Post-Master’s Certificate Brings New Job Opportunities for Experienced Librarian Returning to the Field
“I got more interviews as the number of courses I took increased. Companies like [when job applicants] demonstrate continued studying and learning. The certificate program definitely opened doors to interviews.”
Web Editor, Stefanini
Post-Master’s Certificate student
Librarian Julianne Wells advances her job prospects by updating her skills through the San José State University School of Information Post-Master’s Certificate program.
After completing a master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri, Julianne Wells had an active, diverse and fulfilling career as a corporate librarian. She held St. Louis-based library positions, first at Columbia College while completing her degree at UM, and later at Ethyl Petroleum Additives (now Afton Chemical) and Data Research Associates (now SirsiDynix).
Starting out as a technical services library assistant, Wells recalls advancing in each subsequent job. At DRA, a company that provided library automation systems, electronic networking services and other related services for libraries, Wells “traveled the country demonstrating DRA’s Integrated Library System (ILS) for prospective customers, current customers and at library conferences. [She] was also a liaison with software development testing new software versions.” After moving to the West Coast, Wells worked with Intel’s library’s database of internal research and later with an Intel manufacturing group working on taxonomy development and maintenance for her department’s Knowledge Management System.
The iSchool’s Post Master’s Certificate Leads to New Opportunities
In the early 2000s, Wells took time out to focus on her family, finding occasional consulting gigs to stay current. As her children became increasingly independent, Wells began exploring opportunities to return to work, but found it “impossible to get back into any librarian jobs.” The necessity of updating her skills and information technology savvy became increasingly apparent.
Wells Googled a variety of distance-learning library classes from her home in the Portland, Oregon suburbs. “I looked into SJSU’s iSchool program, which seemed the most affordable,” and entered the Post Master’s Certificate program in January 2015. “I took it one semester at a time,” she recalls. To balance her coursework with her busy family life, she held a part-time job “doing social media evaluations” and took a semester off when needed. She completed the 16-units Web Programming and Information Architecture pathway in June 2016.
Responses to her updated resume took off. “I got more interviews as the number of courses I took increased,” says Wells. “Companies like [when job applicants] demonstrate continued studying and learning. The certificate program definitely opened doors to interviews.” It turns out the first manager to hire Wells, also a librarian, was appreciated her investment in continuing education and advanced skills. All her classes at SJSU were “interesting in different ways; some were quite dynamic. It’s seems funny to say that,” says Wells, “because they were all taught online.”
She’s back at Intel as a contractor with Stefanini, initially in Intel’s document control group. “We’re at the point of communication,” says Wells, “between Intel engineers and the architecture and engineering firms” that build new facilities and fabrication plants. “There are prescribed methods to follow regarding security, intellectual property and formally transferring information.” She’ll now be taking on new challenges as web editor in Intel’s Global Insights and Analytics group, responsible for digital assets.