20 Signs You’re an iSchool Student

iStudent Blog

Published: Monday, September 17, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

The hard work of this semester has only just begun, so I thought I’d keep it light this week with a post about being a student at the SJSU School of Information. I’m sure you’ll relate to a few of these signs from my list and hopefully chuckle at a couple of them too! If you’re a new student or thinking about applying to the iSchool, here’s a little preview of what’s in store.

1. Your network is global
As a fully online program, students and faculty connect across the world. You soon realize you need to check what timezone the other person is in before setting up a meeting or disastrous consequences will ensue!

2. You’re savvy with social media and other web based technology
With everyone spread out around the globe, you need to leverage social media and tools like Google Docs to get things done.

3. You study [insert anywhere] because you can
On the train, in the backyard, on the couch or at your desk, you can study wherever and whenever you want to. One time I submitted an assignment from England while I was visiting my family.

4. You thoroughly research every decision you make
All those research skills come in handy whether you’re planning a vacation or deciding what tea kettle to buy.

5. You catalog stuff
Chances are you’re already pretty organized; once you’ve taken a cataloging class like INFO 248 Beginning Cataloging and Classification, you’ll be dying to catalog your personal belongings.

6. You have far too many books
Just kidding, you can never have too many books! But add your textbooks to your impressive collection of fiction (librarians love to read after all) and you’ve got quite the library.

7. You have to explain what your degree is
Most people don’t realize you need a master’s degree to be a librarian, much less know what an MLIS is! I’m sure the same goes for a MARA degree, so have your elevator speech ready for dinner parties.

8. You champion libraries
Most people involved in the field are passionate advocates of libraries; studying at the iSchool will only add fuel to that fire.

9. You’re in the know about professional associations
As an iSchool student, you’ll gain exposure to professional associations (and their respective student chapters) helping you connect and gain insight to professional development opportunities.

10. You’ve nailed APA style
After developing dozens of assignments using this style guide, you get to know it very well. I didn’t use APA style for my undergraduate degree so I had to learn this one from scratch.

11. You have a well crafted ‘introduce yourself’ paragraph
Most professors will ask you to introduce yourself at the beginning of a new class. Nothing surprising there, you’ll just have to type it out as opposed to sharing it verbally sitting in a classroom. After a few semesters you’ll know exactly what you want to say in your first impression to your fellow classmates.

12. You have great time management skills 
You definitely need to be self-motivated as a virtual student to ensure you get your work done. After the first semester, you’ll figure out a study schedule that works for you and fits around your lifestyle.

13. You’ve changed your mind about your career path (maybe more than once)
An MLIS/MARA degree is so versatile it can be hard to narrow down exactly what you want to do with it. I’ve met many students who thought they wanted to do one thing only to change their minds after taking certain courses or doing an internship. I started the program thinking I was interested in information architecture only to switch to special librarianship later on.

14. You want to do everything
There are emails sent all the time about a cool special studies project, or the chance to publish in the School of Information Student Research Journal or an invitation to present at a conference. I’d love to do all these things but I have to prioritize based on the time I have available.

15. You stress about your e-portfolio even though it’s years away
You’ll begin backing up evidence and planning out your classes and assignments in anticipation (or fear) of the elusive e-portfolio from your first class. Let me tell you, a few weeks into doing my e-portfolio, I’ve realized it’s not as scary as I thought. Look for a post towards the end of the semester where I’ll share my experience.

16. You show your school spirit
From t-shirts to license plates, show your School of Information pride by staying stocked on all the latest iSchool swag.

17. You could never go back to in-person classes
Having to drive and show up to class in-person at a set time and place sounds like a major inconvenience after enjoying the luxuries of online learning.

18.  You nerd out over old stuff
This might not apply to everyone but I’m guessing there are a fair share of history buffs among the iSchool population (I’m thinking about you, MARA students)! I can admit I got pretty excited about discovering an old exhibition catalog from the early 1900s during my summer internship.

19. You wish you could take more classes
There’s such a wide variety of courses to choose from. I’ve mentioned before that I wish I could take them all! If you just can’t stand the thought of missing out, check out the post-master’s certificate or open classes.

20. Your pets have interrupted you
Your furry pals don’t understand you have a deadline to meet and demand your attention. I know I’m not the only one who’s been in the middle of a Zoom meeting and their dog decides to bark at a noise they heard outside or jump into your lap!

How many of these resonated with you? Did I miss any of the signs of being an iSchool student? Let me know in the comments below.

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