Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How To Be A Tour Guide At Marshall University


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Chiarra Valencia



Welcome to Marshall University, a vibrant and prestigious institution nestled in the heart of Huntington, West Virginia. As a tour guide at Marshall University, you have the incredible opportunity to showcase the campus and all the unique experiences it offers to prospective students, families, and visitors. Being a tour guide is an exciting and rewarding role that requires a blend of enthusiasm, knowledge, and exceptional communication skills.


As you guide visitors through the campus, you will play a crucial role in shaping their perception of Marshall University and influencing their decision to join the Marshall family. Your ability to capture their attention, share captivating stories, and answer their questions will play a significant role in their overall impression of the university.


So, what does it take to be an exceptional tour guide at Marshall University? In this guide, we will explore the qualifications, skills, and knowledge necessary to excel in this role. We will also delve into the importance of understanding the campus’s history, architecture, student life, and cultural significance. By the end of this guide, you will have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be a tour guide at Marshall University and how to make a lasting impression on your tour participants.


Whether you are a current student, an alumnus, or an enthusiast of higher education, becoming a tour guide at Marshall University is an opportunity to share your passion and contribute to the growth of the university community. So, let’s dive in and discover the key aspects of being a tour guide at Marshall University.


Qualifications and Requirements

Being a tour guide at Marshall University requires a set of qualifications and requirements to ensure that you can effectively represent the university and provide an exceptional experience for tour participants. Here are the key qualifications and requirements for the role:

  1. Current Marshall University Student: To be a tour guide at Marshall University, you must be a current student enrolled at the university. This requirement ensures that you have first-hand knowledge and experience of life at Marshall, allowing you to authentically share your experiences with tour participants.
  2. Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential for a tour guide. You should possess excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills to engage and connect with your audience. Clear articulation, friendliness, and enthusiasm are crucial in delivering an engaging and informative tour.
  3. Passion for Marshall University: As a tour guide, it is essential to have a genuine passion for Marshall University and its mission. This enthusiasm will shine through as you showcase the campus, programs, and opportunities available to prospective students.
  4. Reliability and Punctuality: Tour guides must be reliable and punctual, ensuring that tours start promptly and adhere to the scheduled duration. Visitors rely on your guidance, so it is crucial to be dependable and organized in your role.
  5. Positive Attitude: Maintaining a positive attitude is essential as a tour guide. You will encounter a diverse range of visitors, and it is crucial to approach every tour with positivity, respect, and kindness. A positive attitude can significantly enhance the tour experience for everyone involved.
  6. Knowledge of Marshall University: A solid understanding of Marshall University’s history, academic programs, campus facilities, and extracurricular activities is necessary to provide accurate and informative tours. Continuously staying informed about updates and changes within the university is crucial for maintaining up-to-date knowledge.
  7. Ability to Work in a Team: As a tour guide, you will often collaborate with other guides and staff members. Being able to work effectively in a team environment, collaborating, and providing support to fellow guides, contributes to a cohesive and successful tour program.

These qualifications and requirements ensure that tour guides at Marshall University are well-prepared, knowledgeable, and capable of delivering an exceptional tour experience. If you meet these criteria, you are ready to embark on an exciting journey as a tour guide at Marshall University.


Knowledge of Marshall University

As a tour guide at Marshall University, having a comprehensive knowledge of the institution is essential to provide an informative and engaging experience for tour participants. Here are some key areas of knowledge you should possess:

