EMP Museum Reviews | Glassdoor

EMP Museum Reviews

Updated February 2, 2017
13 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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Christina Orr-Cahall
3 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Dreadful place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at EMP Museum full-time

    Pros

    museum technicians and visitor services. some interesting technology but most of that comes from the partners who they contract to make the technology.

    Cons

    arrogant, annoying IT staff. CTO who doesn't listen or care. Producer with no backbone. everyone considers the place a joke. constant demoralizing chatter from most teams. no job security. changes in management constantly. lay offs constantly.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in better management rather than let the CTO silently take over the whole organization. Get rid of arrogant, know-it-all, yes man IT guys who are in the CTO's pocket.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Fun but hard and unfair"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Visitor Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Visitor Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EMP Museum part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun being around music related stuff, getting to meet interesting people (celebrities/ect), good location and fun co-workers.

    Cons

    As a Visitor Service Rep you are treated badly, paid very low and not respected. Required double shifts, not allowed to sit down for hours on end and a VERY annoying gossipy culture. No room to grow and management unwilling to work with you on schedules or employee requests.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Enigineering Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Engineering Technician in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Engineering Technician in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EMP Museum full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun place to work. Lots of entertaining events and exhibits to be involved with. Talented exhibits crew great to work with.

    Cons

    Engineering is understaffed. Pay is poor and noone ever wants to talk about raises. A facility of this caliber should really pay whatever is necessary to hire and retain superior talent for engineering - non-profit or not. Apparently, engineering and IT employees were staffed and paid a bit too lavishly in the past so a correction was made...or should I say " gigantic over-correction". Some people who survived the "Mass Cleansing" are still terrified they'll lose their job at any moment and given what most of them are paid, that wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to them.

    Advice to Management

    Middle Management - Raise is not a 4 letter word. Upper Management - If one of your "skilled" employees make in a year close to what you pull in in a month, maybe your labor budget figures need to be revisited.


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  5. "No growth potential. Stay away."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Most coworkers are great.
    Wear all black jeans and shoes

    Cons

    Narely any hours are given to work. Part time position is never given, let alone a full time position. This is why only college kids or recent graduates work here. Many late night shifts are given then you are expected to open the next day. Even if you have the qualifications they won't choose you to move up in the company. Management would rather their friends who have been there longer with no bachelor degree. Management doesn't get along with each other. No benefits to stay. This applies to all departments.

    Advice to Management

    CEO needs to be more involved in how departments are hiring and based on what.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Visitor Services - Fun job with little personal benefit"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EMP Museum part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was a Visitor Services Representative for a little over a year. My love for the arts brought me to this job, and it is was lovely being surrounded by music in a museum setting. The management were actually very nice and amiable. They were flexible with my personal schedule and needs. They seemed to genuinely care about their employees. It was ultimately a fun job and my co-workers were mostly pretty awesome - like-minded creative types. It wasn't the managers I had a problem with, it was the whole system and policies in which they operated.

    Cons

    I ultimately wouldn't recommend this job if you are looking for an opportunity for advancement. When I applied for the job, I had hopes that I could move upwards in the company given my skills and background, but that certainly didn't happen to me, and it certainly didn't happen with my co-workers. Most of my co-workers had similar aspirations, but eventually gave up and either quit or stayed on until they found something better elsewhere.

    Ultimately, this is a job that is based on a model of expected high turn-over. Workers are hired yearly for a mostly short span, and they inevitable drop pout because of the low pay and lack of any benefits. Very few Visitor Services Representatives had any kind of health benefits, hours were generally unstable and you were often expected to work double-shifts and then come in the next day to work some more.

    This job is ideal for young people, in college or still under their parents roof.

    Advice to Management

    At least pay the VSRs more, if you're aren't going to give them health benefits, especially in accordance with Washington State's minimum wage, and King County's general cost of living.


  7. "Working on the administrative side of EMP"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at EMP Museum full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The colleagues are terrific. They have a lot of social events and the people are also artistic. The work is hardly eveer boring as there are lots of different things to work on at different times.

    Cons

    Hard to move forward as higher ups including the CEO seems to change every other year. Management is either off hands but somewhat clueless or micromanagy anf overbearing.

