During my years in high school, I spent a lot of time on college tours. As a result, it didn’t take long for me to realize how crucial the tour was in determining which universities made the top of my list. While some tours did not give a good impression of the university, others were exciting, funny, and made me want to come back. These were the experiences that made me want to be a tour guide once I became a college student.
A few years later, after completing my third year in college at UW Oshkosh, I finally got my chance when I accepted the Summer Ambassador tour guide position.
Without delay, giving tours to prospective students became the best job I have had. As I saw students walking around our campus for the first time, it brought me back to my college visits and to the times I visited the place that would become my future home. I enjoyed answering the same questions I had thought about years earlier, and seeing students’ faces light up when they realized how unforgettable college was going to be.
By the end of the summer, even with my graduation beginning to loom on the horizon, I knew for sure that I would have to return for another year as a tour guide. Before my career takes me wherever it may lead, I wanted to spend one more summer enjoying the sights of campus and being a part of the college visit experience for our prospective students.
A day in the life of a tour guide begins when I arrive in the Admissions Office in Dempsey Hall. Every day I get to surround myself with enthusiastic coworkers that love UW Oshkosh as much as I do, while working in one of the most historic buildings on campus! Most days I begin my work by assisting with social media and graphic design projects. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait long for the most exciting part of the day, when YOU arrive for your campus visit. I enjoy meeting you in the lobby area while you wait either for your appointment with one of our counselors, or for the tour to begin. I’m always fascinated by hearing your stories and backgrounds, as each one is truly unique!
Before long, it’s time for the tour to begin. While the tour route may stay the same from day to day, the experience is unique every time. Everyone that visits has their own questions and interests, and I get to tailor each tour accordingly. Based on your specific interests, we can discuss majors, hobbies, clubs/organizations, athletics, intramurals, study locations, and more! My favorite part of each tour is walking through Reeve Memorial Union. Between the food court, bookstore, and flags on the ceiling, there’s so much to see and do! Other highlights on the tour include the library, rec center, a residence hall room, and a couple of academic buildings to name a few. At each spot, I share interesting information and fun personal stories from my own experiences. College is full of memorable moments and great stories! On every tour, we always take a group photo as well. I hope you have some good poses in mind, because you can be sure you’ll receive a copy of your photo!
Upon returning to the Admissions Office, we get to answer any last questions you have, then return back to our projects. Some days we give one tour, while others we give two. Everyday, however, we get to work on the campus that we love while encouraging students like you to come join our family. It’s good to be a Titan!
My campus tour philosophy is simple; in order for a tour to be memorable, it needs to be relaxed and entertaining. Looking back on when I was touring campuses, I’ve had tour guides that have been strictly informative and never strayed from the script. On these tours, my attention became strained and I did not remember much about campus. The best tour guides were informative but fun, and were always willing to go with the flow. Between the jokes they told and the way they interacted with students, you could tell that no two of their tours were the same. As a student, these tours were engaging and made me want to come back.
In my time as a tour guide, I’ve drawn from these experiences to shape my own tours. While the information is clearly the most important part, an hour and a half of pure stats and facts can be too much. Instead, I’ve found that parents and students love corny jokes and personal stories. In my tours, I try to add at least one little joke or short story at each stop to keep things light, and most importantly, help students see what college is really like. I know I’ve done this well when towards the end of the tour I can see a surge in students’ energy and joy on their faces from realizing how incredible UW Oshkosh is.
Overall, being a tour guide is honestly a blast. I love sharing all of the positive experiences that I have had as a Titan, and I love being part of your college decision process. My hope is that you truly enjoy your visit to UW Oshkosh and that it’s a unique and beneficial experience.
I highly encourage you to come visit campus and take a tour with me! My time at UWO has been the best four years of my life, and I would love to show why it can be that way for you too. This campus is home, and like any good home, there are countless memories to be made. But seriously, you have to come see this place for yourself!
I’ll see you on tour!