  1. History of Marshall University: Familiarize yourself with the rich history of Marshall University, including its founding, major milestones, and notable achievements. Understanding the university’s historical significance will enable you to convey its legacy and inspire tour participants.
  2. Academic Programs: Be well-informed about the various academic programs and departments offered at Marshall University. This includes undergraduate and graduate programs, specializations, and renowned faculty members. Highlight the distinctive features and strengths of different programs to showcase the educational opportunities available.
  3. Campus Facilities: Gain knowledge of the campus facilities, including academic buildings, libraries, research centers, athletic complexes, and student recreation areas. Familiarize yourself with the layout to guide participants seamlessly throughout the campus and highlight the resources available to students.
  4. Student Organizations and Extracurricular Activities: Marshall University is home to a diverse range of student organizations and extracurricular activities. Research and understand the various clubs, sports teams, honor societies, and other student-led initiatives. Emphasize the opportunities for personal and professional growth outside of the classroom.
  5. Research and Innovation: Marshall University is renowned for its contributions to research and innovation. Stay updated on the latest breakthroughs and advancements in areas such as healthcare, science, technology, and the arts. Highlight the university’s role in fostering a culture of innovation and research excellence.
  6. Marshall University Athletics: Marshall University’s athletic programs have a rich history and passionate fan base. Familiarize yourself with the university’s sports teams, their achievements, and the vibrant atmosphere surrounding game days. Showcase the opportunities for involvement in athletics, whether as a player or a dedicated fan.
  7. Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Marshall University values diversity and inclusion. Understand the initiatives and support available to ensure an inclusive and welcoming campus environment for students of all backgrounds. Highlight the university’s commitment to fostering a diverse community.

By having a solid understanding of these aspects of Marshall University, you can paint a vivid picture for tour participants, helping them envision themselves as part of the vibrant campus community. Your knowledge will instill confidence in their decision and provide them with valuable insight into what makes Marshall University such a unique and rewarding institution.


Familiarity with Campus Buildings and Landmarks

As a tour guide at Marshall University, it is essential to be intimately familiar with the campus buildings and landmarks to provide an engaging and informative tour experience. Here are some key buildings and landmarks you should be knowledgeable about:

  1. Old Main: Start your tour by introducing tour participants to the iconic Old Main, the oldest building on campus. Share the history of this historic structure and highlight its significance as the heart of the university.
  2. Memorial Fountain: The Memorial Fountain serves as a tribute to the 75 lives lost in the Marshall University plane crash. Explain the importance of the fountain as a symbol of remembrance and resilience within the Marshall community.
  3. Drinko Library and Information Center: The Drinko Library and Information Center is a state-of-the-art facility that houses extensive resources and serves as a hub for research and study. Highlight its modern design, technology-equipped spaces, and specialized collections.
  4. Twin Towers: The Twin Towers residence halls are iconic landmarks on campus, serving as the home to many Marshall University students. Discuss the amenities offered, the sense of community within the halls, and the vibrant residential life experience.
  5. Joan C. Edwards Stadium: The Joan C. Edwards Stadium is where Thundering Herd football games take place. Emphasize the electric atmosphere on game days and the university’s strong athletic tradition.
  6. Rec Center: The Recreation Center is a hub for health and wellness activities. Discuss the various fitness facilities, group exercise classes, and recreational programs available to students.
  7. Art and Theater Facilities: Marshall University is known for its vibrant arts and theater programs. Highlight the school’s art galleries, performing arts centers, and the opportunities for students to showcase their talents.
  8. Science and Engineering Buildings: Provide insights into the modern science and engineering facilities at Marshall University. Explain how the university supports hands-on research and innovation in these fields.
  9. Student Center: The Student Center is the heart of campus activity, hosting dining options, study spaces, and student organizations. Discuss the center’s role in fostering a sense of community and the resources available to support student life.
  10. Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe: Introduce tour participants to the Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe, a popular dining and gathering spot that celebrates the achievements of Marshall’s athletic program.

By demonstrating your familiarity with these buildings and landmarks, you will showcase your deep knowledge of the campus and enhance the tour experience. Engage tour participants by sharing interesting tidbits about each location and connecting them to the overall campus culture and student experience.


Historical and Cultural Significance of Marshall University

Marshall University holds immense historical and cultural significance that significantly shapes its identity and creates a unique atmosphere on campus. As a tour guide, it is important to convey the university’s rich history and cultural heritage to tour participants. Here are some key points to highlight:


1. The Marshall Plane Crash: The tragic Marshall plane crash in 1970, which claimed the lives of 75 people, including members of the football team, coaches, and staff, profoundly impacted the university and its community. Discuss the resilience and strength shown by the Marshall community in the face of adversity, as well as the subsequent rebuilding and remembrance efforts.


