Exploring iSchool Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

Career Blog

Published: February 6, 2020 by Greta Snyder and guest blogger Karen Pfeffer

With the semester in full throttle, you’re becoming a pro at juggling school, work and life. Be confident that you can continue to grow as a multi-tasking pro and take on one of the most rewarding and best career-building parts of SJSU iSchool: opportunities beyond the classroom. You’ve got to get extra-curricular to really take full advantage of your experience at iSchool.

Learn About Options with Student Insiders

You must check out this video of a student meet-up I recently had the pleasure of co-hosting with an awesome iSchool student Karen Pfeffer (who you should totally connect with). In this INFO 203 student meet-up with incredible contributions from iSchool Director of Online Learning Debbie Faires, we share our top tips and advice from a student perspective for how to get involved outside the classroom and how it will benefit you. We cover student groups, internships, networking, opportunities for research and iSchool Career Resources. This blog post is a quick re-cap of the meeting with links to all content. As always, please email me or comment with any questions or suggestions. Let’s make 2020 the year of doing more and getting more out of it!

Get Your Feet Wet with Student Groups

Student groups: what do you have to lose? Joining a group is an excellent way to test the waters and really experience the value of connecting with other students and professionals. Trust me, you won’t regret this. Not to mention the leadership opportunities. Even if you just take on a one-time responsibility of coordinating an event or leading a meeting, student groups want your involvement and it’s a great way to gain a skill and meet others in the program and field.​

Student Research Journal (SRJ)

 SJSU American Library Association Student Chapter (ALASC)

  • So many ways to get involved outside of the executive leadership roles, such as career and scholarship resources, and events.
  • In fact, respond to their current poll so you can help choose upcoming events.
  • Find out more on their website here.

 SJSU Special Library Association Student Chapter (SLASC)

  • Monthly virtual programs and live events throughout the semester.
  • Mentorship opportunities and job postings.
  • Three Assistant roles are currently open for their Executive Committee so take on a leadership opportunity.
  • Visit their website here for more information.

 SJSU Society of American Archivist Student Chapter (SAASC)

  • Free to join. Lots of cool events; such as Huntington Library tour. Find out more on my blog post.
  • Website: http://sjsusaasc.weebly.com/
  • Read student archival essays and submit papers on archival topics to the publication Archeota. Believe me you’ll have such a rewarding experience. I’m so glad I put my writing out there last semester and published an article in the Fall 2019 issue.
  • Next meeting: Spring 2020 Welcoming Event on Tuesday, February 11, 6-7pm PST (email me for link).
  • Leadership opportunity: Spring 2020 Secretary (email me for more info).

 SJSU First Generation Student Group (FGSG)

  • Free to join and offering so many opportunities to network and learn with peers who share your experience as a first-generation student.
  • Receive professional, social, and academic support from group members and the Leadership Team. Visit the website here.
  • Opportunities for leadership positions. Current open positions include Secretary, Webmaster, and Vice-Chair. Check out the descriptions of positions here.
  • Next General Meeting: Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 pm (optional start at 6:15 pm for networking beforehand). Email me for link or reach out to FGSG group directly.

 Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)

  • Currently SJSU does not have an specific ARLIS student group for iSchool students, but you can find out more information here about joining the group.
  • Discounted memberships are available for LIS students.
  • Often, they collaborate with regional SLA groups so a membership with them will also get you in the door with ARLIS. Email Karen if you’re interested in learning more

Take the Plunge with an Internship

Go ahead and be bold, like my co-host Karen, and take the plunge off the deep end, so you can swim like a pro when you graduate. In our Webinar, she shares fascinating details of organizing very intriguing ephemera at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art while gaining invaluable experience and building professional connections for future work in museums and archives. As Karen exclaims in our meet-up, she wants to come out of her iSchool experience “feeling like I know what I’m doing,” and the internship gave her that confidence. In fact, she gained so much value from her last internship she’s about to dive into another internship at The Sierra Club, so look forward to a future Career blog post furthering exploring this her work and the internship topic.

So, how to find an internship?

  • Though SJSU iSchool portal.
  • You can also search Handshake (requires login – free for SJSU students).
  • Keep in mind internships are everywhere. Reach out to research institutions you’re interested in and sign-up to receive job notifications.
  • Independent Studies through iSchool are internship-like experience, so make sure to review iSchool email alerts.

How else to get involved? SJSU iSchool News, Blogs & Career Resources & Library 2.0

Buzzword Alert: Networking

Final thoughts

Why wait when you could participate? You never know what game-changing connection you could make or experience you might have by reaching out and connecting. Joining student groups and seeking out as many potential chances to learn and network as possible will enrich your student experience. As Karen points out, there are so many opportunities only available to you as a student, now is the time to put yourself in the driver seat and take your career into first gear. As always, comment below or email me with career topics and questions tickling your brain. We’re in it together!

Career development opportunities​

Jobs in Handshake (requires login to Handshake)


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