Jill Hammons

Jill Hammons

Director of Membership

USS Midway Museum

San Diego, CA USA

Don’t give up and don’t give in. Tomorrow is a whole new day and new experience.


By Roadtrip Nation

Jill Hammons


My road in life has taken me all over.
As a child, I was very sheltered—my family didn’t watch the news and we weren’t tuned into current events.
When I got to college, I was stunned by all of the political upheaval and grew angry at my sheltered childhood—I turned to writing to express my feelings, which pushed me toward majoring in English.
My father’s clothing business unexpectedly went bankrupt before I graduated college, and as the oldest of my siblings, I dropped out of school and got a job to help my family.
Getting married and having kids prevented me from going back to university, but I did go to a professional college and learned front and back office skills for medical offices.
I worked as a Medi-Cal eligibility worker in an emergency room because I loved reassuring people who couldn’t afford insurance and helping them feel better.
After relocating to San Diego, I got a job as a public affairs assistant for the newspaper at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego because of my writing and speaking skills.
After 28 years at Scripps—during which I had been promoted to director of special events—I was laid off because of the recession; I felt helpless because I was 58 years old at the time.
Thanks to my drive and my confidence in what I could bring to the table, I was only unemployed for three months before I got hired as the director of membership at the USS Midway Museum.
Keep following my journey


High School


Director of Membership

Implement department strategies to attain annual membership goals for the USS Midway Museum.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Working with Others

Day to Day

Membership directors are typically steeped in statistics on renewal rates and the like. I don’t have prior experience in those things, so I hired people who do. Then, I play to my strengths like customer service and leadership. I focus on guest experience, organize events for members, and look for new speakers and experiences for our members. I spend a lot of time educating members about the ship and veterans. I also use every day to make sure the USS Midway is connected with the community.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

A college degree can open so many doors for you, but it's only one piece of the puzzle. Make sure you work on your other skills and experiences (networking, creative expression, writing, public speaking, self-confidence, etc.) while you pursue your degree. I also really advise that you volunteer as much as you can. It'll help you network, develop job skills, and shows that you believe in something bigger than yourself.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Communication, General


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Without a college degree, I'm less than everyone else."

Challenges I Overcame

Job Loss

Interviewed By

CSUF Roadtrip

CSUF Roadtrip

California State University, Fullerton students and alumni