Eddie Nesmith ‘20
Concentration: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Employer: Harvard Admissions and Financial Aid Office
Eddie knew he was meant for this job before he even had any experience with it - his bubbly and open personality was just that cut out for what the job’s responsibilities called for. “I never had a college tour experience as a high school student, but it’s just one of those things I knew I wanted - that wherever I ended up going to school, it was something that I would want to do.” And once hired as a tour guide for the Harvard Admissions Office, Eddie discovered that the role was everything he had hoped for and more.
The Harvard Admissions and Financial Aid Office hires undergraduate students to give campus tours and information sessions for prospective students who come to visit Harvard. Additionally, the undergraduates also work as greeters for other Admissions Office events, welcoming and directing students and their parents. The Admissions tour guides provide prospective students with the opportunity to hear personal stories about Harvard from real students and to ask any questions that they might have about life on campus.
Reflecting on his time at Harvard, Eddie shares how it has been an incredible experience - one that he’s eager to share as tour guide with all the prospective students. “I’m really enthusiastic about my Harvard experience, and I find that this is a really good opportunity to share that experience. I talk about my friends and how much I’ve learned from them, how Dunster House is the best, about academics and my favorite professor Rob Lue and how he’s so corny. I love sharing how positive my Harvard experience has been.”
But more than that, Eddie believes it’s important to communicate an accurate representation of Harvard students and student life that dispels any assumptions about this school that prospective students may have. “I’m really excited about that process of sharing with prospective students, and dispelling preconceptions of Harvard students, and I’m just like ‘No, no, no. Everyone’s different.’ I would not classify every Harvard student under one stereotype. Everyone’s individual, everyone’s super friendly. We do do work here, but we have hobbies and interests and passions that are not necessarily academic, like yes, I want to Boston and get Panera and Ben & Jerry’s, so yes, we’re normal people as well, so I just like to convey that sentiment.”
Along the way, Eddie not only found his job to be very enjoyable but also to be quite valuable as an opportunity to develop personal skills, such as public speaking. He shares just how far he has come in honing his public speaking skills: “I’ll never forget - in ninth or tenth grade, I blanked during the middle of the presentation, and I had no idea what I was even presenting on. My teacher asked if I needed a minute and I said yes. I eventually got it together, but I still felt really nervous with butterflies in my stomach. Even on my first tour, I thought, “All these people are looking at me.” But after working as a tour guide for a while, it comes to you, and now I feel a lot more comfortable speaking in front of people. It has been a big perk of this job, just getting over that. For example, today, I was presenting on a stage in front of 200 or 300 people in front of Agassiz and I thought to myself, ‘Oh this is okay, I’m okay, I’m alive!’”
As Eddie sums up, he recommends that everyone should work as a tour guide for the Admissions Office, overbrimming with enthusiasm for the job. “I like my job a lot, and I actually enjoy it. I like to interact with people, I love talking to people, so like this was a perfect fit for me. I truly believe that you can make anything out of your experience at Harvard, and I get to share that. I feel like it has been a really positive experience for me, like in that respect, I enjoy talking to people about Harvard, but additionally, I feel like I’ve cultivated my own public speaking style, where I can be more comfortable presenting in general - I feel like it’s given me a life skill that I needed to ascertain.”