Information for Ambassadors

To be eligible to serve as a Bear Connection Ambassador you must have graduated from the University Staff Ambassadors program.

Eligible applicants be prepared for these time commitments:

  • Bear Connection Assignments last for a duration of 90 days.

  • Before being assigned a New Staff group, ambassadors must complete a mandatory training session.

  • Ambassadors will be expected to voluntarily sign up for at least three Bear Connection Assignments per calendar year. 
  • At the end of your commitment, we may ask for your evaluation of the experience.

What is the expected time commitment for a Bear Connection Ambassador?

The initial meeting between Ambassadors and their New Staff group will take approximately 75 minutes. This meeting includes a brief introduction during orientation, a group photo outside Carrington Hall, a group lunch (on us), and an escort to the Welcome Center for a campus tour (if desired). Following this initial interaction, you and individual staff members will decide the frequency of future contacts. We ask that you attend Clif's Connection (30-45 minutes) and schedule one Coffee Connection event (30-60 minutes) for your New Staff group during your assignment period. Follow up with individuals as needed.

Our recommendation for contact is once a month for their first 90 days, but it should work to accommodate the request of your New Staff group while also fitting in with your commitment ability. Interactions are not expected to be lunch each time and can be a simple email or a phone call.  New Staff can opt out of Bear Connection at any time.

What if I realize after beginning the relationship that the time commitment is too much for me?

We value you as a volunteer and want Bear Connection to be a positive experience. If the commitment becomes overwhelming, please let us know and we will assign a different ambassador to your New Staff group. Communication is important in these partnerships, and we value your input. Please let us know so we can help!

How much notice do I receive before being assigned a New Staff group?

A few times a year, we'll send you an email with a link to our sign-up sheet. There will be two available Ambassador slots per New Staff orientation. You may sign up for the day(s) you prefer on a first come, first serve basis. Once you sign up for a specific day, you will be assigned to that group. We will send you a calendar invite to the day(s) you've been assigned one to two weeks after the sign-up sheet is sent out. 

Information about your New Staff group will be updated in your calendar invite closer to your Bear Connection Lunch Date. New Staff and co-host information is finalized the Thursday before your Bear Connection Lunch.

If you and your co-host’s New Staff group includes more than six New Staff, we will reach out to additional ambassadors to help host. Additional hosts will be placed a week in advance. When we ask you to help host, you can notify us at that time whether you would be available for the following week.

What if something arises that prevents me from fulfilling my initial commitment?

We do not want Bear Connection to be a stress for you. A stressed Ambassador leads to stressed New Staff and a poor experience with Bear Connection. If you have a personal or professional matter arise that hinders your ability to fulfill your commitment to Bear Connection, let us know and we will reassign your day to a new Ambassador.

How many New Staff groups will I be assigned at one time?

For the majority of Ambassadors, only one New Staff group will be assigned at a time. If you are six to eight weeks into your first assignment and feel that you could take on a second one, we will discuss assigning a second. The important piece here is that Ambassadors and New Staff all have a positive experience and that you are available to provide support if needed during their first 90 days.

Am I allowed to transport New Staff in my personal vehicle?

Ambassadors are not allowed to transport New Staff in their vehicle during Bear Connection sponsored activities.

What should I wear during my first interaction with New Staff?

First and foremost, wear what is appropriate for your office. Wearing your alumni polo or BearWear is a great way to show your Missouri State pride. We do ask that you remember to wear your Bear Connection or office name tag.

What should I bring during my first interaction with New Staff?

Bring a business card or Bear Connection Contact Card for every New Staff in your assigned group. For example, if your group includes 7 New Staff, bring at least 7 business cards with you to hand out. 

What is the training like? Why is it mandatory to attend?

Attending introductory training is important to ensure that everyone receives the same information and is consistent with the Bear Connection mission. During training we cover the logistics and expectations of the program, provide you with campus resources, and review existing onboarding practices. 

Related training resources are available through LinkedIn Learning.

First Impressions to prep for your first Bear Connection Lunch:

Diversity Training to practice inclusivity in the workplace:

Communication & Interpersonal Influence for connecting beyond your meet & greet and providing a welcoming environment:

Additional training may be necessary to meet program objectives.