Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas Spirit and Traditions

Summer on Campus

I am so excited that this summer I will be here on campus at SMU working AARO. For those that don’t know, AARO is an acronym for “Academic Advising Registration & Orientation” and I will be an AARO leader for next year’s first year students! I applied for the job way back in November and am pleased to say that I am a proud member of the 2015 Orientation team. As part of being an AARO Leader, we are required to take a class with Lindsay Koch and Jomita Fleming, two of the staff members in charge of the orientation programming here at SMU. We’ve been studying a lot about leadership and how to effectively allocate one’s skills to apply them in the best way possible. We have such a unique grouping of people and a mesh of backgrounds, and we truly are such a wonderful representation of the school’s diverse population. I am working with some friends that I’ve made over my two years as a student, and also have had the opportunity to get to know some people that I hadn’t met before. A couple Thursdays ago, we actually got a chance to see a Dallas Stars game at the American Airlines center with the whole “O-Squad.” It was great to do something so fun in the heart of Dallas, while also having the opportunity to introduce and familiarize myself with some of my co-workers and fellow Mustangs.

I can’t wait to meet the next wave of SMU students over the summer and help be a part of their integration into this fantastic school. Getting situated to a new school isn’t easy, but I want to make sure that the transition is as smooth and fun as possible. As always, Pony Up!

By Evan Giacomini

Ambassadors Careers

Prepping For The Working World

As a Junior Finance major at SMU, I have recently been in the throws of formal summer internship recruitment. Daily, sometimes twice daily, Banks held information sessions and formal recruitment fairs. “Thank-you-notes” became routine, phone interviews were second nature, and the employees at the local dry-cleaners even knew me by name.

I don’t mean to overwhelm anyone reading this. College, especially at Southern Methodist University, will be four – hopefully only four – of the most fun years of your life. There will come a time, however, when you have to put on your Sunday best, pack a fancy folder full of resumes, and awkwardly introduce yourself to well-versed professionals who don’t have the slightest idea who you are. This can be a daunting process when you sit back and take it in for the first time. I know when I came to SMU as a freshman from Greenville, South Carolina, thoughts of future internships and permanent job offers never crossed my mind. All I could focus on was how to make my dorm room better than everyone else on my floor! Times have changed and as first semester Junior year rolled around, I was deep in the throws of formal preparation.

As embarrassing as this is to write, I honestly did not know how to tie my own tie coming in to SMU. I didn’t own my own suit. I didn’t even have a formal, presentable resume to hand to potential employers. I knew I had to make a full-fledged effort to get my act together, so naturally I visited out university Career Center. We prepped for interviews – phone, in person, and via Skype. We monotonously scanned every letter of every line in my resume until I began to refer to it as a piece of art. I bought two suits and began to frequent the local barbershop. Replacing the flowing, red locks with a short, professional dew was slightly devastating at first, but I’ve grown to appreciate the business look.

It would take multiple pages to summarize all the Career Center has done to hold my hand throughout the process. Now, as a second semester Junior, I am proud to say I have signed as a Summer Investment Banking Analyst with Citi Group in Houston, TX. Never in a million years would I have envisioned so much success. That is, until I immersed myself in the driven, passionate culture found in SMU’s students, faculty, and alumni who all played such an integral part in my personal and career development. It’s truly amazing what can happen when you find yourself in the right environment around like-minded, success-oriented individuals. SMU has given me the tools to succeed going forward, and I can’t wait to see where they take me.

By Whit Rasmussen

Ambassadors Life Around Dallas SMU Abroad

A Semester in Spain: Food I Already Crave

For those of you wanting to study abroad sometime during your four years in college, this one’s for you. Last semester I was fortunate enough to study in Madrid, Spain, through SMU-in-Madrid. Since returning back to SMU and being reunited with all of my friends, the first question I am obviously asked is, “How was abroad?” This question, although seemingly simple is actually hard to answer. It is difficult to answer because it is nearly impossible to convey with words how much I loved living in Spain for four months. Since to cover all of my experiences would take novels of great length, I will simply highlight the one universal that transcends any and all language barriers: food.
IMG_8341 The food in Spain was absolutely incredible. As instructed by our teachers and program administrators, I tried everything that was placed in front of me. Some of these things I will just keep in my memory (like “gulas,” basically fish in the form of spaghetti), while others I will continue to eat (like rabbit). Overall though, I loved the food. One of my favorite foods in Spain was the “jamón,” or in English, ham. But the jamón in Spain is by far superior to any ham we have in America. There are several types, ranging in price and quality, from Jamón Ibérico to Jamón Serrano. But regardless of the type or price, it is all cut fresh to order from the actual leg of the pig. It is paper thin, smooth, salty, and just absolutely amazing. If you see it on any menu, I highly suggest ordering it.

