If you grew up in Minnesota, chances are you’ve visited the Science Museum of Minnesota at one point or another in your lifetime. The trip to one of the most iconic museums in Minnesota is a tradition for many children, families and schools throughout the state. However, visiting the museum as an adult creates an entirely new appreciation for the Science Museum, at least it did in Andrea Peel’s case.
Peel, a current Minnesota School of Business-Online student, chose the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) as the site to conduct her service learning project. The project, a part of Peel’s Customer Service Strategies course, requires students to choose an organization to volunteer with.
After applying for a volunteer greeter position at SMM.org, Peel says “I was still a little nervous, since I had never been a ‘greeter’ before and hadn’t used a scanning device before. I adapted quickly. The other volunteers and the staff were professional, pleasant and fun, so the time passed quickly.”
Peel says she was happy to volunteer at SMM, “because of the nature of the ‘hands-on’ approach that SMM has implemented when designing their exhibits, projects and services—they rely heavily on volunteers to staff permanent and special exhibits and events. Not only do volunteers bring life to the activities and experiments, they provide customer service to the thousands of patrons that visit and interact with the museum yearly.
Some of the business management student’s volunteer responsibilities included:
– Standing at the entrance door as the initial greeter
– Scanning electronic and paper tickets
– Provide hand-stamps for those who wish to return in an hour
– Answering questions about the exhibit or the museum in general
Peel says she was able to take what she was learning in her customer service strategies course and directly apply it to her volunteer position at SMM. Peel also noted the training materials and resources provided to volunteers at SMM echoed several of the course teachings.
“Our course taught us that employees should be treated as well as customers and be considered part of all CRM efforts. But, I have never witnessed it until I volunteered at SMM nor would have imagined the impact it would have on me. At SMM, you are treated with the utmost respect, are constantly reminded of benefits available and how to use them, and are encouraged to be part of the events, projects, learning opportunities and community that surrounds the museum.”