Touring Season in Full Swing during Summer
With summer in full swing, the Georgia Tech Tour Guides are busier than ever. These students are passionate about Tech, excited to assist prospective students, and always ready to lead a group.
Learn more about Georgia Tech Tour Guides — a volunteer group of current Tech students recruited and trained to present campus and their experiences to prospective students and guests.
Fourth-year civil engineering major Grant Davidson serves as the president of Georgia Tech Tour Guides. Davidson began touring the fall semester of his second year and has never looked back — except when a tour member occasionally strays from the group.
“I love being able to stroll through campus and show prospective students what it’s actually like to work, play, and live at Georgia Tech,” Davidson said. “I tailor my tours to who’s in the group and try to make a connection with each attendee based on major, interests, or personality.”
Fourth-year mechanical engineering majors Ana Jafarinia and Amy McAlister serve as vice president of marketing and tour captain, respectively. Both have two years of touring experience.
Each student has a unique reason for touring, but all share a common love of presenting Georgia Tech to others.
“I enjoy being the ‘first impression’ for prospective students,” McAlister said. “I like interacting with them and being a friendly face in an unfamiliar environment. I try to keep my energy high during the tour and throw in a few ‘dad jokes’ to get the group relaxed and comfortable together.”
Nyle Malik is newer to the organization. He’s a second-year computer engineering major and is working as a first-semester guide.
“As an international student, I was unable to visit most of the schools I applied to,” said Malik, who is from Ottawa, Canada. “I read up as much as I could and I’m happy I chose Tech, but touring would have given me a better feel for what the students are really like.”
Why Take a Tour
Today, it’s easy to learn about a university without ever traveling to its campus. Online virtual tours, informative websites, and plentiful student reviews can make applicants question the neccesity of a campus tour. Georgia Tech Tour Guides understand the value in the experience, though. Three out of the four featured guides took a tour before accepting their admission to Tech.
“Tech wasn’t my first choice, and after being rejected from my dream school, I was heartbroken,” Jafarinia said. “I didn’t have any interest in going to school in the South, but my dad and I took a tour of campus and I completely fell in love. Now I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Katy Beth Lockwood serves as the organization’s new advisor and works as the assistant director of Campus Visits and Events for Undergraduate Admission.
“I recommend that students visit a few prospective schools,” Lockwood said. “College campuses can be different in person, and students may fall in love with something they didn’t know existed.”
Georgia Tech campus tours are offered to groups of 12 to 25 people and last about an hour and a half. The tour includes a 1.8-mile walk, so participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Water is also recommended.
Tour members should not be afraid to speak up during the tour. Guides are prepared and willing to answer questions, address any concerns, and share their personal experiences and advice.
Some guides offer their contact information at the end of the tour, allowing prospective students to get their questions answered even after they leave campus.
“We don’t stop being tour guides when we take off the polo,” Jafarinia said. Guides remain a helpful resource for incoming and prospective students long after the tour ends.
Tours are offered year-round, Monday through Friday, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
To register for a tour, visit admission.gatech.edu/visit and select the most applicable tour. Register early for summer tours, as spots fill quickly.
Faculty and staff interested in touring campus should contact Katy Beth Lockwood to schedule a tour.
Becoming a Guide
Whether due to inspiration from an upperclassman, an ad in the Student Center, or a need for leadership experience, there are many reasons to become a Georgia Tech Tour Guide.
“I was introduced to Georgia Tech Tour Guides from a few sisters in my sorority who were part of the organization,” McAlister said. “Ever since elementary school, I loved being an ambassador and showing people around, so I knew that I would fit in well as a guide.”
Tour Guides come from the entire undergraduate population. Students of all majors, personality types, and year in school are encouraged to apply. Applications are open at the beginning of each fall, spring, and summer semester.
After students are accepted as guides, they go through a comprehensive training process including a welcome meeting, informational training meetings, short quizzes, a tour shadowing period, and a co-touring period. Within a few weeks, new guides are leading their own tours.
The time commitment for guides during the semester includes a minimum of one tour per week, biweekly one-hour meetings, and participation in a few events during the year.
For students worried they don’t fit a typical tour guide mold, Malik emphasized that anyone should apply.
“Georgia Tech Tour Guides are meant to be a reflection of Tech’s student body,” he said.
Serving as a Georgia Tech Tour Guide allows students to gain leadership experience, venture out of their comfort zones, and become more comfortable communicating with others. Applications will open in the beginning of the fall semester. Interested students should check the Georgia Tech Tour Guide Facebook page or website for updates.