EMP Museum - Great job for students/unattached adults, difficult to make a living otherwise | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for EMP Museum

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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.

Other Employee Reviews for EMP Museum

  1. "Social Media/Production Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends

    I worked at EMP Museum as an intern

    Pros

    Amazing company. Amazing people to work with. Amy rocks! It was a pleasure to be behind the scenes and film for the EMP. The social media aspect was a great learning experience too. Best of all, I received free passes after my internship was over.

    Cons

    I would not say there were any cons. They were very generous for allowing free parking and the front desk lady (forget her name!) was very sweet every time I came in.

    Advice to Management

    Management was very nice and very helpful and understanding when I had to commute from my hometown after graduation. Would recommend anyone to apply for this internship!


  2. "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

There are newer employer reviews for EMP Museum
There are newer employer reviews for EMP Museum

See Most Recent

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