit is in India? What are common customs in Japan? Which vaccines you should have for visiting Thailand? If so, the FCO Travel Aware campaign will have you covered!
Before I started the job, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the FCO offices for training, which included an amazing tour around the Foreign Office afterwards – it was such an inspiring and magnificent building. The training was fun and interactive, and guest talkers were invited to teach us about different aspects of our role; for example, a journalist who worked for The Evening Standard spoke about the different gateways into journalism. I was also invited to the FCO again late last year, where I attended a networking event and had the chance to meet important business representatives from the travel sector, such as Lonely Planet, who were interested in collaborating with the Travel Aware campaign, and offered some great advice for aspiring journalists.
There are three main aspects to being a Student Brand Ambassador: events, articles and social media. I have loved putting on events around campus, giving talks, workshops and hosting stalls, as I am able to share my passion for travelling with fellow students. It has been an amazing opportunity to write articles about travel advice for platforms such as the Huffington Post, Pink Pangea, Student Minds, Concrete, and Brilliant Abroad. My favourite articles I have written so far are ‘The Ultimate Guide to Travelling as a Vegan’ and ‘How to Enjoy Authentic Amsterdam’. It has been fun for me to incorporate my travelling photos with my social media work by setting up an Instagram account (#travelaware_jodie), where I upload personal travel photos from different countries I have visited along with specific FCO travel advice.
If you’re thinking of going travelling with a group of friends or family, a UEA society, or independently, check out the events I have planned arou nd campus, and the FCO Travel Aware website to make sure you won’t get in a muddle abroad! Also, if you are interested in becoming an FCO Student Brand Ambassador check out the UEA Careers website in the future as they should be advertising the role towards the end of term for next academic year.
Jodie Randell is in her 3rd year studying International Relations at UEA