Meet an EMP: Patrick Wittwer

septamuppetYears in Museum Field: 12

Degrees/Certificates: BA Film and Media Arts from Temple University, Certificate in Non-Profit Management from LaSalle University

Current Occupation: Museum Manager at Wells Fargo Museum

Previous Museum Experience: Part-time education staff at the Franklin Institute (10 years), Museum Operations Manager and Administrator at the Museum of Elfreth’s Alley (2.5 years), Manager of Visitor Services at the Please Touch Museum (1 year)

Other Relevant Work Experience: Two internships at Walt Disney World (1 year total), Assistant Manager of Photo Department at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach (1 year)

Did a mentor play a significant role in your career development? While no one person filled the mentor role, several people I have worked for at the Franklin Institute gave me valuable advice and guidance along the way.

How does your current position fit into your career plan? In 2010, I set a five-year goal in which I would eventually be running a department in a museum that was responsible for the production and implementation of programming. That goal was achieved when I started at Please Touch Museum, at which the Visitor Services department implements much of the programming. I plan to continue working with front line staff and programming for the next several years before segueing into a marketing or development role.

What museum organizations do you belong to? Philly EMP and the American Alliance of Museums.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you began in this profession? What “other duties as assigned” actually means!

What do you enjoy most about your position? Working with a fantastic group of people, being a part of an organization that makes its staff a priority, the creative process, and the opportunity to travel and broaden my network.

What is it that keeps you engaged at work? New challenges that require creative thinking and great visitor interactions.

Patrick Wittwer recently joined the Wells Fargo Museum as their Museum Curator after serving as Manager of Visitor Services for Please Touch Museum since February of 2013. Patrick got his start in the museum world working as a part-time educator at the Franklin Institute while still in high school. Patrick brings a unique perspective to museums, particularly visitor services, thanks largely to his experience as a Walt Disney World cast member. Patrick’s favorite museums outside of Philly are the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan, the Ontario Science Center in Toronto, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Fun Fact: Patrick was a credited member of the production crew for season 10 of Dancing With the Stars

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