    Advice to Management

    Trust the people you hire to do the job they are hired to do. Hire the best people for the job and pay them accordingly.


  8. "Corporate Alliances Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Interesting projects, passionate people, decent perks

    Cons

    Poor leadership and oversight by parent company Vulcan

    Advice to Management

    Let museum leadership have autonomy


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place, not lots of opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    EMP hires lots of fun, creative and hard working people. Benefits are great and time off is flexible. Management styles vary.

    Cons

    Management doesn't guide all departments to guide employees to work in a coordinated fashion with a shared vision for the company.

    Advice to Management

    Put more effort into making all department work in a streamlined fashion. To accomplish this, take drastic steps to improve internal communication.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great job for students/unattached adults, difficult to make a living otherwise"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Guest Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Guest Services Representative in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EMP Museum full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    MUSIC! Every minute of every day, you are surrounded by music history -- from the earliest iterations of the electric guitar to Jimi's lyrics written on hotel stationery -- there is always something to be taught by the artifacts... and something to teach museum guests.

    The job is fairly easy, but you cannot be afraid to approach guests and get them excited about music, whether it's jamming with them in Sound Lab, teaching them a bit about NW music history, or just plain going crazy in a mock band at OnStage... you have to shed your inhibitions and truly unleash your unbridled enthusiasm for music.

    My six years at the museum afforded numerous opportunities to be in the presence of music royalty (Nick Mason, Dick Dale, Ruth Brown) and share my passion for music with visitors from all over the world. I forged many solid friendships with like-minded musicians, played in a couple bands comprised of EMP staff, and generally enjoyed my time there.

    Cons

    Every year, there was always talk of hourly staff reductions and layoffs, which put a damper on the overall morale at the museum. GSRs - Guest Service Reps - and Security are the "faces" of the museum. In other words, they are the first people museum guests see when they enter the building, and they are expected to be cheerful in order to ensure an amazing experience for guests. When a staff member is unsure whether or not he/she will have a job the next day, that makes him/her unfocused and wary, and this reflects in his/her attitude towards museum guests and potential members.

    Reviews are quarterly, but raises are not, and that is very frustrating. In my six years at the museum, I had two raises. The first one was a dollar an hour, about 1.5 years after I started, and this is when I finally got benefits (insurance, 401(k), etc) The second one was about two years later, and for $0.61/hour. Meanwhile, many members of the executive team pulled in six figure salaries per year, according to NPO disclosures on GuideStar.org and the CEO pulled in $330k. For comparison, the CEO of the Seattle Art Museum earned $320k and the CEO of the Museum of Flight earned $220k in the same time period (per CharityNavigator.org), so there was certainly an "ivory tower" syndrome that pervaded senior management and caused rifts between the executive team and floor staff.

    On the topic of the executive team, I saw four CEOs in four years, each one with a different vision of the museum and a different set of priorities. One CEO cut core museum staff 37% on his first day. Another CEO whittled the membership department - critical to a self-sustaining NPO - to three people, down from 10. So, all of a sudden, 3 people had to do the work of 10, which turned out to be a very poor decision and the ripple effects led to museum-wide inefficiencies.

    Advice to Management

    Senior Executives: Ask museum staff what YOU could do to put a little more pep in their step. Not saying that you should work an 18-hour shift on New Years Eve followed by a 10-hour shift New Years Day (with 5 hours sleep in between), but step away from your desk and onto the museum floor. Get involved and learn how the museum really works from the bottom-up. Don't implement inane policies at the drop of a hat. Last, see the museum for what it really is - a cultural gem of Seattle - and stop running it like a corporation.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Great content, great people, if it's ok that you make a little less than average"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EMP Museum full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The title says it all - there are not many other places in Seattle (or elsewhere for that matter) where you have the opportunity to work on a variety of subject matter, or with a great set of coworkers like the EMP.

    Cons

    While I was working there, I learned and grew as a employee tremendously. However, there was a very clear ceiling (both in career and salary), and if I wanted to move past it, I would need to leave. The organization attracts great people, but they all leave because there is only so far you can go there.



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