A campus tour is an important part of the college-selection process, giving prospective and newly admitted students as well as their families the opportunity to see first-hand everything a higher education institution has to offer.
At Northeastern, these tours are intertwined with unique personal experiences shared by the tour leaders known as Husky Ambassadors.
There are about 200 active students in the Husky Ambassador program, which requires prospective tour leaders to complete a four-week training session.
“These are students who are outstanding leaders and are a positive reflection of all the opportunities available at Northeastern,” said Jamie Abromaitis, associate director of admission volunteer programs.
What sets Northeastern’s campus tour apart from other colleges, Abromaitis said, is the program’s emphasis on requiring the tour leaders to weave their personal experiences at Northeastern into their presentation about the university.
As part of the training, every tour guide is given cards containing all the pertinent information they need to share during the tour. But Melissa Templeton, BHS’16, the Husky Ambassador evaluation chair, explained that there is more to leading a tour than tour cards.
“We have really tried to steer everyone away from just memorizing the tour cards,” Templeton noted. “We really try to make it more personal and show the students on the tour what they could do in our shoes.”
Other themes the tour leaders focus on include the flexibility students have in chartering their own academic paths as well as how experiential learning prepares them for future classwork and job opportunities. Northeastern’s campus, the ambassadors also say, offers both green spaces and city life, making Centennial Common a popular tour stop.
While the Husky Ambassadors program is open to all students, tour leaders must be second-year students or above. For first-year students there is the Mingler Program.
Launched four years ago, the Mingler Program gives new Northeastern students the opportunity to engage with visiting families and share with them their recent transition to college. Xander Miller, BHS’18, got involved with the Husky Ambassadors through the Mingler Program.
During his college search process, he recalled, he attended some campus tours that weren’t very good. But Northeastern’s stood out. “I remember the tour was so good,” he said. “Seeing the tour guide be so passionate about the university and what they have done here is what really sold me.”
It was during his time as a “Mingler” that Miller was asked one of the most unique questions about Northeastern he has ever received. “If Northeastern were a car, what kind of car would it be?”
“At the time the new Tesla had just come out, so I said that because it was innovative, sporty, and environmentally efficient, just like Northeastern,” Miller said.