This past Tuesday I was at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio conducting tour guide training on rendering authenticity and storytelling. (That’s me standing by one of their admissions Minis.)
Yesterday I got an email from Pattie Skrha, BWC’s Director of Admission, telling me how the Chairman of BWC’s Board came to campus with a prospective student and shared with Pattie how “it was the best tour he ever had.” From Pattie’s email:
“Thought you’d love this random, too-good-to-be true story!
It just so happens that our board chair was on campus today, accompanying a prospective student from his home town. He went on tour with her. Upon his return, he came in to my office and said, “I just went on the best college tour I’ve ever had.”
His tour guide was Jarvis — a new tour guide.
When I asked why the tour was so great:
· Jarvis gave honest answers; you could tell he was not trying to “sell” the school.
· It was very real and personal; Jarvis told stories about how things on campus related to him.
· He did not walk backwards! (quote from the chair: “ I HATE when they walk backwards.”)
· There were three students on the tour, and Jarvis personalized the tour to each of them.
· Jarvis gave real college advice. When I probed as to what this meant, the chair said, “he told them to find the college that was the best fit for them. He hopes it will be Baldwin-Wallace, but if we’re not the right fit, that’s okay.”
While I’d like to take credit and think that the three hours of training and lunch made the difference for Jarvis and the other guides, BWC’s students are really bright and personable. And Admissions gives them the permission and guidance to be students — not scripted “tourbots.”
Read more about our authors. Jeff is the VP of the Consulting Division and also known as the “Apostle of Authenticity.” He crisscrosses the country speaking at conferences and working with our clients. He’s driven by a mission to inspire higher education executives and admissions offices to overthrow dead culture, embrace their authentic “DNA” and render engaging experiences.