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Part-time ,
submitted by
Rebecca Holbrook-Erhart

Guest Services Team Lead, Smart Museum of Art

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About the Department

As the fine arts museum of the University of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art is a site for rigorous inquiry and exchange that encourages the examination of complex issues through the lens of art objects and artistic practice. Through strong scholarly and community collaborations and a welcoming approach to its exhibitions, collections, publications, research and teaching, and public programs, the Smart Museum plays a dynamic role in expanding artistic canons, rethinking received histories, introducing new perspectives, and engaging diverse communities—locally, nationally, and internationally. The Smart Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.

Job Summary

The Guest Services Team Lead promotes a positive visitor experience and ensures protection of the Smart Museum’s art objects. The Guest Services Team Lead manages the Guest Services team that welcomes Museum guests and ensures compliance with Museum visitor protocols. This role manages the front-line daily operations of the Smart Museum and is responsible for the general management of front-line staff including full-time and part-time staff, as well as University students. The Team Lead also addresses patron issues and questions as well as any facilities and securities issues that arise when they are serving as primary keyholder for the Museum. In addition, when exhibitions are not on view, the Guest Services Team Lead works with colleagues across the Smart Museum to support ongoing operations including support for various administrative, operational and programmatic areas of the Museum.


  • Recruits, hires, trains, and manages the Guest Services team comprised of full-time and part-time staff and University students. Emphasizes FGLI and work-study-eligible students in hiring. Coordinates with Human Resources on hiring paperwork. Approves staff timesheets.
  • Supports and holds Guest Services staff accountable for their areas of responsibility including knowledge of the Museum’s mission and current program offerings, safety procedures, customer service, and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Provides coaching, feedback, and performance management to staff.
  • Conducts staff orientations and maintains ongoing and supportive relationships with the staff with a focus on mentorship, training, and skill building, both within the gallery and for staff welcoming visitors at the Museum’s entrance. Works with other Museum departments to ensure that overall structure of Guest Services supports institutional goals and needs.
  • Oversees scheduling and proactively ensures appropriate Guest Services staffing levels for daily operations as well as off-hours activities and events. On the rare occasions that additional security staff is needed, oversees communication and scheduling with the University’s security services contractor (Allied Universal). Primarily staffs front desk and gallery positions as needed to cover staff breaks.
  • Leads weekly team meetings for Guest Services staff. Ensures that staff receive regular communications about updates, events, and programs that impact the team’s work and participation in all staff meetings and events organized by the Director’s Office.
  • Ensures compliance with Smart Museum visitor protocols including protection of art objects and files incident reports with the Registration and Exhibitions teams as needed. Implements policies and procedures within the Guest Services team to support museum service standards, enhances the visitor experience, implements assessments as directed, and establishes benchmarking standards of service for the Guest Services team. Maintains and updates training manuals for Guest Services staff.
  • Assists Guest Services staff in responding to patron issues and questions, including calls and emails regarding online reservations.
  • In coordination with the Exhibitions team, develops training materials and procedures for each exhibition to ensure that the Guest Services team effectively manages project-specific needs, including turning audio/visual (a/v) equipment on and off, checking regularly to ensure that a/v equipment is working properly, etc. Also ensures that collateral materials are properly maintained.
  • Collaborates with members of the Feitler Center and Public Practice teams to develop integrated training and community-building opportunities for student gallery attendant staff, with a goal of long-term retention of student staff as gallery attendants or in other roles at the Museum.
  • Implements protocols for managing the visitor reservation system, attendance and visitor information gathering, and other data as directed. Maintains necessary documentation including Museum attendance records, and regularly communicates this information to other staff.
  • Manages the day-to-day activities related to publications sales in the Museum building, including training staff, managing sales functions, and tracking inventory.
  • Recommends improvements and changes when necessary to the Facility and Security Manager.
  • Serves as one of the primary keyholders responsible for opening and closing the Museum on its regular schedule including at least one weekend day and one evening, as well as for after-hours needs and events. Ensures that security procedures are followed when opening and closing the museum and galleries.
  • Responds to facilities and securities issues that arise when the Facility and Security Manager is unavailable.
  • Assists the Facility and Security Manager with space planning and setup/breakdown for rentals, events, and programs. Staffs rentals, events, and programs as scheduled and needed.
  • Works with colleagues across the Museum to support ongoing operations including support for operations and facilities, development, public practice, registration, academic engagement, etc.
  • Provides support for the development and deployment of productions and programs.
  • May act as a liaison with the community. Presents information about programs and the theatre to the public.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • College or university degree in related field.
  • 3 to 5 years work experience in a museum or similar guest-facing environment.
  • Background effectively managing teams working in a guest-facing environment.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of museum standards.
  • Experience with technology tools available, including Windows computer environment, Microsoft Office, etc.

Preferred Competencies

  • Working knowledge of customer services standards in museums or similar environments.
  • Multitask within a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent time management skills to stay organized and prioritize responsibilities.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with strong attention to detail.
  • Comfortable with public speaking and experience writing communications, preparing and delivering presentations, trainings, and written materials.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to foster partnership and collaboration, and to lead, manage and motivate others.
  • A solid understanding of University and community engagement or direct experience working collaboratively with individuals from all sectors of the University community and a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the Smart Museum and University.

Working Conditions

  • Extended periods of stationary work.
  • Moving around the museum to attend to visitors' and colleagues' needs.
  • Moving objects up to 20 pounds.
  • Working evening and weekend shifts.
  • This is a part-time position of approximately 20 hours per week.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Museum & Arts

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Contact Info:
Rebecca Holbrook-Erhart
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL