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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Hawks that fly backwards

Helping baby hawks find their nest

Written by Andrew Gallo ’17

Every student has passed through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, or else you wouldn’t be here. Maybe you just submitted an application, or maybe you took a tour, went to an Open House or Admitted Student’s weekend, or even signed up for Walk with a Hawk. Admissions counselors and tour guides consistently change and graduate, but the love we all share for the university has and always stay the same.
Year after year, you’ve probably seen me and my fellow Hawk Hosts pass you in Campion Student Center, the Post Commons, Hagan Arena and Mandeville Hall, or even crossing City Avenue. Sometimes we we’re with one family, and other times we have 50 high school students with us wondering what Saint Joseph’s is all about. We all wear black polos, khaki pants, and a smile. We get asked questions such as, “What’s your favorite part of St. Joe’s?”, “Where is the nearest Starbucks?”, and “Are you single?”
Our prospective students and families range from hasty moms—who have to be up in the front—to the dads who are only concerned about the food. We love to crack jokes like saying it’s our first time being in the library and that our famous black squirrels are more ‘vicious’ than the well-known brown ones. All of these questions are answered while we, the Hawk Hosts, walk backwards—by the way it’s not as hard as you think.
For the past three years, working in Admissions has been the best experience I’ve ever had. Giving a tour is the highlight of my day—and usually my week—because it reminds me of how much I love St. Joe’s.
While on tour I’ll easily pass 25 or so friends, and with these small conversations, the families get a sense of a bigger family and community atmosphere here on campus. Sometimes it’s a casual “Hello” and other times it’s “Happy birthday” shout out when it’s not really my birthday. Regardless of the intent, it keeps tours fun and energetic.
Sometimes we even have V.I.P. tours ranging from Lil Jon to Father Gillespie’s family. I could continue to talk about how amazing tours are, but it’s not always about giving a tour, but, instead, what comes from that tour.
Last spring, I met a high school senior named Aly and her parents. Her parents were crazy for St. Joe’s, especially her mom. She told me I had to convince her daughter that St. Joe’s was the best choice. So all four of us went out on a tour and Aly started to  fall in love with the school. She loved the residence halls, the campus feel, and the family atmosphere among the student body. I was sure I was going to convince her and make her deposit that day.
Upon returning to Admissions, Aly was still unsure about her decision. So,  I talked with her and assured her that I’ve given hundreds of tours of campus—and really, I could tell she was a Hawk. I told her this: “If you give St. Joe’s a try, you will never look back. I took a chance, and look where I am today.”
Aly now happily resides in LaFarge Residence Hall as a freshman.
The most rewarding part about being a Hawk Host isn’t just giving a tour, but influencing other people that St. Joe’s should be their home, too. There is nothing like seeing prospective students that you gave a tour to one, two, or even three years ago, who are now current St/ Joe’s students—what’s even better is when they tell you that you’re the reason they decided to become a Hawk.
Sure, a school can influence a student in many different ways, but the tour is ultimately the deciding factor. The tour guide makes or breaks that. Every time I tour our campus, I feel as if I am a high school senior once again. Now being a college senior, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
This is the reason I get up in the morning. This is the reason I love St. Joe’s.

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