Updated: May 3, 2020
Hello everyone! I hope you're all doing well! We wanted to share with you guys an article from a friend of ours, Natasha Leong, on touring prep schools, something that may become a reality for many of you next fall. Enjoy!
"I’ve been a tour guide at Deerfield Academy since my freshman year, so I’ve given my fair share of tours to prospective students and their families. It’s true that the way you present yourself on your tour matters; while your tour guide obviously lacks the power to make or break your admission, they can share their opinion of you with the admissions officers at some schools. In fact, your tour guide’s opinion could very well be one of the first impressions your admissions officer will have of you.
So how should you present yourself on a tour?
1: Do not let your parents take over. I know it can be difficult at times, especially if you have an overeager entourage shooting one question per second at your tour guide. I’ll be honest; when I toured schools around three years ago, my mom took over for me pretty often. So I get it. But believe me, the last thing you’d want to happen is for your tour guide to think that your parents are more interested in the school you’re touring than you are. Make sure you stand out more than your parents do. Remember, this is your tour.
2: Think carefully about the questions you’re asking. While on a tour, you want to be as attentive as a listener as possible. It’s easy to get swept up in the vastness of the campus or the influx of new information you’re receiving all at once, but try your best to remain focused on your tour guide. Show them you’re interested in everything they have to say. If you ask too many questions that the tour guide has already answered, it’ll look like you haven’t been paying attention.
3: Be engaging and polite. You want to be likable. You want your tour guide to be able to vouch for you, so show them your best qualities. Show them you’re excited to be visiting their school. Trust me, your enthusiasm will speak volumes.
After the tour, giving gifts to your tour guide is often a kind gesture, but it’s not necessary. The opinion of your tour guide isn’t determined by the gift you give them before you shake their hand goodbye— it’s completely determined by the way you present yourself on your tour.
Lastly, write your tour guide a polite thank-you letter via email after your visit. It’s always courteous and often greatly appreciated.
Now good luck! You’re going to kill it. "