Applications Open for Campus Tour Guides
Georgia Tech’s campus is no stranger to hosting visitors, especially those interested in becoming a student here. The Georgia Tech Tour Guides provide prospective students and their families with an immersive campus visit. They are dedicated to the Institute, equipped with knowledge, and eager to share their personal experiences — and you can join them.
Applications are now open for Spring 2019 tour guides, and will close Nov. 9. Learn why a few students love being guides, why tours are beneficial, and how to become a guide.
Why They’re Guides
Third-year neuroscience major Amy Patel serves as the president of Georgia Tech Tour Guides. She began touring during the fall semester of her first year and has been with the organization ever since.
“Tech is a creative environment of brilliant individuals who each bring something unique to the table,” Patel said. “While rigorous classes and extracurricular involvements can make college stressful, being a tour guide has been the highlight of my week. There’s nothing like sharing our sense of community with students who want to become a Yellow Jacket; it’s sharing moments like those that make the tour personable and memorable.”
Josh Madwed, an industrial design major, serves as the group’s vice president of recruitment. “When a Tech student comes up to you and tells you that your tour is the reason they are here, it's a surreal feeling to realize that you may have just shaped the student’s life into one of the best college experiences they could’ve possibly signed up for,” he said.
Members of the executive board and tour guides alike can attest to the fact that each tour guide brings something unique to the spirit of touring.
“I decided to be a tour guide because of how important this organization is. You have the opportunity to help people make the biggest decision of their lives and learn more about this amazing school at the same time,” said Melissa Gurvitz, a business administration major.
Why Take a Tour
In the era of the online virtual tour, seeing pictures or a 3D representation of a campus may be enough for some. But for students seeking an engaging campus visit, tour guides are prepared for the job.
Katy Beth Lockwood serves as the organization’s advisor and 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 about 15 people and last about an hour and a half. Visitors should wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and dress for the weather, as tours take place in rain or shine.
Both during the tour and after it, tour guides can be a valuable resource. The job doesn’t end after they take off their polos — many guides will share their contact information and invite visitors to ask questions even after they leave campus.
Tours are offered twice a day, five days a week, in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Becoming a Guide
Regardless of where you first heard about the Tour Guide program, there are many reasons to consider becoming a tour guide.
Connor Sweeney, a second-year who recently completed his first semester of touring, said, “I joined Tour Guides because I am passionate about Georgia Tech and want to show off the school to prospective students, and also be a more personal and relatable resource as they are looking at and applying to Tech.”
In an effort to be more representative of the Georgia Tech student population, the program welcomes students from a wide range of majors, cultural backgrounds, and extracurricular experiences at Tech. Regardless of their year in school, all interested undergraduates are encouraged to apply.
After application review and interviews, tour guides participate in extensive training for the position, including a day-long welcome session, informational training meetings, short quizzes, shadow tours, co-tours, and tour audits.
Once trained, tour guides dedicate about two hours each week to tours. They also attend a biweekly general meeting and participate in other events throughout the semester.
Becoming a tour guide can allow students to develop or refine their communication skills and meet other enthusiastic students while gaining leadership experience. Prospective guides are encouraged to visit the Georgia Tech Tour Guide Facebook page or website for updates.