I interviewed Rebecca Aloisi, Vice President for Marketing at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Rebecca recently received recognition for five years of service to Mount Vernon. Rebecca earned her Bachelor degree in Spanish and Linguistics before achieving her Master’s in Marketing. While she recognizes and stated that her undergrad did not have anything to do with where she is in her career now, her MBA certainly does give her the educational background to be in the position she is today. Previously spending her entire career in the tourism industry, she worked in the Washington D.C. tourism office building fronts to continue building visitation to the area as well raising the general awareness of what D.C. has to offer. She makes mention of telling stories, working with people, connecting people to content, and sharing that content on a wider scale which really gave her good practical experience to transition into the VP of Marketing position at Mount Vernon.
I found this interview to be really interesting for a couple reasons. One reason is simply that I work at Mount Vernon as well and was able to get a different perspective on the marketing operations there. Making the connection, when I could, between what Rebecca was telling us and what I personally deal with day to day while at work gave me greater insight on certain things, like those dealing with guest facing promotions and practices.
The other thing that stuck out to me as interesting was something that I have heard about, read about, thought about, learned about many times during my dive into this professional field. That comments about ‘wearing many hats’. That phrase came into the light prior to my adventure into this program but it really has taken on greater meaning since doing so. During my first semester, in a class that I otherwise was not too greatly fond of, ‘wearing many hats’ was used quite a bit. When referring to job duties, as the expression goes, Miss. Aloisi referenced marketing as having the same effect as say, the education department within a museum. ‘Other duties as assigned’ has sort of been a recent running joke amongst the supervisors in my department, but really it is not a joke. On this professional level, as we continue to try and grow, having the capability and capacity to be able to ‘wear many hats’ inside the museum world is a highly valuable commodity. I truly believe that not all people are able to firmly grasp that concept, and, if they can grasp it, not all are able to accept it. Thankfully I have always been the type of person to take on all challenges, of course some are more enjoyable than others, but having the ability and mindset to wear many hats is a must in this world. Throughout the interview this point was reiterated multiple times, in different forms, and it really solidified my belief in that phrase being a mainstay in the professional museum industry. And I believe that will only help me moving forward.