iSchool Alumni Share Their Wisdom

Career Blog

Published: May 12, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

As a send off to the lazy days of summer (wishful thinking?), our helpful and talented iSchool alumni share their wisdom for school and career success.

We’re almost to the end! Some of you are probably already done for the semester, while others still have a few days, so I thought this might be a good time for some alumni wisdom. You know, wise words to help us de-stress (that’s a real coping mechanism, right?).

The iSchool has a robust and enthusiastic alumni community, and many of its members have made themselves available to us through the Facebook group, Alumni Career Spotlights, and Community Profiles. Library and archives people are naturally helpful, so they’re usually happy to answer questions and give students a hand.

  • Santa Clara County Deputy Librarian and 2010 graduate Christopher Brown says, “Getting your MLIS, and graduate school in general, [is about] investing in this field and building up those tools that are going to be needed when you enter the field and begin practicing as a librarian.” So network, create great projects, and learn new skills to set yourself up for LIS success!
  • 2014 alumnus Adam Weissengruber, who recently appeared on Jeopardy! “found that the education and experience I brought to the library that was unrelated to specific library education and experience made me a valuable asset to the workplace.” It’s true; lots of people agree that well-rounded is desirable.
  • Kimberly Partanen, MLIS 2015, serves as Director of Castlegar & District Public Library. Her career advice comes from experience: “I bookmarked all the libraries I was interested in working at and checked their websites continuously,” she says. “If I did get a job interview, I would take note of the questions asked so I could develop my answers at home [in case another library asked similar ones].” She continues, “I would also suggest knowing your work stories by heart. Memorize your challenges, successes, interpersonal ups and downs, greatest accomplishments, the things that didn’t go quite as you had planned, etc., so they’re all fresh for an interview.” 

Need more inspiration and advice? Check out the Community Profiles. If something you read sparks your interest, consider reaching out for an informational interview. After all, LIS is all about the exchange of ideas and open access to information!

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