Mars Wrigley Confectionery Executive Lecture Series: North Museum Executive Andrea Rush Speaks to E-town Business Students
By Samantha Shotzberger
On Friday, April 25, North Museum executive Andrea Rush addressed Elizabethtown College Business students as part of the Mars Wrigley Confectionery Executive Lecture Series of 2019. Rush, who became an executive director of the North Museum of Nature and Science in January, talked about her leadership style, the challenges of running a nonprofit institution, and her goals for the future of the North Museum.
In her presentation, Rush emphasized it was important to her to lead through transparency. “As a leader, I should be the one working the hardest,” Rush said, “I believe in leading from the front.”
Rush first started working with the North Museum as a consultant but decided to stay after seeing all it had to offer the community. “It felt like home,” she said.
In running the North Museum, Rush works hard to implement the museum’s mission statement. The North Museum enables the knowledge of science and nature through inspiration, community engagement, and the connection of organizations, and it offers many programs to encourage children to learn about the workings of the natural world. One that Rush is particularly proud of is called STEM sisters, where young girls from grades sixth through 12th are taught about scientific careers by women employed in STEM fields. Rush considers the museum an “ambassador for STEM education,” that sparks creativity and interest in its visitors.
While nonprofit businesses and institutions mainly measure revenue, Rush advised the business students that community engagement is just as important. “Time is viewed as much more valuable than just writing a check,” Rush said.
While most museums make around 70 percent of revenue from donations alone, Rush shared the North Museum relied less on donations and more on its marketing revenue. Within the last year, the museum’s revenue has increased, and she credits the museum’s current success to its new marketing strategies and educational programs.
Rush also talked about the extent of her career history, but emphasized on her time at the museum with pride, showing the business students the importance of pursuing a career. In talking about her current position, she said, “There’s a lot of variety. It’s a lot of fun!”
Rush often works seven days a week and enjoys every minute. In talking about her creative decision-making for the museum’s exhibits, she said, “I love it. There’s no [new] idea I wouldn’t consider.”
Andrea Rush’s story provided the program attendees with insight on what it means to be an executive, and how running a nonprofit institution works. During her presentation, Rush commended her experiences working with E-town graduates, and invited the students to engage with the North Museum, either as visitors or career applicants.
Throughout the semester, the Mars Wrigley Confectionery Executive Lecture Series provides E-town business students with career advice from professionals in high-level positions, and students gain a better understanding of what could be expected of them after graduation.
Samantha Shotzberger is a senior English Professional Writing major with a minor in biology. She works in the college’s Catering Services, is a member of E-town’s theater group Sock & Buskin, and has performed in a variety of theatrical performances throughout her college career. After graduation, she will pursue a Master’s degree in Science Communications.