With over 600 followers and 30,700 likes, the Andover Admissions page on the short-video sharing app TikTok has gained attention online since its first post in October 2021. A group of selected students on the Andover Ambassadors team uses the app to give advice to prospective students online and provide a lens into daily life at Andover.
Andover’s TikTok page is the newest facet of the Andover Ambassadors’ role in the admissions process. Alongside social media, the Andover Ambassadors team represents the school in a variety of mediums, through tours, panels, and Q&A sessions. The team consists of 45 chosen Andover students, according to ambassador Kevin Flores Blackmore ’23.
Andover Ambassador Sylvie Archer ’23 loves giving tours and speaking on panels to provide information to prospective families who are interested in applying to Andover. Archer explained that her Junior year experience as a panelist led her to join the team both as a regular ambassador and as a part of the social media initiative.
“I applied because [during my Junior] year, I did a couple of panels for the admissions team and I really enjoyed talking to prospective families. The application process is kind of just a survey that they send out. It has a few essay questions about yourself, and then you also have to do an interview with one of the current ambassadors… [for] the social media ambassadors, which are the only real subgroup of people, there is an extra survey that we had to fill out to get selected,” said Archer.
The Andover Ambassador program additionally offers opportunities and training to students without experience in tour guiding or leading panels. Due to Covid-19, many of the ways in which admissions operates and connects with students have changed. Ambassador Lucy Booth ’23 hadn’t given a tour prior to being appointed. Despite her inexperience, the ambassador program gave her the opportunity to step into her new responsibilities. Next year, she will teach new Andover Ambassadors and tour guides.
“When I filled out my application, it was asking about tours I’d given because you can be a tour guide and you can be an ambassador, and ambassadors train tour guides. I had actually never given a tour, and it was something I’d always wanted to do at Andover because I loved talking and I loved engaging with people. I would love to talk to people about how much I love this school and how anyone can make an impact in this community. I think if I was able to say that well in my application, that was enough,” said Booth.
According to Flores Blackmore, after the February 1 application deadline for prospective Andover students, the Andover Ambassadors will have less work. However, they plan to organize more events once students are accepted in the spring.
“Revisit days [are] April 10… I’ll probably be doing a lot of virtual stuff whenever [students] get accepted in March. Last year, they had Q&A’s and stuff. We’ll probably be doing the same thing, you know, where we get on Zooms with them, and they’ll just ask us questions… Generally, we’re leaning off because applications will pass on… But other than that, our job is pretty much done. We just have little things here and there,” said Flores Blackmore.
The Andover Admissions TikTok, run by the ambassadors on the social media team, is designed to showcase student life and school spirit at Andover. According to Whitney Kanter ’24, the TikTok shows day-to-day life at Andover. However, she believes that in order for it to truly reach more students, the TikTok should be updated more frequently and actively.
“The Andover Admissions TikTok feels so similar in energy to the Instagram except modified to reach more viewers. The spirit week posts have so much big blue spirit and are really cute. It doesn’t feel cringy, per say, but it isn’t active enough with recent trends or ‘day in the life’ videos to be super cool. I love the more student life oriented videos because they show the day-to-day community life that the Instagram sometimes doesn’t,” said Kanter.
Helios Hong ’25 voiced his appreciation for the unique perspective that Andover Ambassadors was able to offer him in his application process. When answering questions from prospective students and families, the panelists spoke about the school in a way which teachers and faculty alone would not be able to portray, according to Hong.
“When I was applying to Andover, I went to lots of webinars and admission events, and my favorite part was always the students answering questions. All the presentations by the teachers were informational, but the students’ responses revealed an authentic image of the school. Their love for the campus and their friends were so appealing, and that is part of why I chose Andover,” said Hong.
Echoing sentiments made by Hong, Ambassador Daniel Bae ’23 believes the Andover Ambassadors provide a fresh sense of student perspective in the Andover Admissions and outreach process. Bae became interested in the program through friends and family, and defined what it means to be an ambassador.
“My older brother was an ambassador, one of my friends Caroline Ho was an ambassador. I think it’s a really great thing because it shows your passion for this place, to get to inspire people to come here is a really special thing to get to do… First and foremost you have to be passionate about the school. You have to love being here, I think the energy is very noticeable,” said Bae.