Guest Services Associate

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, November 3, 2023


AI Museum Operations

About the Department

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is a site for rigorous inquiry and exchange that encourages the examination of complex issues through the lens of art objects and artistic practice. Founded as the David and Alfred Smart Gallery in 1974, the museum was renamed to the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art in 1990. The Museum has long served as a model for academic art museums by combining the University’s deep-seated commitment to intense creative and intellectual engagement and open dialogue with Chicago’s entrepreneurial spirit, the South Side’s robust creative communities, and global arts perspectives that bridge lines of culture, language, and lived experience. Over 51,000 visitors annually experience the Smart, with exhibitions and programs highlighting permanent collections, works by contemporary artists, and objects on loan from institutional partners and private collectors.

The Smart’s permanent collection dynamically supports academic and artistic study, inspires new ideas and creative interpretation, and provides a space for reflection and conversation for the Museum’s many audiences. Comprising over 16,000 objects, this growing body of artworks represents art from across the globe, from antiquity to the present day. With the recent appointment of Vanja Malloy as the Dana Feitler Director and with the Museum approaching its 50th anniversary in 2024, now is an exciting moment to join the Smart Museum. The University of Chicago is keen to support the Smart Museum’s dynamic role in expanding artistic canons, rethinking received histories, introducing new perspectives, and engaging diverse communities – locally, nationally, and internationally.

Job Summary

The Guest Services Associate welcomes Smart Museum guests and ensures compliance with Smart Museum visitor protocols, including protection of art objects, while they visit the Museum and its exhibitions. The position will share responsibility for opening and closing the Museum in accordance with security procedures. In addition, when exhibitions are not on view, the Guest Services Associate works with colleagues across the Smart Museum to support ongoing operations including support for various administrative, operational, and programmatic areas of the Museum.


  • Supports the Facility and Security Manager and Guest Services Team Leads in building access management, opening and closing the museum, ensuring a safe and welcoming museum environment and collecting visitor assessment information as directed. Ensures that security procedures are followed when opening and closing the museum and galleries. Implements emergency protocols when needed.
  • Greets and registers Museum guests in galleries and other public areas of the Museum in accordance with visitor protocols.
  • Ensures visitor compliance with Museum protocols regarding protection of art objects while visitors are viewing the exhibitions in the galleries.
  • Answers visitor questions and requests for information, escalating to Team Leads or other Museum staff as needed.
  • Assists with school group check-in and wayfinding as needed.
  • Serves as gallery attendant during rentals, events, and programs and supports after-hours events by providing gallery coverage, check-in support, and wayfinding as needed.
  • Works with colleagues across the Museum to support ongoing operations including support for operations and facilities, development, public practice, registration, academic engagement.
  • Attends Smart Staff meetings and events as scheduled.
  • Assists with public programming and other educational programs or projects regarding the theatre.
  • 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


  • Experience with the arts, museums, or other cultural institutions.
  • Prior experience in security and/or public-facing customer service roles.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Experience with technology tools available, including Windows computer environment, Microsoft Office, etc.

Preferred Competencies

  • Strong communication skills.
  • Multitask within a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent time management skills to stay organized and prioritize responsibilities.
  • A flexible, adaptable and enthusiastic mindset is critical to work with diverse stakeholders, including guests, students, and staff.
  • 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 a flexible schedule, including evening and weekend shifts.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

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.