Zoie Larkins is a Junior majoring in English with concentrations in literature and cultural studies. They are an off-campus student from Newfane, Vermont and have a work study job at GMU as well as an off-campus job as a teacher.
Why should you ask questions on a tour? There are a couple answers to this question but one of the most important ones being so your Ambassador can tailor the experience to the group’s interest. We want to make sure that the experience at George Mason University not only answers all of your questions but shows the true value of the university and everything that it has to offer.
For example, if a student is especially interested in geology and they expressed that interest, your Ambassador would walk to Exploratory Hall so you can see a variety of rare rocks and a variety of other geology projects. If a student is interested in a theater program, we might direct them to our theater buildings, such as the deLaski Performing Arts Building, or even give a brief spiel after the tour is over.
This can extend beyond academia; Ambassadors are involved in a variety of programs. For me, I am involved in our Communications department in the Student Video Center via the Federal Work-Study Program. I am also a Patriot Leader – a job that helps admitted students during Orientation to ease their transition to college. Each Ambassador has their own set of interests and involvement and we are more than happy to speak about our personal experience as it relates to you. That leads us into one of the second reasons you should ask questions during a tour; Ambassadors honestly enjoy answering them. I invite every one of my tour groups to ask me questions throughout so that I can make sure that I am keeping their interest but also talking about topics that are relevant to them. It also keeps things fun and interesting, since human interaction is a hot commodity these days.
Now that I (hopefully) have you wanting to ask questions on tour, I’ll give you a few ideas to get started. These are questions that either I have been asked or would ask if I was on a tour. They’re all posed to be open ended and during a tour, please ask closed ended or simple answer questions too; every question is worth asking.
1. How are you involved at Mason?
Every Ambassador has different ways that they are involved! You could even extend this question beyond the scope of Mason and ask how they are involved in the surrounding area as well. I work as a first grade teacher and my path at Mason is what led me to my current employment; asking about these experiences also gives you an idea of the opportunities in the community surrounding the university.
2. Do you have any tips for _________ ?
You can fill in the blank with anything; studying, finding COVID-safe activities on or around campus, living with a roommate, virtual learning, etc. Mason Ambassadors are actively living the college life and as I mentioned before, are often willing to share their experiences. This is a simple question that can help ease anxiety about a new experience and set you up for success.
3. Where is the best food?
This might come off as a silly question but it is almost guaranteed to get your Ambassador chatting about their favorite places on campus, fond memories of 3am trips to the dining halls, or one of our many retail dining places on campus. I find that you can learn a lot about a university by the experiences that their students have there. This question helps you get a good sense of what the vibe is on campus and how you might fit in.
Ultimately, Ambassadors want to showcase Mason because we love it here. Any question you come up with is worth asking and we will happily answer it. We look forward to meeting you and answering whatever questions you come up with!