Newcomers’ Ambassador of the Year
Shahab Sharfaei in Kuala Lumpur
2018 Honorable Mention:
Janani Jae and Gautam D. in Munich
InterNations Newcomers’ Events are a very special event format available in our largest communities which have a constant influx of new members. Newcomers’ Events are designed to provide our newest members with an opportunity to have a no-pressure glimpse into what being a member is all about before heading off to the larger official events and activities. This particular event often provides the first impression of the InterNations community. Therefore, we select individuals for this role who are particularly adept at welcoming new faces and have a strong understanding of their local city.
For this award, the Global Awards jury considered Newcomers’ Ambassadors who are confident in presenting the first impression of InterNations to new faces. Nominees for this role not only have an excellent understanding of the various InterNations services available to members in their city, but they also are local experts who enjoy introducing their city to newcomers and helping them to settle in.
For this award, the jury considered Newcomers’ Ambassadors who go the extra mile with their events: top nominees incorporated an interactive event schedule, often with casual games and icebreakers to get the crowd talking. They also prepare a monthly speech with a well-rounded introduction to the InterNations concept and welcome Consuls to take the floor and share their own experiences.
Why He Won
This year’s winner was the Newcomers’ Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, and one of our jury members explains why:
“Shahab became a Newcomers’ Ambassador in June 2016 and in two years, he has achieved incredible results. His events are always successful and with amazing reviews from our members. He is always open to test new tools and features and thanks to his great negotiation skills, he developed stable relationships with some venues, offering a great experience to all the new members and supporting them with concrete help and suggestions for their new life in the Malaysian capital. This definitely shows how passionate and committed he is to InterNations and we couldn’t be prouder to have him representing us in the Kuala Lumpur Community.”
Interview with the Winner
What motivated you to become a Newcomers’ Ambassador?
Shahab: I started as a Consul for one of the InterNations Groups and really enjoyed organizing events and meeting new people in the process. I have an affinity for meeting new people and learning something new from each one. I especially like meeting people who are new to the community, so when the opportunity presented itself to become a Newcomers’ Ambassador, I gladly took it.
What do you do at your events to make the newest members of the InterNations Kuala Lumpur Community feel welcome?
Shahab: First, I greet new members and welcome them to the InterNations Kuala Lumpur Community, then I introduce them to other members. I make sure that they are comfortable, and I encourage them to mingle with other guests, but without any pressure. For many members it may be the first time attending such an event and may therefore feel out of their comfort zone at first, so It is very important to make them feel welcome and a part of the InterNations family.
How do you make your monthly Newcomers’ welcome speech memorable?
Shahab: I give a short introductory speech at the beginning of my events and introduce myself and the community. I tell them about different groups and activities and I explain how to navigate the site. I also talk about the advantages of the Albatross Membership. I try to keep the speech brief and light-hearted so that everyone feels comfortable. Moreover, I extend an open invitation for anyone to ask me about specific groups and activities throughout the night and beyond, either on email, phone, etc.
Congratulations to Shahab for being 2018’s Newcomers’ Ambassador of the Year.
We would also like to take this opportunity to recognize our honorable mention in Munich, Newcomers’ Ambassadors Janani Jae and Gautam D. Thank you for providing InterNations’ newest members with the warmest welcome and the best first impression of your community!
About the Winner:
Originally from Iran, Shahab moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2015 to establish a branch office for his business in student recruitment. He is also currently doing his PhD in International Business. Shahab was first a Consul and became a Newcomers’ Ambassador in June 2016. Before moving to Kuala Lumpur, he lived in the United States and Dubai for a significant period of time. Shahab enjoys travelling, trying new things, and going out with new and old friends.