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Royal Ambassadors: A Personal Reflection

April 24, 2018
By: Laura Freedman '19

There’s just something about The University of Scranton. Maybe it’s the way faculty want to see their students succeed. Or, maybe it’s the long-lasting friendships that develop during one’s time here. Perhaps it’s the food, or the classes, or the sense of community throughout campus. Or, maybe that’s the point. There are many reasons why The University of Scranton becomes a home-away-from-home for so many of its students. The moment I first stepped on campus as a student, I knew Scranton was going to have a positive impact on my life. I did not want to keep Scranton as my little secret. I wanted to share my experiences and show everyone what amazing things The University of Scranton has to offer. That’s why I decided to work in the admissions office, working toward my goal of becoming a tour guide.

My journey to becoming a tour guide began in January 2017 when I became a Royal Ambassador for the admissions office. Royal Ambassadors are oftentimes the very first students prospective families interact with when they arrive at The University of Scranton. You can usually find Royal Ambassadors sitting by the parking lot on Ridge Row on weekdays or outside the parking pavilion on Saturdays. Their job is simple but important: greet families, provide them with parking passes if need be and direct them to the admissions office.

Royal Ambassadors also work major events for admissions, including open houses and preview day. I enjoyed working open houses and preview day because I was usually assigned to be a tour leader. Being a tour leader meant that I got to bring prospective families to different spots on campus. At these designated spots, a certified tour guide would discuss whatever aspect of campus life that pertained to that area. Interacting with prospective families is something I love to do because it gives me the opportunity to share my personal Scranton experiences with other people. I also enjoyed being a tour leader because it gave me the opportunity to see what it would be like to be a tour guide.

In January 2018, one year after I became a Royal Ambassador, I decided to officially apply to be a tour guide. The application and interview process was quick, and I was ecstatic when I was told that the admissions office would love to have me as a tour guide.

However, before I could give standard tours of campus, I needed to go through the tour guide training process. The entire process consisted of shadowing two tours, tag-teaming two tours with a certified tour guide and having a final tour evaluation. My favorite step in the entire process was the tag team tours. During this part of the training, I gave actual prospective families tours of the University. A certified tour guide was with me during these tours and added information if I forgot to mention anything important. The tour guides I shadowed and tag teamed with were extremely helpful. They were always ready to give me feedback on how I was doing and what I could improve upon.

It did not take me long to finish the shadowing and tag team components of the tour guide training process. Before I knew it, it was time for my final tour evaluation with Antonelle Tuazon ’14, the assistant director of admissions, and Hugh Doyle ’17, an admissions counselor. I was not too nervous when I did my evaluation, which consisted of giving Antonelle and Hugh a tour of the University. I felt that I was well-prepared for it after completing the other steps in the training process.

The evaluation went very well. I was able to pass it on the first try. However, there is still one more step I need to take before I become a full-fledged tour guide: I need to go through the Leahy Hall training process. Leahy Hall is not a part of the standard tour route; as the home for occupational therapy, physical therapy and exercise science students at the University, however, it is a popular attraction for prospective students. As a result, separate tours of Leahy are offered by the admissions office.

So, until I am certified for Leahy tours, I can only give standard tours of the University. Nevertheless, I cannot wait until I do my first tour and share my love for being a Royal with prospective families.
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