Saturday, August 11, 2012
My last day at HMI was more bitter than sweet. I will definitely miss it and the people I worked with. It was such a fun, laid back atmosphere and it was not at all a chore to come in. No coffee runs for me! The day wasn't long, but what I did do was complete the rest of the list of Milwaukee activity websites on which I had to post our calendar of events. I also finished up our Excel spreadsheet of tour reports. After a tour, the guide fills out a slip on how many people showed up, how much money we made depending on who took the tour (different prices for different categories), how the visitors heard about HMI, etc. With each row of information entered, it was fun to see the dollar amount rise! I also received from one of our guides a list of hotels in which we should put our brochures, since many visitors find us through hotels. So my task was to assemble a letter explaining our mission and requesting the distribution of brochures included in the envelop, along with a few tour vouchers. Addressed and weighed those, and I was out the door! I promised to visit again soon, and I certainly plan on it! This experience has helped me grow in a big way by being more responsible, learning new things, and being a part of a team. I will never forget my great experience at HMI!
My colleagues and I have decided that it would be acceptable for me to complete a lot of my work on my own, since most of it is primarily done on the computer (ie social media, community outreach, tour guide emails, etc) The commuting was getting to be a bit much, so I am glad that I am able to continue at HMI without having to commute back home every weekend! Being that independent without anyone reminding you is a bit daunting, especially when there are a lot of tasks to be done and you have other classes to complete, but thankfully I have been able to complete all my tasks. I have a feeling that I will like this small freedom.
My HMI colleagues and I had a delicious lunch meeting at the Villa Terrace art museum in the North Point neighborhood! If you are ever in the Milwaukee neighborhood, stop by and at least stroll through the magnificent back gardens! Anyway, the meeting was relatively optional for me, but it was exciting to be able to offer insight on how to make our organization better. I enjoyed being able to offer a young person/student's perspective. I suggested that we not offer some of our tours daily, because it is noticeable that we seem too many no-shows on the daily tours as opposed to our weekend tours. I also suggested some new location possibilities for future tours, such as Lake Drive Mansions. In addition, when asked about how to make the tours more interesting, I suggested hiring student guides, preferably master's students from the surrounding area. I find that students offer a more fun tour, while still being educational and informative. When the topic of making ourselves known throughout the community, I suggested that we need some sort of trademark, be it an umbrella or a hat, that distinguishes us from any group of people on the street. My colleagues agreed that in order to make HMI more successful, our entire system must be revamped. Different tours locations, times, guides, etc. It was so empowering and fun to be able to contribute ideas that are not only taken seriously, but are capable of producing a more positive outcome for HMI.
The Downtown Thru the Eras tour was the first I have taken with Historic Milwaukee. Only two other women showed up, but it's better than the other days when there are no shows! Beginning at 10 am, we began the tour in Grand Avenue Mall and ended at the Calatrava Art Museum. In between, we stopped at the historic post office building, the Grain Exchange room (great wedding venue I hear!), the Pfister Hotel (where there is a time capsule to be opened in fifty years or so), and the Milwaukee Club (one of Wisconsin's first and most elite private clubs). By taking the tour, you get an even better sense at what the purpose of your job is behind the scenes. Was a very interesting tour!
Monday was a very busy day! My to do list consisted of first taking a tour of Downtown Milwaukee to post pics of it on the Facebook Page. I will have a separate blog entry for the tour. The agenda consisted of me conducing tons community outreach (ie facebook posts, event posts on community calendars, etc) and editing a script with one of our tour guides.
Friday, June 29, 2012
We needed a guide for the Brady Street tour so I had to send out an "SOS" email hoping that someone could step up and give a tour. I also emailed the guides their schedule for the next two weeks, as usual! In addition, I posted on Facebook about the North Mansion and Third Ward tours. Those are the tours that we really want people to attend because of the beautiful architecture and the fact that we only have it once a week. I have to myself take that tour, the mansions on Lake Drive are just spectacular!