One of the most important jobs on campus is a tour guide job. It is the most interactive and fun job that your school offers and it benefits you in so many ways, along with the families you help. I was unsure when I was deciding to become a tour guide for Boston University because I was a freshman and thought I was unfit for the job, but I took a risk and enjoyed it so much that I looked forward to every tour I had coming up. Still hesitant on signing up for your campus tour guide? Here are 10 reasons why you should definitely do it.
1. Learn cool facts about your school.
This was the most interesting part about tour guide training because I learned so many things about my university that I would have never known. For example, I found out my school gym had a lazy river and certain facilities were featured in Ghostbusters and the movie 21 starring Kevin Spacey!
2. Improve your public speaking.
Talking to large groups of families and prospective students pushes you out of your comfort zone and improves your public speaking skills. After leading more tours, I was so comfortable talking to my tour groups and improvising my tours. This is an essential skill in college especially when you are required to give presentations in classes.
3. Help prospective students.
You know what it's like to be a nervous and excited high school student going on a college campus tour. Becoming a tour guide allows you to help those students and families who traveled from all over the country just to visit your school. Some families even send you a thank you note and students may even write about you on their college applications (it's happened, trust me)!
4. Boast about your college.
A tour guide is all about selling your college and making your tour group love it the same way you do. It's also a nice way to appreciate your college the more you talk about it. This is super important because enthusiasm shows the way you love your school.
5. Make your resume stand out.
Being a school ambassador is extremely impressive. Showing this on your resume conveys excellent public speaking and communication skills. It also shows how involved you were in your school activities.
6. Be a part of a great community.
The school admissions ambassadors are some of the most enthusiastic people you'll meet. You all signed up to help prospective students and all share a common love for your university. People come from all grades so it's a bonus when you befriend upperclassmen and they help you out and give you advice.
The art of improvisation is a hard one to master but giving hour and a half long tours definitely makes you a pro. This skill is highly important for class presentations and interviews too! Of course, you could memorize your tours word-by-word using a script, but they don't flow naturally compared to adding some improvisation.
As a tour guide, you're required to give a certain amount of tours (seven a semester for me) and this can take a chunk of your time. I definitely improved my time-management skills because I got more work done beforehand so I could free up my schedule after the tour to relax.
9. Pay it forward.
I'm sure you've attended a college tour before and you might have even chosen your college because of it. So being a tour guide is a great way to pay it forward and help the next student or family.
10. Great way to walk backward!
An unusual skill tour guides acquire is the ability to walk backward. This is actually quite a tough skill to master since I had a few trips and stumbles during my first tour but after a while, I got the hang of it and got a better idea of my surroundings. A lot of my tours depend on the parents who point out if there's uneven road or a person I'd bump into, but it's a great trick!
Have I convinced you yet to become a college tour guide? Like I said, I was on the edge on joining until I decided to step out of my comfort zone, and it's one of the best and most surprising decisions I've made so far!
Lead Image Credit: Daniel H. Tong via Unsplash