Low on cash? Determined to stay in San Luis during breaks, but not the behind the desk type? Leading tours through the grounds of one of California’s state monuments may be just what you’re looking for.
California State Parks is hiring Hearst Castle tour guides. Instead of heading home to mom and dad, you could be taking visitors on a tour through Casa Del Sol, Neptune and Roman pools, the castle library, Casa Grande and more.
“One thing people would like to do is stay in the area over the summer. This is one of the times this particular job can help,” said Hearst Castle director of public relations Dan Eller. Eller has worked part- time at Cal Poly as a lecturer for the College of Liberal Arts.
The job applies to Cal Poly students in a number of ways. “It is excellent exercise and there is a uniform, so you don’t have to worry about buying an extensive wardrobe, which can get expensive,” Eller said. Tour guides would work during the times of the year people travel the most because a majority of the visitors to the castle are tourists.
“Weekends, holidays, they’re when people travel. This can work out around the student’s schedule,” he said.
The positions available are the guide trainee and the guide I, known as the permanent-intermittent (P.I.) position. To qualify for the P.I. position you must have at least six months of prior public speaking experience. Eller said the experience doesn’t necessarily have to come from a paid job. It can be from volunteering for the Red Cross and having to speak, being a member of ASI or different things on campus that would require you to face and speak to a large variety of people.
If you haven’t had any prior experience you are required to start at the guide trainee level. Trainees work one season to gain the needed experience and then take a civil service exam to try and move on to the P.I. position.
“There are so many interests and aspects about this monument that it can work out for any student,” Eller said. The experience gained and the improvement of public speaking skills are a few of the highlights, he said.
Working for a state agency entitles the employee to certain health benefits if they qualify. “These are benefits above and beyond hourly pay,” Eller said.
Those interested are encouraged to attend Farmers’ Market on Oct. 12, Oct. 26, and Nov. 9, to visit the information booths.
On Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, a one-hour informational workshop will be held at Hearst Castle. To make an appointment to attend the workshop, call (805) 927-2049 Dec. 3 to Dec. 6 between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m, according to the press release.
“Our reputation with Cal Poly students is really strong,” Eller said. “Years ago there was a class on campus that taught you how to be a guide. Now we do all the training at Hearst Castle.”
Eller said people who are interested right now can call the Guide Supervisors Office at (805) 927-2085 for answers to basic questions, but highly encourages people to visit their information booth at Farmers’ Markets.