As thousands of Yalies leave New Haven over the summer to pursue internships and study abroad programs elsewhere, a few will remain behind to welcome the thousands more arriving to tour the University.
These students, the 2015 class of summer tour guides, were formally selected this Monday by the Yale Admissions Office and University Visitor Center. While the summer tour guides often guide a higher volume of visitors than do regular tour guides, their tenure only lasts from May through August. Selected candidates described the application process as lacking in rigor — they only had to write a brief application and lead a short sample tour. While some of the summer tour guides said they applied because they wanted another job over the summer, others cited the experience of welcoming visitors to Yale.
“I’ve had my ups and downs, but I love this place. I wanted to take a summer to be here before I say goodbye,” said Bethany Goodhue ’16, a tour guide who said this summer would be her last in New Haven.
Many of the tour guides interviewed will be doing research over the summer and cited the job’s flexible hours as a benefit.
Lelina Chang ’18, who will be a tour guide this summer, said she will probably take more shifts during the weekend, which will allow her to focus on her research during the week.
Ben Lerude ’17, who is on the swim team, said the job’s hours work well with his demanding summer schedule, which includes frequent practices and meets in locations from California to Texas.
Though the application process for summer tour guide position is shorter than for the academic year guides, the training is equally intense, said Ben Kronengold ’18, the head tour guide for the summer.
Edwin Edem ’18, a regular tour guide, said the tours done by both types of guides are very similar. Edem added that most visitors come to Yale during the summer months, and the application process for summer tour guides is more consolidated simply because there is less demand for the job.
“Guiding over the summer does not qualify you to be a guide over the year, but it is helpful for you to have that background if you choose to apply for the campus guiding position,” said Aviva Abusch ’18, who leads tours during the school year.
Mark Dunn ’07, director of outreach and recruitment for the Admissions Office, declined to comment.
Chang said she would like to be a tour guide during the school year but doesn’t have enough time, so being a tour guide during the summer is a way of having some of the experience.
Alicia Alvarez ’17 said she would feel like she were missing out on a “Yale experience” if she did not guide tours at least once.
“It seems like a very American thing to do,” said Alvarez, who is from Madrid.
Roughly 8 to 10 percent of applicants are accepted to be regular tour guides during the academic year.