Museum Studies Mothership
Application: Visitor and Membership Representative at the Royal Ontario Museum.
There is an application drop-box in the staff entrance at the back of the building. I know about this entrance because I would use that entrance when treated to fields trips in some of my museum studies classes. I've been in offices within the ROM, seen many of the collections storage areas and met with staff members including curators and collections managers as well as the people working in the Institute of Contemporary Culture- the contemporary art component within the larger history-based institution. With these special opportunities to meet with museum professionals, there seemed to be an accompanied expectation that we would be filling the seats of some of these individuals we were meeting in the future, or at least be able to directly assist them in the nearer future.
That's why it's interesting for me to be applying for a front-of-house job. In the past few weeks I have also applied to other jobs at the ROM--Exhibition Planner, Programmes Coordinator-- with no call backs. The ROM is a large institution with a world class reputation. With so many applications it only makes sense that they can only afford to hire the most skilled and experienced workers.
In fact, Museum Studies students, within my graduating year have had both paid and unpaid jobs in the very institution within marketing/development and the ICC. They entered through internships and mentorships and continued to make work for themselves and find the holes that needed filling. Even with a larger, more corporate-modelled institution, "it's who you know" or "who you schmooze" that will help land the job.
Schmoozing (or the less squeemish term for some: Networking) is not to be taken lightly. It must be cultivated and nurtured to achieve success in the cultural industry...along with one's education and experience of course.
Regardless, the front-of-house jobs also have higher-than-expected qualifications, but are also solid jobs with good pay. I noticed that the security personel at the ROM also are required to have specific post-secondary education/credentials too.....which seems weird to me after having worked at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia where there was a frail and delightful elderly lady as one of the chief security guards whose main qualification was her wisdom, and maybe the fact that she just already been there so darn long.