In addition to jamón being an integral part of the culture in Spain, tapas are another cultural aspect of Spain one is bound to encounter when there. Basically tapas are small plates to be shared among two to four people. The Spaniards spend a lot of time outside the home, as socializing over tapas is a tradition that dates back to the 13th century. One of my favorite tapas dishes is called “Patatas Bravas.” This dish is basically a mini pile of fried potatoes sliced into wedges, with a spicy red “salsa” (sauce) and a traditional aioli. It’s absolutely delicious and I recommend trying it. My other favorite tapas dish is “croquetas.” Croquetas are basically a compilation of potatoes, cheese, and usually some sort of meat, fried into cylinder shaped bite of gooey heaven. They are served warm, sometimes with an aioli, or sometimes served simply by themselves; regardless of how they come, they are most certainly worth ordering.

For a traditional Spanish restaurant here in Dallas where you can try all of the foods mentioned above, check out Café Madrid located right on Knox Henderson!

By Maggie Poxon


Back To Where It All Began

Some might say that going back to visit one’s high school sounds like the worst idea ever, reminiscent of awkward stages and that one teacher that everyone couldn’t stand, but not me. Having been raised in Dallas, I went to high school not ten minutes from SMU campus at Ursuline Academy of Dallas and had the most amazing four years I could have asked for! I discovered passions and interests in high school that I’ve continued to pursue here at SMU, like student travel and a student ambassador program. So, when SMU asked us as tour guides to visit our high schools over winter break to represent the university, I was absolutely ecstatic. Nadine Having served as a tour guide at Ursuline, I was so happy to be able to come back to put the skills that Ursuline had taught me, and that SMU had cultivated in me, to use. Me and my fellow tour guide and friend, Anna Scott Phillips, sat down with seven Ursuline seniors and answered any and all questions these girls had about SMU. I was so happy to be able to relate to them so easily, having graduated from Ursuline only 2 years prior to my visit. This experience also reminded me of the benefits of attending a university in the city I’m so familiar with. I was so happy that SMU was able to provide me with an amazing opportunity to return to my beloved high school in order to sit down for the sole purpose of discussing the university I now love so much! I had such a great time at Ursuline and I can’t wait to see what other amazing opportunities SMU will line up for me in my college career!

By Nadine Kakish

Ambassadors Athletics Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Bringing Moody Magic to the Top 25

This past week, the SMU men’s basketball team remained in the top 25, by landing a spot as the 21st best team in the country! News like this excites all Mustang fans, and the crowd at the game on Wednesday was one of the loudest I have heard. The team, unfortunately, was not able to pull out the win that night against Cincinnati, but sometimes a loss is good for the team. It put a little fire in the bellies of our players, and the team went on to handily beat undefeated Tulsa in Tulsa the following Saturday to keep us in the rankings. Moody With all of the hype surrounding the basketball team, my friends and I are starting to get organized for a couple major events. What are those events? The first is the American Athletic Conference basketball tournament, in which we will compete over the second half of spring break in Hartford, Connecticut, and the second is the NCAA Tournament first and second round. The anticipation for these events has my friends and I buying plane tickets to witness the culmination of what could amount to a historic season for the Mustangs!

By William O’Connor

Ambassadors Campus Life Residence Life and Student Housing

Home Is Where The Heart Is

As a student in high school, I could never imagine living somewhere other than my house in Alabama with my parents and siblings surrounding me. I had lived in the same house, even the same room, for my entire life. The idea of moving was foreign to me, especially the idea of moving away from my parents. I made a decision my first semester at SMU to never call my Residential Commons “home.” I believed that if I started calling SMU my home, then I would no longer be connected to my home and family in Alabama. Baoz Throughout the first semester, however, I caught myself referring to my Residential Commons as my home. I would try harder and harder to avoid doing so, but it kept happening more frequently as the semester went by. Now, as a sophomore, I gladly refer to my Residential Commons as my home. I have since realized that you can always have more than one “home.” I truly believe that home is where the heart is. A piece of me will always belong to my home in Alabama, but the love that I have developed for this University has made it my home as well. I have made friends that I truly love and support me. I have resources to help me surpass my own expectations. I have many different opportunities to explore my passions. SMU is my home.

