Alison Hendrickson is the Visitor and Volunteer Engagement Manager at the San Diego History Center. Alison’s proactive attitude and passion for history, paired with her ability to create meaningful connections whilst being open minded, allow her to create a positive impression on both guests and volunteers of the Center.
1. How did you begin working at the San Diego History Center?
I began working at the History Center as the Visitor Services Coordinator in August 2013. I had moved to San Diego from New York a few months prior after graduating with a Museum Studies degree and was so excited to begin working full-time in the field.
2. What do you like most about working with visitors & volunteers?
Working with visitors, it is very rewarding to see guests come in and have the opportunity to learn about the History Center or discover something new about San Diego through our exhibits. With volunteers, I really enjoy working with people who are passionate about our region’s history, the stories we tell, and our collections. That passion is contagious. Seeing them create connections and enjoy what they are doing is always rewarding.
3. What is the most interesting part of your job at the History Center?
On the visitors services side of my job, you never know who will walk through the door and what questions they will have for you, so I, and my team, have to be prepared by staying informed and proactive. The most interesting aspect working with volunteers is that you constantly meet new people who are excited to get involved with the organization, and I have the opportunity to help them find their niche department and role.
4. Any advice for encountering a new situation at work?
Be flexible, be open minded, be compassionate, and always be open and receptive to change.
5. What do you like to do outside of working here in the Park?
I have a 9-month old dog son, so I spend a lot of time with him outside of work. Fiesta Island has an amazing dog park. It’s great because he gets me outside and active.
6. Favorite book, TV show, movie?
I tend to read historical fiction. Choosing a favorite is hard, but I’d have to go with one of Philippa Gregory’s books about women during the War of the Roses and Tudor period. As far as a TV show, I become obsessed with whichever show I’m currently watching and binge a ton. However Game of Thrones will always be my favorite. I could watch all the Harry Potter movies over and over.
7. Do you have any new year’s resolutions for 2018?
I will call my family back in New York more! In addition, I say this every year so we’ll see if something sticks: eat healthier, exercise more, travel to new places.
8. If given the change, what job would you like to have for the day?
Lately, I’ve been really into food and cooking, so I would like to try being a chef or hosting a cooking show!
9. What is your favorite spot in Balboa Park?
The Timken Museum of Art holds a special place in my heart because that’s where I did my first internship here in San Diego in Spring 2011. It introduced me to the San Diego museum scene and planted the seed for me to permanently move here two years later after finishing grad school. Also, the Timken’s collection is amazing.