Museum Guide - Part Time
- Expired: July 19, 2022. Applications are no longer accepted.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library encompasses an unrivaled museum of American decorative arts in its mansion and galleries and a magnificent 60-acre naturalistic garden—all set on 1,000 gorgeous acres.
Winterthur employs a wide array of positions in the areas of curatorial, horticulture, education, conservation, library, maintenance, marketing, development, technology, and administration.
At Winterthur, employment is more than just work. The Winterthur employee is offered a unique and rewarding experience that is rich in culture and natural beauty. Winterthur considers its employees and volunteers to be among its greatest assets and welcomes applications from candidates who will contribute their specific skills to its mission “to inspire, enlighten, and delight all of its visitors while preserving and enhancing [Winterthur]” and also uphold its core values of agility, excellence, innovation, integrity, inclusion, and transparency.
Reporting to the Manager of Tour Programs, Museum Guides use excellent customer service and presentation skills to lead visitors through pre-selected rooms within the Winterthur House. Museum Guides will be trained to provide the Introductory Tour, seasonal tours, and special topic tours. After appropriate training, there will be opportunities to design an individual tour.
Guides are expected to continually engage in training opportunities, including a monthly meeting, collection studies, and individual research. Learning opportunities provided will focus on connecting a diverse audience, incorporating themes from the Garden to provide a wholistic interpretation.
The Guide conducts tours by connecting with all visitors in a welcoming manner that is mindful of visitor safety and comfort as well as the safety and security of the collection.
- Provide excellent understanding of the museum collection for up to 11 visitors by providing age- and knowledge-level appropriate interpretations of the various rooms.
- Guide walking tours lasting up to 2 hours at a time and provide stationary interpretation during the self-paced tour lasting up to 6 hours.
- Provide interpretation that inspires and engages visitors through compelling stories with broad themes of history, global culture, societal ideas and the Winterthur Story and the museum collection.
- Will maintain authority to ensure appropriate tour conduct in order to ensure the safety of the collection and to ensure that tours are completed in a timely manner.
- Will safely direct visitors during an emergency evacuation.
- Participate in initial orientation and continual training in the form of monthly Guides Meetings, collection study, reading and preparing tour outlines, and trailing tours. Must attend mandatory monthly guides meetings in person.
- Will be evaluated two times in the first year of employment for opportunities to improve skills. Formal evaluations will take place every two years by the Supervisor or Interpreter for quality assurance. Must be open to feedback and suggestions for improvement.
- Indicate availability through the scheduling system When to Work by the first of each month. Must be able to work Saturdays and Sundays, occasional evenings, and some holidays, to include the three days following Thanksgiving or the three days after Christmas. Must be available to work weekdays, especially in peak months of April, May, November, and December.
- Perform additional guiding related duties as needed and requested by Supervisor potentially including school programs and garden & estate tours, based on skill set and interest.
- Must be willing to learn and guide new tours including those that incorporate themes from changing Exhibitions.
Benefits: Including, but not limited to, free general admission for you and your immediate family, 403(b) retirement savings plan, access to our unique collection, discounts in the museum store and cafe.
Minimum Experience: 5 years of experience in forward-facing customer service, preferably teaching or interpreting, with a high school diploma. 1 year of similar experience with a Bachelor’s degree.
Preferred Experience: 1+ years of museum/historic site interpretation, or teaching, with a Bachelor's degree
- Adept at modifying presentation to suit the widely varying ages, interests, and prior knowledge of visitors.
- Detail oriented; able to process training information received verbally or in written form and reconstruct this information in an engaging manner on tours.
- Flexible; open to new ideas, appreciative of and receptive to varying perspectives, and comfortable with ambiguity, accepting that often there is no single “right” answer or perspective.
- Strong interpersonal skills and verbal communication skills.
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
- Excellent customer service skills.
- Must be able to work during scheduled hours, staying until the end of scheduled shift, including weekends and occasional evenings.
- Must be available at least half of the weekend days each month.
- Must be available a minimum of 18 weekdays every month.
- Interpreting requires the ability to guide for up to 6 hours daily, either conducting walking tours adding up to 5 hours of touring daily or occupying a designated area for up to 6 hours and interacting with visitors in an approved fashion as they pass through.
- Ability to operate and ride in a crowded elevator up and down 7 floors.
- Ability to move about the office and out of office to various indoor and outdoor locations, including navigating all stories of a historic house.
- Ability to remain in a stationary position for extended periods.
- All guiding requires vigilance to maintain surveillance of objects and people at all times while on tour.
- Ability to talk and communicate sufficiently to exchange accurate information.
Work Schedule: Variable – in general 21-29 hours per week with weekday, weekend, occasional evening, early morning, and holiday work required. Hours are limited for approximate 6 weeks during our annual museum closure in January and February. September start date anticipated.
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