This week, we spoke with our Campus Correspondent Kaylee on her experience as a Blue Hen Ambassador tour guide. Kaylee is a senior at the University of Delaware from Landenberg, Pennsylvania studying Public Policy with a minor in writing.
Her Campus: How long have you been giving prospective student tours for the University of Delaware?
Kaylee Giacomini: I’ve been a tour guide since this June, so I’m still rather new to the job but I believe that I’ve picked up a lot of experience since starting and have definitely improved since the summer.
HC: What do you love most about the tour guide experience?
KG: One of my favorite things about giving tours is constantly talking to new people every day and having a profound impact on someone’s decision on where they want to go to college. In training, we’re told that the tour experience can make or break someone’s decision to go to a particular university, and this is so true. It never gets old having a student approach me after a tour and say that after seeing campus, they love it and are ready to apply.
HC: What are some of the most random facts you know about the University?
KG: There are so many! I have a few favorites: the first graduating class at the University had 3 graduates sign the declaration of independence; if you stand in a particular place on the quad outside Purnell you can hear your voice echo; Joe Biden, Taylor Swift’s dad and Kanye West’s dad all lived in Harter Hall (and also my dad); Deer Park was cursed by Edgar Allen Poe; I could go on and on.
HC: What is the most difficult part of giving tours?
KG: For every tour, you really have to give it your all and have consistent positive energy. If I’m in a bad mood, sick or tired, I still have to generate the same amount of energy and positivity, or my tour won’t go as well as I would like. However, a good tour always lifts my spirits. Like a few days ago, I had to pull an all nighter and give a tour the next morning which is never easy, but I had a great tour group that lifted my spirits, and the tour ended up going incredibly well.
HC: Where do you think is the most beautiful spot on campus?
KG: I’ve seen so much of campus since becoming a guide it’s hard to choose! I’ll always have a soft spot for the turf outside of Independence Hall, especially when it’s all lit up at night, since I lived there my sophomore year. Old College of course is also one of the campus’ prettiest spots, especially now that the construction around Jastak-Burgess is complete. Number one for me is definitely the green, though. I’ve been here for three years now and I will go out of my way to walk down it because it’s just that stunning.
HC: What’s something you didn’t know about the University before becoming a guide that you’ve learned on the job?
KG: Aside from random facts, I’ve learned so much about the University which is one of the reasons why I love being a guide. I’ve learned a lot about the housing process, main street and that there are planets all over campus that are to the exact scale of the solar system. I’m still on the lookout for Pluto, but I found the rest of them, which is something that would have never even crossed my mind had I not became a guide.
HC: What are some opportunities you’ve been granted through giving tours?
KG: One of my supervisors reached out to us guides to see if any of us were transfers, and since I am, I’m now featured on the transfer website which is fun. Being a tour guide also looks amazing on a resume and enhances your public speaking skills immensely since you’re basically giving a ninety minute presentation every day. This terrified me at first, but now I kind of love it because I’m both practiced and passionate in what I talk about.
HC: What would you say to anyone considering becoming a Blue Hen Ambassador?
KG: Do it! The first few tours you give may not go perfectly, mine certainly didn’t, however you learn so fast and meet so many people that it’s truly one of the best experiences I’ve had in college. It granted me access to the University that I wouldn’t have had otherwise and reaffirmed my belief that I made the right choice choosing UD.