In this blog post, Nimi Oyekunle, a Cowrywise campus ambassador from the Federal University of Technology, Akure talks about the campus ambassador program, her experience as the Campus Team Lead for FUTA Ambassadors and the relationships she has built from the community.
The text that changed everything 🚀
“Nimi, check this out. I think you’d be a great fit as a Cowrywise ambassador.”
That was the text I got from a former editor where I used to work. I was elated. Who wouldn’t be? Cowrywise was finally taking new ambassadors. I was low-key jealous of the people I already knew as Cowrywise ambassadors, so I was pretty excited about the opportunity to become part of them. I filled that form in minutes and did a silent prayer before submitting it. I really wanted to get into the Cowrywise ambassadors’ program.
After filling out the form, I totally forgot about it until I got an email I wasn’t expecting. A mail from Michael from Cowrywise. At first, I wondered if they had changed our beloved Ope, so I opened the email immediately.
I was in the studio when I got this email at the beginning of the semester in November. I saw that I got into the ambassador’s program, and for a moment, I forgot I even applied. Then it hit me. I had actually become a Cowrywise ambassador! I was so excited because I knew this was going to be an amazing experience for me. Little did I know, Cowrywise even had better plans for me.
Becoming an ambassador 💙
The onboarding process was a few days after I got this email, and I felt pretty pumped up after attending the meetings. I even found out that I had more friends who got accepted. It felt pretty good to know I wouldn’t be going on the ride alone. I had no idea what I was going to be doing exactly, but I looked forward to it.
Joining Slack felt like the true beginning of my new journey as a Cowrywise student ambassador. I couldn’t believe the numbers I was seeing. I joined in when the numbers were around 2000, and the numbers kept increasing to about 3000 members. It was fascinating, so many people representing one brand.
Joining my school’s Slack channel, I took my time to read some of the older messages that were still available. These messages gave me a slight idea of what being an ambassador would be like. I was motivated. I remember introducing myself when the newly elected team lead asked the new ambassadors to do so. It was a ‘dream come true’ moment.
Meeting my colleagues physically 👥
After all the “GTK”, it was time to meet physically. As someone who isn’t exactly a socially active or receptive person, I wasn’t looking forward to that part, but I knew it was unavoidable. Immediately I got to the meeting, I knew there was nothing to be nervous about. Everybody there was really all smiley and welcoming, old and new ambassadors alike. This first meeting meant a lot to me because it marked the beginning of my adventure in FUTA.
I remember the team lead, Isaac, asked why we applied to the Cowrywise ambassadors’ program. My answer was simple, I wanted to try something that takes me a little out of my comfort zone and lets me meet new people. Little did I know how the day would push me directly towards that. Yes, there was a plot twist. I was elected as the assistant team lead for my school.
Leading FUTA ambassador team
To be very honest, I didn’t think I could do it. It was a huge responsibility, to lead the Cowrywise ambassadors’ program at my school. As an architecture student with freelance work on the side, I didn’t think I could take on extra responsibility, but it was already here. So, challenge accepted. My role as the assistant team lead for the Federal University of Technology, Akure led me to so many benefits, including amazing relationships.
Among all the numerous things I’ve gained as a Cowrywise ambassador, the relationships I have built and the people I have met always stand out. As an introvert, I never planned to interact with so many people. Still, there I was, sending so many “Hey guys @channel” messages to the FUTA Slack channel. Quite a number of people would reply me. We’d joke around, have short conversations, and look forward to our next physical meeting.
Working with Brilliant Students 😚
During our physical meetings, things were different. The depth of conversations we had, the value we communicated and exchanged among ourselves – it was mind-blowing. Oftentimes during our physical meetings, I just take a step back and watch these Cowrywise ambassadors in my school share ideas we could execute to introduce Cowrywise to the community.
I had more personal interactions with the internal teams we formed to execute these plans. It was during interactions like this that I met FUTA ambassadors like Michael Emmanuel, Ikechukwu Chinazam and Olamide Olabintan. We made plans together and directed the team on how these plans would be executed. Then the ASUU strike came and all our plans went down the drain.
How Cowrywise helped us through the strike
I was clueless about how well we’d function during the strike but Cowrywise had plans for us. Every month, we had online sessions around a particular team. The theme for the month of March was Networking. I interacted with so many ambassadors outside my school during this month. There was a lot of networking during this month both on Slack and the various zoom sessions we held.
The Ambassadors Hangout 💃
To close the month of March, there was an ambassadors’ hangout at the end of the month. I was skeptical about going because I had no idea how I was going to interact with so many people I didn’t know.
You know what people say about the Cowrywise office feeling like home? I promise you, it’s all true. The office structure itself is homely, the interior design and arrangement of the Cowrywise office exude a sense of homeliness. You cannot visit that office and feel out of place.
That’s exactly why I felt very relaxed the moment I stepped into the office on that Saturday afternoon. The theme for the hangout was networking and that was really all we came to do. We played the most exciting games that somehow put me at an advantage despite my introversion. I met new ambassadors that I had so many things in common with; it was so surreal. Book lovers, writers, designers, and so many creatives; all in one room, discussing and enjoying each other’s company.
Networking beyond my school 🤝
Working with the team leads of the University of Ibadan to host a virtual event was another avenue that helped me connect with people, even outside ambassadors. In this virtual event, we had access to creatives like Dimeji Ajegbile, Akan Imoh, and Oyin Akindele. I had these people listening and ready to answer my questions, which isn’t something I’d ordinarily have access to.
I remember attending a Gen Z event and seeing Cowrywise ambassadors everywhere. I didn’t know these people from Adam, but the fact that they were ambassadors made a great conversation starter, getting us to build valuable connections. I can go on and on to tell you about all the people I have had access to as a Cowrywise ambassador; it’s endless.
Thanks to the Cowrywise ambassadors’ program, I’ve had to interact with different students from different schools, with different characters and interests. I have worked with many people, trying to achieve the common goal of organising an event, running a campaign, etc. It’s been fulfilling, being part of this elite group of students all over the country who are at the forefront of personal development and growth.
Here’s to more! 🎉
Applying to be an ambassador is easily one of my best decisions last year. I look forward to many more opportunities with Cowrywise, and to meeting more people from the Cowrywise ambassadors’ program.
Here’s to meeting and gaining access to more wonderful people!