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Guest Engagement Specialist

Audubon Aquarium
New Orleans, United States Posted: June 22, 2024

General Summary: Guest Engagement Specialists (“Specialist”) are integral members of the Learning & Engagement (L&E) team and enhance the experience of our visitors at the Audubon Aquarium & Audubon Insectarium.  Specialists deliver engaging informal and interpretive programming that inspires and strengthens a connection to our conservation goals.  Responsibilities for this position include but are not limited to delivering chats and demonstrations throughout the Aquarium and Insectarium, presenting live animals for interactive encounters, working collaboratively with animal staff to support contact areas and other formal demonstrations, assisting with supervision and training of volunteers, supporting special events and more.  

  • Guest Engagement Specialists may support other programming needs in the L&E department as needed.  
To deliver on the Audubon mission, the Guest Engagement Specialist will: 
  • Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality by…
  • Delivering engaging, hands-on informal and interpretive programs for guests of all ages
  • Preparing and setting up for all programming
  • Understanding the significance of their role and how they can make a positive impact on our guests
  • Providing proactive, friendly communication and striving to anticipate guests' needs and desires
  • Communicating issues or concerns to the Guest Engagement Supervisor in a timely manner
  • Working in a cooperative manner with the animal care team and respecting the Ambassador Animal collection spaces, protocols, and equipment 
  • Working collaboratively with front of house departments (Animal Staff, Guest Services, Facilities, etc.) to identify opportunities to improve guest experience
Educate our diverse audience about the natural world by…
  • Delivering informal programming and events throughout the year 
  • Supporting the Guest Engagement team to design and implement programs and presentations directly related to our collection and conservation messages 
  • Supporting the development and delivery of programming for non-routine special events 
  • Actively seeking up-to-date information on informal education methodologies and trends
  • Actively seeking out and participating in professional development opportunities as approved by supervisor
  • The above-listed duties are general statements of required major duties and responsibilities performed on a regular and continuous basis.  They do not exclude other duties as assigned.
To deliver on the Audubon service promise, the Guest Engagement Educator will: 
  • Welcome
  • Make eye contact with every customer encounter, smile at every person, offer friendly phrases and greetings
  • Wear an identification badge
  • Walk individuals to their destination instead of pointing; aid people who look confused
  • Assume ownership of potential safety hazards (wipe-up spills, pick up trash).  Always have a camera-ready look
  • Share
  • Maintain a positive attitude, pleasant tone of voice (remember it is not what you say, but how you say it)
  • Coach coworkers on service expectations
  • Utilize the power of teamwork to give excellent service
Know when to involve management
  • Know the answers to questions or seek out the answers
  • Utilize proper phone etiquette (answer phone within three rings, smile before answering call, ask for permission and wait for response before placing caller on hold)
  • Ensure work area is free of food, drink, socialization, and personal business
  • Follow Dress Code Policy on clothing and grooming
  • Keep unpleasant concerns behind closed doors (vent backstage)
  • This position may assist in the supervision of volunteers and interns as needed
  • 1-3 years working in an informal learning environment and demonstrated experience working in animal presentation and naturalist chats preferred
  • Demonstrated experience in effective communications with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds
  • Experience handling animals or ability to learn to handle animals including birds, mammals, and invertebrates
  • Experience in operant conditioning training and enrichment strongly desired
  • Bachelor’s degree required in Education,
  • Biology,
  • Zoology,
  • Communications,
  • Ecology,
  • Environmental Education or other related field,
  • and/or equivalent work experience 
  • Must have a valid, state-issued driver’s license   
Physical Requirements:
  • This position involves standing or walking for up to 2/3 of the day and the ability to carry items weighing up to 30 pounds
Ability to pass annual TB tests 
  • Ability to perceive visual, odor, or behavioral changes in animals to determine changes in animals’ stress level or general wellbeing.
  • Must have excellent peripheral vision, depth perception, and quick motor response for animal and audience control during presentations 
  • Must be able to reach above shoulder level, stoop and squat to retrieve kennels and animals, which also may require stepping on stools. 
  • Ability to speak loudly to crowds in a variety of situations included moderate to loud crowds
  • Typical ability to collect and analyze numerical and written data and verbal information to reach logical conclusions and ability to determine the time, place and sequence of operations or actions required
  • Regular talking and the ability to express and exchange ideas by means of language expected 
Environmental/Working Conditions:
  • Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required 
  • May be exposed to high, medium, or low noise intensity 
  • Constant contact with co-workers required 
  • Works effectively in a moderately noisy office 
  • Affinity for animals required 
  • Exposure to fluctuations in temperatures is required 
  • Exposure to extreme heat and outdoor conditions is required 
  • Must be able to work holidays, weekend and occasional after hour events 
Other abilities, skills, knowledge:
  • Must be goal-oriented and self-motivated 
  • Must have willingness and ability to take initiative 
  • Must be able to manage multiple priorities and deadlines for a wide range of projects 
  • Must have exemplary written communications skills 
  • Must have exemplary presentation and oral communication skills 
  • Must have willingness to promote and practice Stand Out Service 
  • Must work effectively in a team environment 
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact with all levels of staff, donors, visitors, and educators

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