As students transition from high school to college, some may not know what to expect.
Campus tours are resources that help high school students get a clear view of what they want.
The responsibilities of campus tour guides go beyond simply memorizing meal plan prices or building names.
Campus tour guides must be equipped with training and experience before they can give their first tours. Erin Lauderdale, tour manager at the university, explained the training a tour guide must undergo.
“When we hire a tour guide, they go through extensive training that involves a lot of different pieces,” Lauderdale explained. “As a guide, we give them a tourist scenario and an itinerary, and this lets them know everything they need to include in their tour. The next step is to schedule a time when they can follow a tour guide and observe. Once they’ve observed, we let them pair up a tour where they can practice with another experienced guide, and then usually by that time the person is ready to go out on campus and lead their own tours.
Tour guides should not only know their routes and important information, but they should also be trained in customer engagement and be prepared to coordinate other events on campus.
“We also focus on customer service training,” Lauderdale said. “You don’t just tour. You have to know how to check with tourists, and they must be able to answer different questions. They have a new title, “Event Specialist”, because they don’t just offer campus tours. They also host our own on-campus recruiting events including the Lion Pride Preview, Orientation and Showcase for our Scholars. »
While a wide range of people can become tour guides, the job requires people with certain traits. Lauderdale clarifies which candidates are best suited for the position.
“We are looking for students involved in at least one other organization,” Lauderdale explained. “We want to see that they have a lot of South East pride and are able to speak well in front of other people. We are looking for people who are really friendly and eager to help people.
The task of being a campus tour guide often piques the interest of people who are passionate about connecting and inspiring others. Claire Krousel, a first-year nursing student, explained what she loves about the experience.
“I love meeting new people on every tour, connecting with them and persuading their decision on where they want to go to college,” Krousel said.
Giving campus tours can put pressure on guides, as they have the ability to alter a student’s decision on where to pursue their studies. However, DeJuan James, a junior primary education student, sees this as a valuable opportunity.
“Some will come and already have another college in mind, or the South East is last on their list, and I’m proud to know that after showing them around, the students really reconsidered and gave the South a second chance. -is,” James shared. “Some students I’ve given tours, I’ll see them on campus and they’ll remember me.”
For Gabrielle Ducote, a second-year tour guide, the greatest reward for her work is seeing the effect she has on others.
“It’s cool to see a school group come and not want to be here, because they want to go on a different field trip, but then as the visit progresses you start joking with them and talking to them, seeing their eyes light up and they realise, ‘I can come to this school,'” Ducote said. “I can be that person on campus who is giving a tour, or be that person who is selling cookies or something like that, like they could see each other here.
To learn more about tour guide opportunities, email [email protected]