What it's Like to Be a QU Tour Guide

            As the springtime comes so do prospective high school students here to see if QU is the right fit for them. Those students, like all of us at some point, will go on a tour and see our beautiful quad and hear the clock tower sing. That's where the tour guides come in. We are trained to know everything about our school that goes beyond our 16 page tour script.

 

I recently wrote an article about the process of becoming a tour guide so now I want to share what it's like when you actually get the job.

            Most students are hired as session only tour guides for their first semester. This is a paid position and you sign up for 12 weekday and 12 weekend information sessions. An info session is when an admissions counselor meets with a large group of families and then they go on a tour. This job is great because the hours are super flexible. You get to pick when you want to work.  The other position you can be hired as is an office tour guide. Also, everyone who has done a semester as a sessions only tour guide will become a office tour guide the semester after. I was able to start off as an office tour guide my first semester but this scenario is less likely. All tour guides are required to work all open house and admitted students day. For these days you have to get to the athletic center around 8am and you stay until the late afternoon. All the tour guides sit in a room and you get called for tours throughout the day. It's a long day but you get to make a lot of money and can get a lot of homework done.

            Office tour guides have many roles. You will be scheduled usually between 4-8 hours per week.There are six positions in the office; front desk, phones, emails, back, and hourly tour guide or backup hourly tourguide. The front desk is the person who sits at the front and checks families in. This is always an upperclassman. Phones are two people who, well, answer the phone. If you have ever called the Quinnipiac office of undergraduate admissions a tour guide has most likely answered. We get calls about everything and anything and the hold button becomes your best friend. Our number is the first one when you call the University so it is also a lot of filtering calls to other places. Phone shifts can be stressful because you know nothing but everyone in the office works together to get the person’s question answered. Prospective students will call and using the Slate program we can see if students are missing an application materials or help them schedule a tour or interview. Next is emails. This is also done by an upperclassman and they simply answer any emails sent to the University. The back is the most common, and best, office position. In Echlin where the office of undergraduate admissions is, there is a large section with a huge table where all the tour guides sit. If your scheduled for the back you mostly stuff acceptance letters or do other types of sorting. If there is no work to be done during your shift you can do your homework or watch Netflix which is a nice break from a stressful day. Finally we have hourly tour guides. These tour guides do the same tour at the same hour every week. The backup is meant for when there is a large group of families but often the two tour guides just switch who gives the tour each week. No matter what your job in the office there is a great amount of camaraderie. At first I was a little overwhelmed by how everyone seemed to know each other but everyone is really welcoming and you bond with the people on your regular shift.

You also have the ability to pick up shifts. There is a facebook group and you can post if you need a shift or a tour covered. You have to be quick though I am always looking to pick up hours so I am always checking my phone. If you are a sessions only tour guide you can cover other people’s sessions as well as hourly tours. You just can’t cover any of the office work or office jobs that don’t involve giving a tour. If your an office tour guide you can pick up anything.

            Another perk of the job is the uniform. The uniform is free and you get a polo with the undergraduate admissions logo. You also get a new piece of outerwear every year which is a huge plus. The only part of the uniform you have to buy are a pair of khakis. The uniform only has to be worn for info sessions, open house and admitted students day so you don’t have to wear it just sitting in the office. The dress code is no ripped jeans or sweatpants and leggings only if your covered past your bum. Finally, no workout gear. At first I struggled to make this work but you find ways to make it work.

            I have loved my first semester as a tour guide. If you love Quinnipiac and are looking for a job on campus tour guiding is the right fit for you. It's a lot of work but the dedication is worth it, especially when you get the free polo. So start shadowing and you too can every fact about Quinnipiac that there ever was and say them all while walking backwards.