Tour Guide Interview: Sam Burton


Sam Burton

Leeds Ilkley, England

Graduating year: 2020

Major: Business Administration

Disclaimer: Interview was conducted partially in a foreign language, translations will be provided as bracketed inserts. All other notes will be in the standard, patented italics format.


Hi Fedja.

What’s your name?

My name is Sam Buhton [Burton]. Sam pulled away and giggled devilishly. Sam Buhton [Burton]. Sam picked up his mug of tea, but then put it down again, likely in order to establish cultural relevancy.

Where are you from?


Where in England?

Erm, well my nametag says Leeds, but that’s false because I’m from a small town, maybe 30 minutes drive from Leeds, called Ilkley.

How do you feel about being from Ilkley?

From Ilkley? It’s a really small town, and when I grew up I knew everyone around. So coming oll [all] the way from theh [there] to here was a big change. Especially being in the city.

Now you’re in Los Angeles.

I am indeed. Sam grinned again like a cheeky bugger. Could he really be this happy to live in the land of treasonous rebels?

How’d that happen?

I’ve been on family holiday heuh [here] quite a few times since I was younger, and around age 15 I started explohing [exploring] American colleges. It made sense to me to look at Califohnia [California] schools and L.A. schools in pahticuluh [particular] because I was so familiar with it. And then I touhed [toured] USC the year befoh [before] I applied, so maybe three years ago now, and then it oll [all] kind of fell into place. It’s actually kind of foony [funny], because I didn’t know I was coming to USC until about three hours before the deadline. Those three hours really changed my life, I like to think.

Who are you? What do you study, what do you like to do?

I’m currently a Business Administration student. On campus, I’m involved with the Mahshall [Marshall] Business Student Govehnment [Government], with whom I got involved my first semester. It was a great choice because it’s one of the many communities on campus. I got involved with the Admission Centeh [Center] my first semester as well, and I like to think that at the moment, those are the two ohganizations [organizations] I’m heavily involved with. This coming year, I will be an R.A. which I’m really excited foh [for].

That is what you do, but who are you?

Who am I? Oh god. No Sam, I’m pretty sure you aren’t Him. Who am I? Sam giggled. Was it the shroud of apparent anonymity which pleased him? I’m still finding out who I am, Fedja. Never before has my name felt like such a jab. I think at the moment, I’m someone who still has a lot to lehn [learn]. I’m interested in lehning [learning] about a completely different cultuh [culture], having transitioned from British to American cultuh [culture]. I know the differences aren’t as evident, but it’s the details which are really making me lehn [learn] about new people and ways of life.

You work in the Admission Center, as you mentioned.

Mm hmm.

How’d that happen?

When I touhed [toured] USC, my touh [tour] guide is who sold it. I had an image of what an American univehsity [university] would be like, and USC fulfilled it, but it was the touh [tour] guide who made that image a reality. Because of that, I always wanted to be a touh [tour] guide, but it seemed like an exclusive ohranization [organization], and certainly not a paid one. I applied three houhs [hours] before the deadline because I didn’t think I’d get in. Being a freshman, inehnational [international], I didn’t think I stood a chance. Now I realize that the thought was ridiculous, because the divehsity [diversity] in the office is incredible. I got accepted afteh [after] the interviews, the group one I had with you, aww, and it suddenly happened. I’m here, as a touh [tour] guide, with the chance to show off the school, which is something I really love and am passionate about.

Tell me more about how you like being a Tour Guide.

It’s gone above and beyond my expectations. Obviously it is an on-campus job, and I think that’s impohtant [important] to realize because I need the extra income. But for me, it’s been more of a community, and I’d classify my family on campus as the family I have at the Admission Centeh [Center]. As for my experience, it has allowed me to leahn [learn] more about the place I study. In high school, I was involved in leadehship [leadership] positions, one of which was showing people the school I attended. And I’ve continued this passion in college, and I think it’s important to learn about where you’re studying and about people outside of your community.

Tell me a story about something that happened in the Admission Center.

At the end of your training session, you have to give a ‘G’ touh [tour] if you’re a touh [tour] guide and an ‘A’ touh [tour] if you’re an Admission Ambassadoh [Ambassador]. I had the privilege of going fihst [first] thanks to the trainehs [trainers], especially Cristina, since she was organizing the ‘G’ touhs [tours]. I remember when I gave my G-Touh [G-Tour] I gave it with Kai, my colleague, and when she started to speak, I remembeh [remember] realizing that the students in the Admission Centeh [Center] are so incredibly interesting and have had such varied experiences. That experience, seeing how amazing and inspiring the other people are in the Admission Centeh [Center] – it just stood out to me. Since that G-Touh [G-Tour], I’ve wanted to be someone with that kind of experience, someone people would look up to. It was just such an eye-opening moment to see the incredible people I work with at the office.