2. We Are… Marshall: The phrase “We Are… Marshall” has become a rallying cry for the university and its community. Explain the significance of this phrase and how it represents unity, pride, and the spirit of the Thundering Herd. Share stories of how the Marshall community comes together to support one another.


3. Cultural Diversity: Marshall University embraces diversity and celebrates a multicultural student body. Showcase the university’s commitment to inclusivity and the various initiatives and resources available to support a diverse community. Explain how students from different backgrounds come together to create a vibrant and inclusive campus atmosphere.


4. Arts and Culture: Marshall University has a thriving arts and cultural scene. Highlight the university’s art galleries, music performances, theatrical productions, and other cultural events that enrich the campus and the community. Discuss how these opportunities allow students to express their creativity and explore their passion for the arts.


5. The John Deaver Drinko Academy: The John Deaver Drinko Academy, named after a prominent Marshall University alumnus, promotes academic excellence, leadership, and community engagement. Discuss the impact of the academy on the campus community and how it creates opportunities for personal and professional development.


6. Prominent Alumni: Marshall University boasts a range of notable alumni who have achieved success in various fields. Share stories of accomplished Marshall alumni who have made significant contributions to their respective professions and positively impacted the world. Illustrate how the university’s education and resources have helped shape successful careers.


By highlighting the historical and cultural significance of Marshall University, you will help tour participants gain a deeper appreciation for the university’s heritage and the unique experiences it offers. It is important to convey the sense of community, resilience, and pride that define Marshall University and make it a special place to be a part of.


Understanding Marshall University’s Student Life

One of the most important aspects of being a tour guide at Marshall University is having a deep understanding of the student life experience. As a tour guide, you will be responsible for showcasing the vibrant, diverse, and engaging student life that makes Marshall University a welcoming and inclusive community. Here are some key points to highlight:


1. Student Organizations and Clubs: Marshall University offers a wide range of student organizations and clubs to cater to students’ diverse interests. Discuss the various clubs, such as academic, professional, cultural, and recreational organizations, highlighting the opportunities for students to connect with like-minded individuals and engage in extracurricular activities.


2. Campus Events and Traditions: Marshall University has a calendar full of exciting campus events and traditions. These events include Homecoming, Thunder in the Valley, and various cultural festivals. Emphasize the significance of these events in fostering a sense of community, school spirit, and pride among students.


3. Housing and Residential Life: Provide insights into the different housing options available to students, including residence halls and on-campus apartments. Discuss the amenities, sense of community, and support services offered within the university’s housing system. Highlight the opportunities for personal growth, friendships, and memorable experiences that come with living on campus.


4. Campus Dining: Marshall University offers a variety of dining options to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. Highlight the diverse dining venues available on campus, including cafes, restaurants, and food courts. Discuss the convenience, quality, and social aspects of the dining experience at Marshall.


5. Recreation and Wellness: Highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle at Marshall University. Discuss the fitness center, group exercise classes, recreational facilities, and wellness programs available to students. Emphasize the university’s dedication to promoting physical and mental well-being.


6. Community Engagement: Marshall University encourages students to engage with the local community through volunteer opportunities, service-learning projects, and partnerships with local organizations. Discuss how students can make a positive impact on the community while gaining valuable experiences and skills outside of the classroom.


By providing a comprehensive understanding of student life at Marshall University, you will give tour participants a glimpse into the vibrant and fulfilling experiences that await them. Showcase the sense of community, personal growth, and opportunities for involvement that make Marshall University a special place to study and grow.


Tour Guide Communication Skills

Effective communication is a vital skill for a tour guide at Marshall University. As a tour guide, you will be responsible for engaging with tour participants, conveying information, and creating a memorable experience. Here are some key communication skills that will help you excel in your role:


1. Clear and Articulate Speaking: It is crucial to speak clearly and articulate your words to ensure that tour participants can understand and follow your narrative. Pay attention to your pronunciation, pace, and volume to ensure that all participants can hear and comprehend your explanations and stories.


2. Enthusiasm and Passion: Infuse your tour with enthusiasm and passion for Marshall University. Show genuine excitement and pride as you discuss the campus, programs, and opportunities available. Your positive energy will captivate tour participants and make the experience more engaging.


