In my admission and financial aid presentations I always recommend that students seek out the admission professional responsible for reviewing their application, get their business card, and follow-up with a personal note. Hand Written Notes was an entry I penned a few years ago. In an age of cryptic emails, texts, and tweets; the hand written note has value.
I’d like to take this entry and step farther and give prospective students recommendations on others that they can seek out, and appreciate. Here are two glaringly obvious groups that are rarely thanked or noticed: the front desk receptionist and the tourguide.
The front desk receptionists in many cases are the people that schedule a prospective student’s visit, send the confirmation, and greet a family when they enter a visit center. It is that greeting that probably sets a student’s mind at ease because it is warm and genuine. They provide instruction and direction upon your arrival and always answer any inquiry that you have during your time on campus. However, are they EVER recognized? Well……certainly they get a “thank you” from a parent and perhaps even a student, but almost never do they receive a note of thanks.
Tourguides are the single biggest influencers of prospective students during a visit (more than faculty, coaches, and certainly admission professionals). Paid or unpaid, they escort complete strangers through their communities, welcoming our visitors almost as if they were family. They always receive the polite “thank you” after the tour and sometimes get emails following the visit. But almost never a thank you card or note. And let me tell you a little secret, when our tourguides (ambassadors) return from a tour and seek admission staff out to inform us that they tour was fabulous and the student is great, that is the single most powerful recommendation a potential future student can receive. Who knows our community better than our students?
So making a positive impression on a tourguide can influence others.So, if a front desk receptionist was great, tell him or her. If a tourguide made you feel special and welcome, return the favor. Write them a note, put some thought into it, and show appreciation. Appreciation is powerful!
Good luck with your college searches and applications.