Staff Profile: Jennifer – MOA Experience Coordinator
Hello! I’m Jennifer, the (newly titled) Experience Coordinator at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. I’ve been working at MOA for 2.5 years. I work on Public Relations and social media, manage the Quillbox Gift Shop, and am the Receptionist. I am lucky to be the one who gets to greet visitors and talk with everyone!
What led you to this position?
I have always been artsy, creative, and love working with people. By the time I reached high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue the Visual Arts and work in Museums. I was lucky to work at Museum London as the Be A Sunday Artist program monitor (for six fun years!) through high school and university. Opportunities then opened up at ML to do research for a new summer walking tour which turned into a docent position for the various tours. This was probably one of my favourite summer jobs because I got to express my passion and knowledge about artists, their works, architecture, and local history while hearing how visitors relate to the stories told. After completing my honours BA in Visual Arts and French at Western University, I went straight to Museum Management and Curatorship post-graduate studies at Fleming College. This program covered so many aspects of Museums, but what stuck out the most to me, was Public Relations. I returned to London to study Public Relations at Fanshawe College while working in Interior Design retail and interning with the Art Registrar at Museum London and volunteering at the Secrets of Radar Museum. I am happy my experience led me to this position which encompasses many of my talents and interests.
What drew you to this position?
I was drawn to this position because I love working with people and was excited to engage visitors in experiencing a great part of London (and Ontario) history.
What do you love about being a staff member at MOA?
I love that MOA is growing and accomplishing great things. We’re only a small group of staff but we certainly are working to make the Museum of Ontario Archaeology a spot to visit for learning, research, and hands on fun! My favourite time of year is Pow Wow season. From August to mid September, I’m busy working on promoting the event and helping staff and volunteers plan behind the scenes. This past year, I had the opportunity to take event photos and video for the Museum and interact with visitors and participants. It was one of my favourite experiences because I got to be creative and share in the excitement of the event.
If there was one thing you could tell the world about MOA, what would it be?
The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is a small museum with a large story about Ontario’s archaeology and First Nation culture. I’ve worked here over two years and still learn about items in our exhibit and the history of the site.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on our branding. We recently changed our logo, colours, and font which need to be reflected in all our print materials from the visitor guide, to posters and flyers, and website content. You can always find me collecting content to share with our followers on Facebook and Twitter.
What is your favourite item in the Quillbox Gift Shop?
There are so many unique items in the gift shop from artists and Canadian companies. I have a colourful pair of handmade beaded earrings and painted earrings I love wearing. I also like the detail on the scarves by Native Northwest.
How has your job changed since you started?
The previous gift shop manager worked on creating temporary exhibits with First Nation artists. Exhibit concepts are now more of a collaborative effort. My focus is now on working with social media and marketing. This has helped improve the visitor experience as well, since I have learned more not only about the Museum and Lawson Site, but also about archaeology and First Nation culture and history and can answer quite a lot of questions.
What advice can you give others?
Focus on where you want to go in life and explore the various paths that can help you get there. Interning and volunteering go a long way to help you discover more about yourself and a career path that compliments your passions.
When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love fitness and often walk home from work to the gym. On weekends, I enjoy exploring trails with my family. Balancing out my fitness routine is a love for baking and cooking. I also love to do anything creative from photography to painting and decorating.