By Caroline Gurley

Ambassadors Campus Life

Brave the Elements

While you can always count on the Dallas summers to be hot, (trust me I gave tours over the summer), the winters are a little bit more unpredictable. SMU students may have thought spring was coming early when we enjoyed temperatures in the upper 70’s a few weeks ago, however, the snow and ice this week crushed our dreams of an early spring and truly proved the unpredictability of the Dallas weather. Due to the fact that I grew up in Atlanta, GA and really only saw snow once every year or two I always get excited to see snow even if it is only an inch of snow. When I first saw it snowing on Friday I was excited to check it out and see how much the snow transformed SMU’s already beautiful campus. Since SMU was still open during the snow it slowly dawned on me that I would have to give my campus tour in the snow. I wasn’t looking forward to being out in the cold for that long but since it rarely snows in Dallas I saw this as a unique opportunity to share with our visitors. I bundled up in the warmest clothes I had and powered through the snow and ice with my group. Some of the families on my tour had traveled multiple hours in the snow and ice to make it to SMU so I did everything I could to make it a great tour despite less than ideal conditions.Horses Even though it was pretty cold, we all survived the tour and are now a part of a select group that can say they toured SMU in the snow. The SMU Ambassadors are a dedicated group and as long as SMU is open we’ll be there to lead y’all through rain or shine, extreme heat or snow, so don’t be discouraged by the weather. Personally, I am more accustomed to the heat coming from Atlanta, so I’m hoping that I do not have to give too many more tours in the snow, but campus does look beautiful even in the winter weather!

By Austin Brown

Ambassadors Athletics Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Moody and March Magic

2015 at SMU has already started off with a bang and the men’s basketball team has dominated the New Year. SMU’s 23-6 overall record, 14-3 conference record, have led the Mustangs to the top of the American Athletic Conference, just one game behind Tulsa. Mustang basketball tickets are hard to come by these days as the team, led by Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown, is having a great season. After the Mustangs did not make the NCAA Tournament last year, we proved to the Nation that we could perform by making it to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden. This year, the ‘Stangs scheduled a difficult out of conference schedule to prove to the NCAA that we could play with good teams around the country. Although we lost a few tough games, SMU came away with a big win against Michigan and has not looked back since.
SMU basketball games are a blast to attend. George W. Bush, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, and Avery Johnson are just some of the stars that attend basketball games in Moody Coliseum. Since the reopening of Moody Coliseum, SMU has only lost two home games and the ‘Stangs show no signs of stopping. Led by point guard Nic Moore and power forward Markus Kennedy, the SMU Mustangs have really proven that they can compete with the best around. It has truly been an exciting season and I cannot wait to see where the Mustangs end up in March!

By Alex Hibbard

Ambassadors Campus Life Residence Life and Student Housing

Changing The World, One RC At a Time

Sometimes on the Hilltop, we forget that there is a whole other world going on at the same time. People wake up, brush their teeth, go to work/school/back to bed, eat, and do it all over again. When SMU kicked off it’s “World Changers Shaped Here” campaign, I started to wonder what exactly qualified someone as a “World Changer.” In my opinion, A “World Changer” is someone who does what they can to better the world everyday. It doesn’t have to be anything big or extravagant. One small gesture can really go a long way. Some of the biggest companies today started off as silly ideas. As Residential Commons kicks off, I believe that there will be an increase in small gestures that will propel SMU and it’s students towards being “World Changers.”
Residential Commons will allow more people to collaborate with each other. For example, one of our very own FiRS (Faculty in Residence), Beth Wheaton, combined her love of economics and helping others into a career catered towards helping others. She is the founder and CEO of Equip the Saints, a non-profit consultancy that works to strengthen nonprofit organizations worldwide and to equip world changers to fulfill their personal missions. FiR Wheaton is a “World Changer” who can provide serious advice for other students who want to collaborate with others and make the world a better place. SMU is a breeding ground for BIG ideas.
Simply put, SMU is the golden place to be at in the following years. We retired an old residential system and brought in a new experience that will be the start of so many new traditions and ideas! Forget about Hogwarts. SMU’s got everything you’ve been looking for.

By Tien Dang


Another Year on the Hilltop

2018By Ryan Herrscher

Hi everyone! In case you are just tuning in to news from the Hilltop, classes ramped up this week after an exciting 2014 Mustang Corral experience. We all had some great summers with awesome opportunities, but I think I speak for all the ambassadors when I say we are thrilled to be back on campus!

