Since 1887, the Museum has depended on volunteer help for many of its projects and much of its development. Today, more than 100 volunteers participate regularly, making important contributions to the Museum. Some volunteers come in daily, and many have served for 10 or more years!
If you are interested in volunteering at the Penn Museum, please review the volunteer opportunities listed and then submit an application for a specific opportunity. Applications will only be considered for these opportunities. The Penn Museum’s volunteer needs vary throughout the year. If you don’t see a position that is a good fit or of particular interest to you now, please plan to check back at a future time. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis unless otherwise noted.
Volunteer Position: Visitor Services Pathfinder
Description: Are you passionate about the Museum, enjoy helping people, great at giving directions, and looking for meaningful volunteer work? If so, you may be interested in volunteering at the Penn Museum as a Visitor Services Pathfinder!
The Penn Museum has been engaged in a major Building Transformation that includes significant renovations to our public spaces and galleries. Leading up to our Grand Reopening, we need additional support to help guests navigate our space and gallery closures. In addition, we want to provide warm and welcoming attention to our guests whether they visit now, during the Grand Reopening, or afterwards.
Visitor Services Pathfinders (VSP) are Penn Museum ambassadors, enthusiasts, and in-gallery directional support. Whether helping guests find the best route to reach a certain must-see exhibition or leading them to the café for a snack break, Visitor Services Pathfinders are there to help. They will also support the Visitor Services Department staff in welcoming guests to the Museum and informing the guests of the programs, events, policies and amenities of the institution.
Required Training: All applicants must pass an in-person or phone call interview with the Visitor Services Department Managers before beginning training. VSPs are expected to attend two 3-hour training sessions with the Visitor Services department, and engage in individual practice.
Qualifications: A successful candidate should have experience in working with a diverse variety of audiences and must be friendly and welcoming. Customer service experience and the ability to work in a hectic, fast-paced environment is extremely beneficial. A successful candidate must be able to work as part of a team and individually as the situation demands. Knowledge of the Penn Museum and foreign language ability is a plus, but not required.
Expectations: VSPs are expected to work at least one shift a week (approx. 2-3 hours, during regular museum hours, Tuesday – Sunday) and attend a bimonthly two-hour Visitor Services Department meeting to stay up to date on changes within the Museum. They are expected to be moving constantly through the Museum galleries while on duty. In addition, VSPs should understand that, while volunteering, they represent the Penn Museum to the Museum’s guests, and should conduct themselves as such.
To apply, fill out our online application by September 30. After September 30, all applications will be reviewed and select individuals will be invited to move forward in the process. All applicants will hear from us either way by October 11.