3. Eye Contact and Body Language: Maintain eye contact with tour participants to establish a connection and keep their attention. Use non-verbal cues, such as gestures and facial expressions, to enhance your storytelling and convey enthusiasm. Your body language should be confident, approachable, and engaging.


4. Adaptability and Flexibility: Adapt your communication style to meet the needs of diverse tour participants. Adjust your language, tone, and pace to ensure that everyone can understand and feel included. Be open to answering questions and addressing individual interests or concerns during the tour.


5. Storytelling: Develop your storytelling skills to make the tour experience more captivating and memorable. Share interesting facts, personal anecdotes, and historical narratives that bring the campus and its landmarks to life. Use storytelling to create a connection between tour participants and the university.


6. Active Listening: Listen attentively to tour participants’ questions, comments, and feedback. Demonstrate that you are fully engaged in the conversation by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and providing thoughtful responses. Active listening shows your dedication to providing a personalized and meaningful experience for each individual.


7. Multilingual Skills: If you possess multilingual skills, utilize them to accommodate international visitors or participants who may not be fluent in English. Being able to provide tours in multiple languages can enhance the inclusivity and accessibility of the experience.


8. Positive Attitude and Professionalism: Maintain a positive and professional demeanor throughout the tour. Be patient, courteous, and respectful to all participants. Attend to their needs, address any concerns promptly, and strive to make the tour experience exceptional for every individual.


By honing these communication skills, you will be able to create an engaging and memorable tour experience for participants at Marshall University. Effective communication will not only convey information but also foster a connection and leave a lasting impression on tour participants.


Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Public speaking and presentation skills are crucial for a tour guide at Marshall University to effectively convey information, engage participants, and create a memorable experience. Here are key skills to develop in this area:


1. Confidence: Confidence is essential in public speaking. Develop strong self-assurance and project it through your body language, tone of voice, and overall demeanor. Believe in the information you are presenting and exude confidence to capture the attention of tour participants.


2. Organization: Organize your thoughts and the flow of information in a logical manner. Structure your tour to ensure a smooth progression from one point to the next, creating a cohesive and easy-to-follow narrative. Utilize clear transitions between topics to maintain participants’ engagement.


3. Visual Aids: Utilize visual aids, such as maps, diagrams, or digital presentations, to enhance your tours. Visual aids can help participants visualize the campus layout, understand complex information, and make the tour experience more engaging and interactive.


4. Engaging Delivery: Aim for a dynamic and engaging delivery style that captures and holds participants’ attention. Incorporate gestures, changes in tone, and varied vocal inflections to emphasize key points and add excitement to your presentation. Maintain an energetic and lively pace to keep participants engaged throughout the tour.


5. Storytelling: Use the power of storytelling to make your tour more engaging and memorable. Share interesting anecdotes, historical facts, and personal experiences to bring the campus to life. Weave narrative elements into your tours to form a connection between participants and the university.


6. Audience Engagement: Foster audience engagement by encouraging participation, asking questions, and inviting participants to share their experiences or thoughts. Incorporate interactive elements, such as quizzes or group activities, to involve participants actively in the tour experience.


7. Adaptability: Remain adaptable to the needs and dynamics of each tour group. Tailor your speaking style and content to suit the interests, background, and questions of the participants. Flexibility in your approach will create a more personalized and engaging experience.


8. Practice and Feedback: Continuously practice your public speaking and presentation skills. Rehearse your tours to ensure a smooth delivery and familiarity with the content. Seek feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or even tour participants to identify areas for improvement and refine your skills.


By honing your public speaking and presentation skills, you will be able to deliver engaging, informative, and memorable tours at Marshall University. Effective public speaking will not only convey information but also create a positive and lasting impression on tour participants.


Handling Questions and Providing Information

As a tour guide at Marshall University, you will inevitably encounter questions from tour participants. Your ability to handle these questions effectively and provide accurate and helpful information is essential in ensuring a successful tour experience. Here are some key strategies for handling questions and providing information:


1. Listen actively: When a participant asks a question, listen attentively and be fully present. Give them your undivided attention, maintaining eye contact and nodding to show that you are actively engaged in their query.


2. Repeat or rephrase the question: To ensure clarity and confirm understanding, repeat or rephrase the question before providing an answer. This demonstrates active listening and ensures that you address the participant’s specific concern.


3. Stay calm and composed: In the face of difficult or unexpected questions, it is important to remain calm and composed. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and respond in a professional and composed manner. If you do not know the answer, be honest and offer to find the information later.


4. Be knowledgeable and prepared: As a tour guide, it is important to be well-informed about various aspects of Marshall University. Continuously update your knowledge about academic programs, campus facilities, student organizations, and events. This will enable you to provide accurate and up-to-date information to participants.


5. Provide concise and relevant information: When answering questions, be concise and focus on providing relevant information. Avoid unnecessary details or digressions that may confuse or overwhelm participants. Tailor your response to the specific interests and needs of the individual or group.


6. Utilize visual aids or props: Visual aids or props can be useful tools for providing information and clarifying complex concepts. For instance, you can use campus maps, brochures, or models to help participants visualize the layout of the university or understand specific locations.


7. Offer additional resources: If a question requires a more in-depth answer or if participants express interest in learning more, provide them with additional resources such as websites, brochures, or contact information. This allows participants to explore the information further on their own time.


8. Maintain a positive and friendly demeanor: Show patience, kindness, and enthusiasm when answering questions. Even if a question is repetitive or challenging, maintain a positive attitude and provide helpful information without judgment. This contributes to a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere during the tour.


By mastering the art of handling questions and providing information, you will instill confidence in tour participants, enhance their understanding of Marshall University, and create a memorable and informative tour experience.


Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Ensuring the safety and well-being of tour participants is of utmost importance as a tour guide at Marshall University. It is essential to be knowledgeable about safety protocols and emergency procedures to provide a secure and comfortable tour experience. Here are key considerations related to safety and emergency preparedness:


1. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures: Take the time to familiarize yourself with the university’s emergency protocols. Understand evacuation routes, designated shelter areas, and emergency communication systems. This knowledge will enable you to guide tour participants to safety in the event of an emergency.


2. Communicate safety guidelines: At the beginning of the tour, communicate important safety guidelines to participants. These may include reminders to stay with the group, adhere to campus rules, and follow any specific safety instructions. Encourage participants to notify you immediately of any safety concerns they may have.


3. Stay informed about campus safety resources: Stay updated on the various safety resources available on campus, such as campus police, blue-light emergency phones, and the campus escort service. Inform participants about these resources and how they can access them if necessary.


4. Be prepared for medical emergencies: Be knowledgeable about the location of campus health services and first-aid stations. Stay updated on basic first-aid procedures and how to access medical assistance on campus. In the event of a medical emergency, remain calm and promptly contact campus authorities for assistance.


5. Stay informed about external safety concerns: Stay informed about any potential safety concerns or ongoing events in the surrounding community that may impact the tours. Monitor news updates, weather conditions, and any special advisories that could affect the safety of tour participants. Adjust the tour route or schedule as necessary to ensure everyone’s well-being.


6. Implement safety-oriented practices: During the tour, maintain supervision of participants and provide clear instructions regarding any potential hazards or safety concerns. Encourage participants to use designated walkways, avoid prohibited areas, and follow any safety protocols specific to certain locations on campus.


7. Stay connected with tour participants: Maintain open lines of communication with tour participants throughout the tour. Foster an environment where participants feel comfortable expressing any safety concerns they may have. Establish a system, such as a designated meeting point, to ensure quick communication and accountability in case of an emergency.


8. Lead by example: Demonstrate safe behavior and adherence to campus rules during the tour. Your actions and attitude will influence the behavior of tour participants. Emphasize the importance of personal safety and the wellbeing of others.


By prioritizing safety and being prepared for emergencies, you create an environment of trust and ensure the well-being of tour participants at Marshall University. By implementing these measures, you can provide a safe and secure tour experience that allows participants to fully appreciate the campus while feeling confident in their surroundings.


