Scarlet Ambassador reveals process, challenges of being tour guide for Rutgers
A Scarlet Ambassador shared insight into the job of being a tour guide for the University, including the interviewing process and some of its challenges and benefits.
Scarlet Ambassadors, otherwise known as the tour guides who present prospective students an impression of Rutgers, are not only required to work, but also be part of the staff at the Visitor Center on Busch campus.
These ambassadors need to “embrace the importance of professionalism, leadership and teamwork,” according to the Undergraduate Admissions website. In order to be a tour guide, they are also expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA and attend semester meetings and seminars.
One of these Scarlet Ambassadors is Allison Szeliga, a Rutgers Business School senior. She said the admission process began with a group interview, then with a one-on-one interview. The overall applicant pool consisted of well-rounded students who were highly involved at the University, especially in clubs, sports, research and other activities.
“The process for me was overall a cohesive and thorough assessment of applicants interested in the ambassador program,” she said.
Szeliga said that remaining optimistic and open-minded was what allowed her to receive the job. Through the interviews, she maintained the idea that she was able to meet new people in a way to help her become successful and professional in the future.
After being accepted, Scarlet Ambassadors undergo a training process that involves how to give campus tours, set up events and manage daily operations at the Visitor Center, according to the website.
Szeliga said one of the highlights of being an ambassador was being able to connect with prospective students and influence the way they feel about attending.
“My favorite part of the job is after a tour, when a prospective student lets me know how my tour influenced their decision to attend Rutgers,” she said. “One time I even received a thank-you note addressed to the Visitor Center thanking me.”
One of the parts she disliked about being a Scarlet Ambassador, though, was when the weather did not cooperate.
“My least favorite part of the job is when I need to give tours in the rain,” she said. “Although we’re mostly on the bus, I hate missing the opportunity to let visitors take in the beauty of Voorhees Mall on a bright, sunny day.”
As a Scarlet Ambassador, Szeliga has to answer many questions about herself and the University. Since she studied abroad, she said many prospective students ask her about her experience studying in Rome, Italy. Families also often generally ask about the study abroad program at Rutgers.
Szeliga said her main concern was letting prospective students know that their experience in college was what they put into it.
“I often wish students realized how much their experience at college depends on their own motivation,” she said. “Your college experience is what you make of it, why not do it at a school that has limitless opportunities?”