Hey. My name’s Max and I am a member of Engineering Ambassadors here at Hopkins. I am originally from Bellmore, New York (that’s on Long Island for those who are curious). I am a Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics and Statistics double major with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management. Apart from Engineering Ambassadors (which we lovingly refer to as EBass) I am also a member of the men’s club Ultimate team, a brother in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and an Admissions Representative.
EBass is a relatively new group on campus, having been founded in 2008. It is the newest student group in admissions. Members are tour guides who only go through engineering research labs on their tours. If you are looking for dorms, classrooms, or where the freshmen eat, you are on the wrong tour. What you might see is a two story tall water tank where we test robots that have been to the depths of the Marianas Trench, or a homemade civil engineering structure capable of testing shear and stress on support beams for skyscrapers. You might even have the chance to go hands on with the Da Vinci surgical robot. Recently, we have also added the “lunch with an engineer” program, where prospective students have a chance to sit down and have lunch with a current engineering student in the Fresh Food Café (where the freshmen eat). It used to be hard to find that genuine one on one time with a student to find out what Hopkins life is really all about. Now it’s easy.
Any student in the Whiting School of Engineering can join. We have a booth at the Student Activities Fair in the fall, where students can sign up for our email list. From there, we send the students who are interested the EBass application, and follow those applications up with an interview process. Hopkins students are driven, so plenty of kids apply. This gives us the luxury of being able to be selective. This year, we accepted just five new EBass members. We do our best to make sure that only the most capable applicants are the ones who end up leading tours.
Once you get through the application process, the hard part’s over. The time commitment for being a member is very low. We have meetings once a month that usually go for about an hour, and you will only be assigned one tour or lunch slot, as we have enough members to spread out our time. The weeks where the tours and lunches actually go off are only over a small part of the semester, so all in all, you might spend 10 hours as a general EBass member spread out over a semester. You will not be able to give tours until you have completed your tour guide training, but our training tends to be more fun and informative than work intensive.
Being an EBass member can be a gratifying experience. I love being able to help students and their parents make the right decisions about colleges. Many of the students who come on our tours end up applying here, which is in no small part to the tour guides enthusiasm for this university. My personal favorite memory as an EBass member was during my training freshman year. I was following some of the older tour guides as they gave a tour, staying in the back of the group and pretending I was one of the prospective students. We call this “shadowing.” Somehow, one of the parents in the back of the group pieced together that I was a Hopkins student. She started asking me questions and, while I didn’t want to steal the guides’ thunder, I found that I loved being able to share what I have learned in my short time (at that point) as a Hopkins student. That was when I knew this club was for me.
D. Max Green