A Failure Story from an Ambassador

With both the failure competition and ambassador interviews in the mix this month, I thought I’d post my favorite failure competition story from last semester.  The story didn’t make it to the finals, but I thought it was the most honest story of the competition from one of our very own Ambassadors…Meg.  For those considering becoming an ambassador, it gives you a preview of what you can expect if you join us…..

I failed the Dean. 

I did. I, one of the beloved Ambassadors at the College of Business, failed the dean. It is the duty of an Ambassador to embody Dr. Jarley’s vision to the students in the college and I was terrible at it. The failure did not start with me becoming an ambassador or serving on the Executive Board as Ambassador Relations Chair and later as Secretary. It began with a changing, negative mindset that seeped into my senior year, a first for me. 

A little background. I’m the typical goody-good that all parents and professors love. In high school I was a straight A student (for the most part) and was involved with too many organizations. I got great scholarships in college and will graduate debt free and a semester early. I picked up the slack in group projects and visited professors during their office hours to just chat. I interned with one of the Big Four and landed a full time position. I was accepted into graduate school and secured a grad assistant position. So how am I not The One? I had a pissed off attitude the whole time.

When I became an Ambassador I didn’t exactly know what I was jumping into, plunging really. I was thrown into this new Welcome to the Major event where apparently I was going to help guide 1,500 students into the college. Instead of going into it with a positive mindset, I just kept thinking “I could be in bed instead of talking to a bunch of students asking me stupid questions about this new one credit class.” Three Welcome to the Majors and a year later, I became bitter towards Welcome to the Majors and many other events the dean hosts. I was exhausted and drained from early mornings, an always smiling face, and the constant voice in my head saying “I hate this, this is stupid, you have an exam you should be studying for.” For me, being Ambassador just wasn’t worth it, and I let everyone know. 

I have seen this semester that my negativity has impacted the Ambassador group as a whole. We certainly have a lot more events now with the Exchange being open and instead of embracing this opportunity, I have put up a guard and turned away from it. I used to think the dean didn’t care about students, that he was changing everything in the college to mess with our credits and keep us here longer. Wrong. He cares about us and wants us to succeed with the degrees we are getting here at UCF. But I never told anyone that. 

I have learned from my negative attitude that it ruins a lot of things. My boss at work can see it, my parents can see it, my roommates, friends, boyfriend can see how mean and negative I have become. It has created a passivity that I have never had before. 

Failure doesn’t always happen in one instant. It’s like a virus, it seeps in and you don’t really notice it but over time, you feel worse and worse until you’re brought down to nothing. I feel pretty bad about being such a bad steward of the dean’s vision about engagement and leadership and risk taking because really, he’s a pretty nice guy who deserves more from me. Being an Ambassador has done for me more than I know. I have learned how to talk to business professionals and have talked with so many students about how to be successful here at UCF. In five, ten, twenty years, I know I will be able to look at the College of Business and say I helped contribute to what it is today, even if I did have a bad attitude. Who knows what I could have actually done had I had a better attitude?

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