Four Reasons to be Thankful as an iSchool Student
Published: November 21, 2017
Happy Thanksgiving! I share the reasons why I’m thankful to be a student at the SJSU School of Information.
I hope you are all winding down for Thanksgiving and looking forward to food, family and football! I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the reasons why I’m thankful to be a student at the SJSU iSchool, especially as I head into my final year.
I’ve seen my friends posting on social media lately for 30 days of thanks, and this inspired me to stop and think about what I’m thankful for. I also wanted to know what my peers thought, so I reached out to my classmates in INFO-287. I’m sure you’ll share some of the same reasons, but if you have others, let me know in the comments below!
Reason #1: Flexibility
Studying remotely and on my own schedule is something I don’t take for granted. I’m not sure I could’ve gone back to school had it not been for the iSchool’s 100% virtual program. This kind of flexibility allows students to fit in classes and school work around their schedule. Many students are working full time or raising a family at the same time. When I first started, I wasn’t sure what to expect of an online learning environment. Fortunately, the iSchool has a great suite of software that makes working remotely a breeze. Canvas is user-friendly, and I’m really enjoying the new video conferencing tool, Zoom!
I also love that I’m learning valuable skills for working across time zones as the world of work becomes increasingly virtual. As my classmate Tiffany Chai said, “I’m thankful to be able to meet so many different people from around the world and work with them to better our field! Despite communicating from afar and possibly not ever meeting, being vulnerable with each other is a challenge that grows us and the community.”
Reason #2: Variety
I’m thankful for the awesome array of classes I can choose from; I wish I could take them all! I have 14 units left to complete my degree, and it’s hard to decide what classes to take. By now you’ll be busy registering for spring classes (if you’re a procrastinator, check out my post on nailing down your Spring 2018 schedule). There are some awesome opportunities to gain credit for work that doesn’t fit into the traditional class format too, such as internships, special project work and peer mentoring for INFO-203. There hasn’t been a dull moment since I started the MLIS program! I also appreciate the diverse backgrounds of the many lecturers at the iSchool; this has definitely helped to enrich my learning experience.
Reason #3: Support
From the students, to professors and all the support staff at SJSU, I feel part of a wonderful community and supported all the way. Graduate study is hard, especially when you throw in life, work and family on top, but with the support of everyone at the School of Information, I know I can do it. The iSchool website has tons of helpful information, but I know there’s always someone willing to help should I still have questions. All of my professors have been very timely in responding to my questions, and I’ve seen my fellow students help each other out too by sharing resources and answering questions. Keep up the good work!
Reason #4: Professional Development
Next semester, I’m looking forward to doing my first internship. As someone who doesn’t come from a traditional library background, this is going to be a huge advantage. Like I mentioned earlier, I wish I had more units so I could do multiple internships! I recently joined the SLA Student Chapter and I’m looking forward to networking and attending future events. The most recent Library 2.017 virtual conference, “Makerspaces,” was an awesome learning opportunity. MLIS student Marianne Gatto-McCann shared, “I am thankful to have found a program that has assisted me in developing my potential to become a strong and effective teacher-librarian.”
Whatever your career path, there are a host of classes to choose from, a professional association (or two) to join, and you can even customize your own internship! Let’s not forget the suite of resources available for job hunting from the Career Center. I need to work on my interviewing skills, and it’s amazing that Career Center Liaison Jill Klees can help me with this by doing mock interviews. I can also get her feedback on my resume.
Besides the reasons I listed above, I’m thankful just to be a student. Not everyone has the opportunity to be able to learn and grow, especially at a great school like SJSU. Happy Thanksgiving!