As students transition from high school to college, some may not know what to expect.
Campus tours are resources that help high school students gain a clear view of what they want.
The responsibilities of campus tour guides expands more than just memorizing meal plan prices or the names of the buildings.
Campus tour guides need to be equipped with training and experience before they go on to give their first tours. Erin Lauderdale, manager of tours at the university, elaborated on the training a tour guide must undergo.
“When we hire a tour guide, they go through an extensive training involving a lot of different pieces,” explained Lauderdale. “As a guideline, we give them a tourist script and a route, and that lets them know everything they need to include in their tour. The next step is we schedule a time they can shadow a tour guide and observe. Once they’ve observed, then we let them tag team a tour where they get to practice with another experienced tour guide, and then usually at that point, the person is ready to go out on campus and lead their own tours.”
Tour guides must not only know their routes and important information, but they must also be trained in customer engagement and be prepared to coordinate other campus events.
“We also focus on customer service training,” said Lauderdale. “You’re not just giving a tour. You need to know how to check with tourists, and they have to be able to answer different questions. They have a new title, ‘Event Specialist,’ because they not only give campus tours. They also work our own campus recruitment events including Lion Pride Preview, orientation and our Scholar’s Showcase.”
While a wide array of people can become tour guides, the job calls for people with certain traits. Lauderdale elaborates on what candidates make the best fit for the position.
“We look for students involved in at least one other organization,” described Lauderdale. “We want to see that they have a lot of Southeastern pride and that they’re able to speak well in front of other people. We look for people that are really friendly and want to help people.”
The task of being a campus tour guide often sparks interest in people that are passionate about connecting with and inspiring others. Claire Krousel, a freshman nursing major, elaborated on what she loves about the experience.
“I like that I get to meet new people every tour and connect with them and persuade their decision on where they want to go to college,” said Krousel.
Giving campus tours can put pressure on the guides, as they have the ability to alter a student’s decision on where they pursue their degrees. However, DeJuan James, a junior elementary education major, sees this as a valuable opportunity.
“Some will come by and have another college in mind already, or Southeastern is last on their list, and it prides me to know that after I gave them a tour, students have really reconsidered and given Southeastern a second chance,” shared James. “Some students I gave tours to I’ll see around campus, and they’ll remember me.”
For Gabrielle Ducote, a sophomore tour guide, the biggest reward of her job is seeing the effect she has on other people.
“It’s cool to see a school group come and not want to be here, ‘cause they want to be on a different field trip, but then as you go through the tour, you start joking with them and talking to them, seeing their eyes light up and they realize, ‘I can come to this school,’” said Ducote. “I can be that person on campus doing a tour, or be that person selling cookies or something. Like they can see themselves here.”
To find out more information regarding tour guide opportunities, email [email protected]