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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Working for Brandeis admissions fun, increases social skills

Published: October 1, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Have you ever wondered why students work for the admissions department?

Lets start off with a word from the very people who might have shaped our decision to come to Brandeis-the admissions tour guides. Eric Seiden, 08, has worked with Admissions since his sophomore year, when he started out as a tour guide. Seiden now oversees the tour guide program. He is responsible for making it all work, performing tasks such as making schedules, coordinating tours, and interviewing and training prospective tour guides.

Seiden clarified that people who work at admissions dont really view it as a job. When he started out, Seiden explained, being a tour guide wasnt a paid position, rather a service for which guides received fifty dollars WhoCash for every five tours they led, something that Seiden called an added bonus.

Giving tours is something Seiden decided to do simply because he enjoyed his time at Brandeis and wanted to share positive experiences with prospective students and their families. It is a position that Seiden would recommend to other Brandeis students who, like him, want to share their love for Brandeis with incoming students.

However, Seiden cautioned that working as a tour guide is not best for students seeking jobs for monetary reasons due to the fact that guides on average only lead one tour a week, and receive $10.50 an hour. In spite of that fact, Seiden has really enjoyed the time {hes} spent working for admissions.
Much can be learned from constantly being in contact with prospective students and their families and the experience has taught Seiden organizational skills and has helped him to hone interpersonal skills that will assist him in his life outside of Brandeis.

Working with these people also holds the potential for some pretty interesting interactions from time to time, as Seiden explained. He alluded to meeting with groups of interesting parents who have the tendency to ask some pretty nonconventional questions, making the experience kind of amusing.

Seiden believes Admissions has a great group of student employees and stated that whats great about the program at Admissions is that the group of student employees do the job because they really enjoy their time at Brandeis and its something they love to do.

Nikki Salzman, 08, also works for admissions and started out as a volunteer her freshman year before she was able to give tours.

Explaining her reasons for choosing Admissions over other departments, Salzman referenced the importance of the college tour for her when she was looking at schools. Having visited near twenty schools, Salzman explained that the tour was really important for me.

Salzmans explanation of Admissions mirrored Seidens, stating that its not a job that you would do to make money. Furthermore, she said how she chose to give tours because it was something she wanted to do which interested her, and getting paid is just a nice little perk. Interacting with students has taught Salzman how to talk to people since she must speak with parents all the time and sell the school. Salzman explained how these interpersonal skills have helped her since she aspires to go into television, and selling a station or a product is a skill essential to this business.

This year, Salzman was involved in orientation and experienced one of the many rewarding aspects of working for Admissions-recognition. She explained how rewarding it is when people recognize you as having been their tour guide and tell you they liked you.

Leading tours somewhat forces guides to master the art of walking backwards while talking and managing a group of people, a task which doesnt always come easily. Salzman recalled the difficulties that come with this skill, referencing a time when she fell into a plant that was behind her. A somewhat embarrassing anecdote, Salzman now laughs it off, and clearly enjoys what she does. And, in spite of any difficulties that may come with giving tours, she said that it is gratifying to hear when people tell you you did a nice job.