Career Profile: Jordan Wernyj
Deputy Visitor Services Manager
What was your background before joining the Museum?
Alongside studying degrees in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management, I previously worked part-time for the National Trust. My choice in profession has often been people-orientated, and has required me to interact regularly between departments across a visitor attraction. Upon completing a Cultural Heritage Management MA, I pursued management roles within heritage. Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History was a perfect fit, offering a challenging and fulfilling role within a fantastic institution.
What are the main duties and responsibilities within your job?
Visitor Services holds great responsibility. Our team are at the forefront of overseeing the museum space and help to provide an excellent visitor experience for all. My job specifically works alongside the Visitor Services Manager to orchestrate, direct and support the visitor services team, as well as the wider museum. We work together to ensure everyone has a valuable, safe and positive visit.
What are the main skills you use in your role?
The main skills required are clear communication, punctuality, teamwork, empathy, awareness and confident leadership.
How did your career path lead to this role?
I have always been working actively with others in one way or another. Whether it be as a student ambassador, a visitor service assistant, or even a labourer. This work and study experience forged a web of abilities that include an awareness of current affairs in museums, how to assist others, as well as implementing a hard-working mind-set.
What would you recommend to people who are looking to get into this area of work?
I recommend getting involved in heritage institutions in whatever capacity. Meeting people and gaining insights from within is not only enjoyable, but highly beneficial for personal, educational and career development. A lot of museums and heritage jobs also require degrees if you are recruited externally, so becoming familiar with institutional workings is key if this is not possible.
What are some of the areas in your sector that are of special interest to you, or that you are pursuing development in?
Since commencing the Deputy Visitor Services Manager role at the museum, I have been greatly inspired by the work and collections that thrive here. Everyone is so kind and willing to show you their work, as well as specimens or objects of interest. This has particularly developed my interest in natural science, as well as entomology (the study of insects!). I am presently enjoying the role and focusing on developing leadership qualities. The heritage and museum sector is definitely where I want to be.