Rachel Poulin graduated from Arizona State University last May with degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship, and took her first job in August as outreach and engagement coordinator of ISRAEL21c’s Digital Ambassadors Program.
“This job perfectly combines my passions for digital marketing and Israel. I always saw myself going into marketing and this was a really special and unique opportunity to help spread the word online about Israel, which is deeply important to me,” she says.
Digital Ambassadors are 18- to 25-year-old North Americans who receive training from ISRAEL21c in social media strategy. Each ambassador spends about two hours a week promoting ISRAEL21c’s content to online communities and key online influencers, earning a $1,000 stipend.
This academic year, Poulin is overseeing 35 ambassadors on college campuses across the United States. A native of Dallas, she’s moving to LA to be closer to Miller Ink, the strategic communications company that handles ISRAEL21c’s digital engagement.
Poulin said her mom instilled in her “a lot of love for Israel.” She took her first of three trips in her sophomore year of high school with the youth movement BBYO, returned on Birthright in her sophomore year of college and flew over in December 2017 for a three-week Jewel program in Jerusalem.
She jumped into Israel advocacy on campus, serving as a marketing intern and later president of the ASU Students Supporting Israel chapter, and was also a Stand With Us Emerson Fellow in her sophomore year.
Poulin signed on as an ISRAEL21c Digital Ambassador in her senior year at ASU. “I heard about it from a friend at ASU who was involved. I had never before heard of an Israel advocacy role that was positive and apolitical, and I absolutely loved it,” she says.
In recruiting ambassadors, Poulin looks for young adults who feel a strong connection to Israel and are social-media savvy. The vast majority of the present cohort has visited Israel.
“Half the program is working in teams on social media campaigns, and the other half is spreading placements individually,” she explains. “The overall objective is to bring readers to the site.”
Poulin stays in constant touch with the ambassadors through video and audio chats to monitor their success on both fronts and to offer the wisdom of her own experience and the professional guidance of the Miller Ink team.
In addition, ISRAEL21c Ambassador retreats take place twice a year so everyone has a chance to meet one another as well as ISRAEL21c President Amy Friedkin, ISRAEL21c Israel Director Nicky Blackburn, Nathan Miller of Miller Ink and nonprofits consultant Pearl Kane of PLK Consulting Group.
“On the retreats we connected as a team, which really contributes to the success of the overall program. The strong relationships made in this program are made possible because of the retreats.”
Poulin feels that her job perfectly blends her personal and professional ambitions.
“Having done the program myself, I think I’m a great fit for this role in building the Ambassadors program to be the best it can be. Sharing information that people wouldn’t get to see otherwise about the beauty of Israel is extremely important, and unfortunately oftentimes gets overlooked. Being part of that is what motivates me, and it’s a ton of fun working with college students,” she says.
Ambassadors this year are on the following campuses: Muhlenberg College, University of Florida, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Santa Barbara, UC-Davis, Chapman University, Arizona State University, Marquette University, Cornell University, University of Florida, SUNY Binghamton, Pace University, Drexel University, Wayne State University, College of Charleston, Emerson College, Pepperdine University, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Indiana University, University of Texas-Austin, San Jose State University, University of Southern California, University of Missouri and Moorpark College.
The next group of Digital Ambassadors will begin in August 2019, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more about the program here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.