MLIS Student Joy Kim Expands Experience with Multiple Internships
“Every internship was so unique and different. The greatest takeaway is that librarianship comes in all shapes and sizes! I was grateful to experience so many ways to be an information professional and I loved all of them! It will be really hard to decide where to end up after I finish the program this fall.”
MLIS Student, SJSU
Bay Area, California
When Joy Kim entered the MLIS program at San José State University School of Information, she decided to get as much out of it as she possibly could. One of the ways she accomplished this was by taking part in a number of internship opportunities. “I have had opportunities to intern at so many places. I have enjoyed all of them immensely and have learned so much about the uniqueness and expansiveness of the information profession,” said Kim. “I did not know how diverse librarian contexts could be and that there really is a place for every kind of librarian.”
Internships Provide Diverse Experiences
Kim’s first internship was a virtual reference librarian for the Claremont School of Theology. She decided that she wanted to volunteer at a high school library for a different kind of experience, but instead got hired as the media tech at her local high school. The following summer she found two internships: one at Shutterfly as a Metadata Intern and another at Stanford’s Branner Map Library as a GIS Metadata Intern. She has also interned with the Faculty Diversity Internship Program (FDIP) through the Peralta Community College District while working part-time at Berkeley City College (BCC). While Kim was working part-time at BCC she found a part-time position as circulation specialist at Stanford’s Green Library. The following summer Kim found another opportunity for an internship in Alaska for two months as a community development intern through the Anchorage Public Library.
Choosing a favorite amongst her internships was difficult for Kim. “If I had to choose, it would be the FDIP through Peralta because it was so well organized. For nine months you meet in a cohort and share in your experiences as you put together a portfolio to use for future job opportunities. You also receive feedback from the FDIP coordinator, which I found valuable,” said Kim. Kim is focusing on digital services and academic librarianship in the MLIS program, but feels that much of her previous work before entering librarianship is transferable to other settings.
From High School Teacher to Librarian
Prior to beginning her transition into librarianship, Kim earned a BA in English at the University of California at Riverside, an M.A. in Urban Education/Teaching Credential at the University of California at Berkeley, and another M.A. degree in Higher Education from Columbia University. Kim taught high school English for eight years. In her free time she leads a spiritual formation group in a theology book club and enjoys biking around downtown Oakland or hiking anywhere that has Redwood trees. “Librarianship was never my original plan, like most things in life,” said Kim. “I was a public high school teacher for eight years and decided it was time for a change. I transitioned into school librarianship while taking courses with the SJSU iSchool, and decided to venture out into corporate and academic librarianship opportunities.”
Kim has good things to say about the MLIS program at SJSU. “The program is designed for students who take initiative and are willing to try new things. It will be so much more enjoyable when you come into the program with this mindset,” said Kim. Students interested in doing internships while at SJSU can choose from on-site or virtual options. She believes that internships should be required for library students, especially those new to the industry. “I learned more in my internships than in the actual courses I took combined.” As an experiential learner, Kim sees internships as being a way for students to gain the hands-on experience that they need to complete the MLIS degree, expand their knowledge and experience, and successfully enter into the job market. Internships can make a big difference in finding a great job post-graduation.