Alumnus Sean Senti Lands Job Managing a Federal Agency Records Center
Taking advantage of San José State University School of Information’s career resources paid off for alumnus Sean Senti when he landed a records management job in April 2013 – about two weeks before graduating from the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program.
Senti had followed the program’s archival studies and records management Career Pathway. Now, as assistant project manager at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Records Center in San Francisco, Senti manages the day-to-day operations of its records division.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2002, Senti worked in marketing as an executive trainer and project manager until starting the MLIS program in 2011. He said he’d always had an interest in information management, but it wasn’t until after “a particularly bad day” as a marketing director that he did some research and learned it was an actual career field.
He said his current job is “a nice confluence of what I wanted to do and what I had been doing, because I had been managing people and managing projects, which is what they were looking for. But it’s still very much about the records, and that’s what I was looking for.”
The recruiter for the job had asked Dr. Patricia Franks, coordinator of the school’s Master of Archives and Records Management (MARA) program, for help reaching SLIS students. The recruiter told Franks the company had posted the job opportunity on Craigslist, but was having trouble finding candidates with backgrounds in both records management and project management.
Franks sent out an email alert about the opening to current students and posted it on the school’s Facebook page in order to reach current students as well as alumni. Since the job was also listed in the SJSU Handshake database managed by the SJSU Career Center, Franks turned to our school’s Career Center liaison, Jill Klees, for help reminding students to check the site often.
The result of this collaborative effort was that an email notice about the EPA job showed up in Senti’s inbox, he applied and was hired. According to the recruiter, their second-choice candidate was also from the iSchool, “showing how competitive your students are in the marketplace.”
Senti urges iSchool students to take advantage of the many free career development resources offered by the SJSU information school, such as resume help and job-seeking tips. According to Senti, he received a lot of help with his resume from iSchool career advisor Jill Klees.
During his last two semesters in the MLIS program, Senti also worked as a research assistant for Dr. Michael Stephens. He supported Stephens’ study of the Learning 2.0 online professional development program and its implementation at U.S. libraries.
Senti also served as vice chair of the school’s Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Student Chapter for part of the 2012-2013 academic year, filling in when the post became vacant. As vice chair, his role was to help the different committees with their activities and events, all of which are held online.
With his degree in hand and a fulfilling new career, Senti took a little time out in September for another major life event – getting married. When things settle down a bit, he’d like to become more active with industry associations and possibly get his project management certification.
“The more things you can do and the more hats you can wear, the better off you’ll be.”