If you spend any time on campus or go to the many events held here, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Alexis Jenkins hard at work. She somehow manages to be the President (and Founder) of the accapella group Mason Some Noise, a Mason Ambassador, and be a Lead Technician at George Mason’s Event Services. I don’t know how this girl does all this amazing work and still manages to keep up with school and have a social life. Alexis is an immensley positive and talented force to be reconned with.
1. How did you get involved in Mason Ambassadors?
When I first started at Mason, one of my friends asked me if I had been invited to apply for Mason Ambassadors. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I soon learned about what they do and got excited! By sophomore year, I finally found an in – I met an ambassador and expressed my interest, and he sent me an application! I interviewed and was thankfully offered the position during my second semester that year, and have happily been serving as an Ambassador since!
2. What is it like to be one of the first faces these potential new students see?
It feels really cool! I love interacting with prospective and incoming students. Every time I give a tour or work a campus premier/spotlight day, I think of when I first started my college search and checked out Mason. I’m happy that I can contribute to welcoming students to our campus. I feel like I am giving back to the school that has given so much to me, so it doesn’t ever feel like work.
3. What was it like to have a chance to study abroad?
Studying abroad was amazing and honestly one of my favorite parts of my college experience! It was something I knew I wanted to do before I even started thinking seriously about college. If you asked me five years ago, though, I would not have guessed that I’d go to Japan! I didn’t know all of the options Mason had for study abroad programs until I started looking for mine. For anybody who’s debating whether or not they should do it, I say go for it!! I met so many people from around the world and made many awesome memories.
4. Would you want to go back?
YES, definitely! I am actually currently working on my application to the JET Program, which, if I am selected, would give me to opportunity to live in Japan for a year as an assistant language teacher (so teaching English). I loved my time in Japan so much and look forward to going back.
5. How has you learning Japanese helped you give tours to international students?
Funny you should ask this question – I just gave a tour to a group of Japanese high school students last week! I was able to say some things in Japanese (such as my introduction, asking for questions, commentary on certain spots on campus) which was really cool. I had already given a couple of tours before during which I spoke the language with people originally from Japan or students who have learned some Japanese in high school. I feel like my horizons as a tour guide have broadened.
6. Has studying abroad changed how you lived your life?
Yes, I would say so. Something I have noted to people who have asked me this is that I have definitely noticed a shift in confidence. Ever since my time abroad, I have felt more confident during everyday life – it has shown in my relaxed demeanor when traveling, my interactions with people, and even just in how I carry myself.
7. What advice to you have to people trying to get more involved on campus?
You asked the right person about on-campus involvement… besides Mason Ambassadors, I started one of the campus a cappella groups (Mason Some Noise), I am a member of Black Student Alliance and Mason U, I am a photographer for the IVth Estate, I have been a Patriot Leader (2k14, wassup!), and I am an event technician on campus. And I do all of that as an off-campus student, so it can be done. For anyone looking to get involved, I usually tell people this: If you’re interested in something and there’s a club or organization for it on campus, go for it! At least give it a try. If you go to a meeting and don’t like it, that’s okay, at least you checked it out. And if anything pops up that sounds interesting at all, go check it out! Don’t keep yourself in an imaginary box when it comes to involvement. You don’t have to work a job or join a club that your major applies to. Do what seems cool to you.