(Picture: Class of 2018 coming together for their class picture before their first day of class)

Now that we are getting back into the swing of things we will resume regular posting on this blog to give you some insight into life at SMU. However, to get the full experience we definitely recommend coming to visit so one of us can take you on a tour and show you around.

Now that we have welcomed the class of 2018 into the SMU family (check out that awesome class picture…), we are already looking for the people who will turn that eight into a nine and make up the class of 2019. That could be you in just one short year!

Until then, we look forward to keeping you updated and can’t wait to see you on campus!



Visiting SMU on Game Day

By Kathleen Batman

There is no better way to start off a day of SMU spirit with a Saturday visit! Gamedays are the best days to be at SMU and they embody everything that SMU is! There’s always so much going on and it’s always a blast! On select Saturdays the Admissions Office hosts visitors from all over that are interested in SMU so that they can get a campus tour and then spend the rest of the day cheering on the Mustangs! I was so happy to be able to help out with this past Saturday’s event! It was nice to be able to meet a bunch of eager students! The boulevard is a unique experience to SMU and to be able to have perspective students see the campus and spend the day on the boulevard is amazing! All of the student ambassadors love helping out for these events because it feels incredible to be able to show off our beautiful school on such special days! Pony up and go mustangs!

Ambassadors Campus Life Spirit and Traditions

Elephants and Super Heroes and Narwhals, OH MY!

By Annie Bures

We all loved Halloween when we were little but in college it is Halloween all year ‘round! Now every university has its traditions about costume parties but at SMU we do it large and in style! I have been known to come up with some pretty great costumes in my time (from Minnie Mouse to the NBC Peacock to a Pizza) but this year I outdid myself with a home-made Narwhal costume! While my toothed whale costume made quite the splash (pun intended!) on the costume party scene, my fellow SMU Ambassadors had some pretty original costumes too. From Billy’s “Steve Jobs” to Ramon’s “Emo Unicorn” we definitely set the bar pretty high for this year.

Now don’t worry, I know you are all getting nervous that you aren’t ready for the intense costumes at SMU, but as soon as you are part of the Mustang family we will help you out with some brand new outfits for all of our social events. Whether it is an annual campus costume party or an organization’s event based on a theme SMU knows how to have fun with all of our crazy costumes!

The Ambassadors having fun at a costume party!

Ramon in his infamous elephant costume.

Me, in my Narwhal suit. Complete with flippers!


Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas

Weather Woman

By Lauren Lyngstad

Though it is February 2, and Punxsutawney Phil may have “seen” his shadow, it sure doesn’t seem like winter time in Dallas. The past week the highs have been around the 60s and 70s, making it easy to forget that it is the middle of winter! I have loved being able to run to and from the gym in shorts and a t-shirt and being able to walk to and from class without having to trudge through the snow. Being that I am a North Dakota native, it has been so nice going to school in a warmer climate.

It’s crazy to think that this time last year we were in the middle of a “snowpocalypse” in which school was cancelled for four days! Dallas weather really does keep you on your toes. It is great that you can show off every season of your wardrobe throughout the year, and I look forward to seeing what surprises the weather will bring us the rest of this year!

Ambassadors Careers Life Around Dallas

Nuts about Southwest!

By Lauren Cook

I have the privilege of working as an intern for Southwest Airlines this semester. I wouldn’t have gotten to application opportunity if it weren’t for the help from SMU staff and students. Not only had my professor worked with Southwest Airlines, but also one of our very own tour guides, Derek Hubbard! All of that to say–SMU networking is fantastic.

SMU students have the chance to hear about great networking opportunities including but not limited to: job shadowing, internships, work study jobs, free resume reviews, free mock job interviews, and informational interviews with top managers and recruiters. Most of the time, the professionals come to us on campus!

I am so thankful for this opportunity at Southwest Airlines. I am excited for the three months ahead of me (I just started January 17th and I go till April 18th). And I can’t help but thank SMU for getting me there. Hopefully, it will turn into a job! Fingers crossed 🙂

Until next time,


Ambassadors Campus Life General

A Family Affair

By Greg Nelson

It was great to be home in Ohio for winter break with my family. It had been about five months since I had been home. While I was home, my brother who is a senior in high school started hearing back from some of the schools he had applied to early. One afternoon he walked in with a big, red envelope from SMU. He was all smiles and I was excited as well to hear that he had gotten in to SMU. He started asking questions about what was my favorite thing to do on campus and where to live and all those questions. I am really excited that he got in and hopes he chooses to become a Mustang. Good luck to the rest of you that are waiting to hear back, and to those of you that got in… Congratulations and welcome to the SMU family.