Student Jessica Meindertsma Blends Publishing Background with a Future in LIS Digital Resources

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What began as an internship at Elsevier, an international publisher of science and health information, turned into a career pursuit for San José State University School of Information student Jessica Meindertsma, who works for Elsevier as a Journal Manager in their San Diego, California offices.  

She recently traveled to India, where she spent three months training new staff in Elsevier’s journals department. “I manage four scholarly journals for Elsevier on topics such as bone metabolism, epilepsy, and differential equations,” Meindertsma said. “I support authors, editors, and reviewers and coordinate the editorial-production process.”

Getting this position was a direct result of an internship that Meindertsma took on in 2009. As the Library Marketing Intern, she conducted social media work for the company’s library outreach program.

“I researched articles for their newsletter and interviewed people in the field about current topics of interest,” Meindertsma said. “With an undergraduate degree from UCLA in English, I didn’t have much background in the field of Library and Information Science, so I learned a lot, including what librarians look for from vendors like Elsevier.”

During her internship, Meindertsma began looking for job opportunities in the journals department. “The internship was crucial to getting the job,” Meindertsma said. “I could network with people in the company and had insiders to vouch for my work. It was also a great way to try out something new.”

The online aspect of the MLIS program enabled Meindertsma to continue working full time while pursuing her degree, which she plans to complete in fall 2013. She has focused her electives on learning about digital resources.

“Some of my favorite classes have been about online searching and digital preservation,” she said. “It’s interesting to me since my work involves the process of publishing a new article online and iSchool classes have taught me how electronic content is made accessible to users and preserved for the future. There are a lot of parallels between publishing and Library Science, for instance, how to leverage the flexibility of online resources.”

In additional to completing an internship, Meindertsma advises fellow students to connect with one another. She’s been involved in SLISConnect since 2011, the school’s networking group for students and alumni. “Last year I was the student social media coordinator for SLISConnect, and now I’m the webmaster,” she said. “SLISConnect is a great way to stay connected in an online program. We really focus on the group’s networking aspect and getting students and alumni to interact with each other.”