May 19th, 2022, 08:00 AM

The Louvre’s Only American Employee was a Business Major

By Emma Sacayan
Image Credit: Dean Blackwell
How Hannah-Marie Seidl from Wisconsin got a permanent contract working at the Louvre after working for six months.

AUP’s Careers in the Arts Club welcomed guest speaker Hannah-Marie Seidl in early April. Wisconsin-born Seidl has been an officer of Public Relations at the Louvre since 2016, a job that included the management and organization of the main public relation events of the Louvre Museum. Affairs such as exhibition openings, press conferences, and major inaugurations all align with Siedl’s daily work life. She earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration in International Business and French from Saint Norbert College. She worked in a variety of commercial marketing and communication capacities before working for the Louvre. While juggling her job at the Louvre, Seidl also teaches MBA students at EFAP Public Relations seminars.


But before being one of the only Americans working at the Louvre, Seidl's ambitions began in fashion as an assistant buyer for Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago. After working in fashion for five years, Seidl craved to go to the city of lights. “I was bitten very severely by the Parisian-bug,” said Siedl. So much so that she decided to cash in her 401(k) to move to the city for a year to test her ability to work in the French fashion world. However, her attempts to secure a job were unsuccessful, so Siedl decided to teach English to French children and she eventually met her husband and had two children, but Siedl still craved the life involved in the professional world.

Seidl was offered a job as a part-time events coordinator for Smith & Son. She stressed that this part-time job was very poorly paid and she was called to work almost every day. “You’ve got to start somewhere,” Seidl said, “You really need to make sure that you’re humble no matter what your experience is. I took a very poorly paid job because it was something I wanted to do.”

"Nothing should be below you.” She said.

Image credit: Unsplash/Michael Fousert 

Seidl worked for Smith & Son for eight years hosting events, maintaining the company’s social media accounts, and working with authors. “It was my dream job, then Amazon came along.” Amazon selling books at low prices was impossible to compete with and employees were asked to leave. Smith & Son lost their budget for marketing and events, and Seidl was asked to leave. “Not having a team was really hard for me.”

Seidl recieved a contract to do social media strategies for the American Friends of the Musee d’Orsay. “I noticed they only had 25 followers on Twitter, and they didn't have an Instagram account and had about 800 followers on Facebook.” Seidl was challenged to improve the online presence of Musee d’Orsay so for advice she contacted the person in charge of doing social media strategies for the Louvre.

While presenting her ideas to her Louvre counterpart she was offered a four-month short-term contract with the museum. “We met for coffee on a Tuesday, she brought my CV in on a Wednesday, I didn't have an interview, and then they wanted me to start on Monday.” The Louvre pitched Seidl the opportunity to take responsibility for re-planning the museum's inaugurations for an opening in the following months.

She was actually overqualified for the position but Seidl refused to pass up an opportunity to work at the Louvre even if it was for a short period of time. However, after a month Seidl was asked to stay for another seven months under the same conditions. During the seven months, Seidl was offered another job so the Louvre counter-offered to keep her as an employee. “So I got a full-time permanent contract for the Louvre after about six months.” This is not a common occurrence for Louvre staff. Usually, employees are given permanent contact after six years of working."

“Getting your foot in the door is the way to do it.”