Tour Guiding: An Inside Scoop

Think you want to walk backwards around campus and show off how much you know about campus in an attempt to inspire future baby bison? To get the inside scoop on tour guiding, HerCampus interviewed tour guide Peter Merhige ‘20 on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

 

What’s your favorite part about being a tour guide?

“My favorite part about being a tour guide is introducing visitors to our campus. Throughout high school I was also a tour guide, so I knew that I wanted to try to replicate that in college. As it turns out, I got the job and haven't really looked back. Bucknell is an amazing place, and I really appreciate that I get to show it off to prospective students.”

 

What’s something that not many people know about being a tour guide?

“One of the things that many people do not know about being a tour guide is that it's a great networking tool. For example, the tour guides here work all of our open houses (Gateway to Bucknell, Admitted Students Day, etc.) -- the upside for this is that students will often see their tour guides from past visits to campus and reintroduce themselves. I actually ended up joining the same fraternity as my tour guide from the first time I visited Bucknell! Just like being involved with new student orientation, tour guiding is a fun way to meet new members of each incoming class.”

 

Has being a tour guide helped you in any other areas of your life?

“Being a tour guide has helped with a lot of other skills in my life. In many ways, tour guiding is similar to being a salesman: it's our job to convince prospective students why they should come to Bucknell. As a result, I've gotten a lot better at public speaking and connecting with all different types of people. Because of this, I would argue that being a tour guide is beneficial to students pursuing all different types of future occupations.”

 

What’s the hardest part about being a tour guide?

“The hardest part of being a tour guide is working with large groups of people. It's our job to cater to the needs of all the visitors, but this gets especially difficult when I'm touring a group of 20+ people around campus. For obvious reasons, it's way easier to connect with smaller tour groups when I can drum up small talk and gauge the interests of a prospective student.”

 

Are there any funny moments that stand out to you, like a funny comment or question from a parent?

“There have been plenty of humorous moments—I always think it's funny when my friends call out to me as I'm leading tours. Contrary to what you might think, parents and prospective students like to see that type of thing happening because it shows that the tour guide is well connected on campus and knows what he/she is talking about. It can be flustering at first, but I'd definitely say that I've grown into the role.”