Customer Service and Interpersonal Skills

As a tour guide at Marshall University, your role goes beyond providing information and showcasing the campus. It is essential to possess excellent customer service and interpersonal skills to create a positive and welcoming environment for tour participants. Here are key skills to develop in this area:


1. Friendliness and Approachability: Create a warm and friendly atmosphere from the moment participants join the tour. Greet them with a smile, use their names when possible, and demonstrate genuine interest in their experience. Approachability allows participants to feel comfortable asking questions and engaging in conversation.


2. Active Listening: Practice active listening skills by paying full attention to tour participants. Take the time to understand their needs, concerns, and interests. Show empathy and respond thoughtfully to create a personalized tour experience.


3. Adaptability: Adapt your communication style and tour content to meet the unique interests and backgrounds of each group or individual. Be mindful of cultural differences and find common ground to connect with participants. Flexibility in your approach creates a more inclusive and satisfying tour experience.


4. Empathy and Patience: Demonstrate empathy and patience when addressing questions, concerns, or challenges raised by tour participants. Be understanding and supportive, especially when participants have different levels of familiarity with the university. Your ability to empathize and remain patient contributes to a positive customer service experience.


5. Conflict Resolution: Occasionally, you may encounter challenging situations or conflicts during a tour. Develop skills to de-escalate conflicts by remaining calm, actively listening to concerns, and finding mutually agreeable solutions. Address any conflicts promptly and professionally to maintain a positive tour environment.


6. Professionalism and Professional Appearance: Maintain a professional demeanor, appearance, and conduct during tours. Dress appropriately and be mindful of your body language. Professionalism instills trust and credibility, enhancing the overall customer service experience.


7. Organizational and Time Management Skills: Be organized and punctual to ensure that tours start and end on time. Demonstrate excellent time management skills to balance the tour itinerary while also accommodating questions and engaging with participants. This creates a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.


8. Personalized Engagement: Create personal connections with tour participants by remembering and using their names, sharing relevant stories, and engaging in meaningful conversations. Tailor your approach to highlight aspects of Marshall University that align with their individual interests and goals.


9. Gratitude and Follow-up: Express gratitude and appreciation to tour participants for choosing Marshall University and taking the time to join your tour. Follow up with personalized emails or thank-you notes to further demonstrate your commitment to excellent customer service.


By developing strong customer service and interpersonal skills, you will create a positive tour experience for participants and contribute to their overall perception of Marshall University. Your ability to connect with individuals and make them feel valued enhances their experience and encourages them to consider joining the Marshall community.



Congratulations! You have now gained a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be a tour guide at Marshall University. This role requires a combination of qualifications, knowledge, and skills to deliver an exceptional tour experience for visitors and prospective students. By embodying the qualities discussed in this guide, you will be well equipped to engage, inform, and leave a lasting impression on tour participants.


Remember, as a tour guide, you are not just providing information about Marshall University; you are telling a story and showcasing the vibrant campus culture, rich history, and diverse opportunities available. Your passion, enthusiasm, and ability to connect with participants are what make the tour experience truly unforgettable.


From being knowledgeable about campus buildings and landmarks to understanding the historical and cultural significance of Marshall University, you will effectively convey the essence of the university’s identity. Furthermore, by utilizing your communication and public-speaking skills, you will captivate the attention of tour participants and make the information come alive.


As a tour guide, you are also responsible for ensuring the safety, comfort, and satisfaction of tour participants. By staying prepared for emergencies, providing accurate information, and delivering exceptional customer service, you create an environment that reflects the values and commitment of Marshall University.


Ultimately, being a tour guide at Marshall University is an incredible opportunity to share your passion, make a positive impact, and help prospective students envision themselves as part of the Marshall community. By embodying the qualities discussed in this guide and continuously seeking growth and improvement, you will play a vital role in shaping the future of Marshall University.


So, go forth and embark on this exciting journey as a tour guide at Marshall University. Relish every moment, embrace the challenges, and inspire visitors to choose Marshall as their academic home. The experiences and connections you create will leave a lasting impact on tour participants and contribute to the continued success of Marshall as a renowned institution.