Get a Jump-Start With Summer Opportunities

iStudent Blog

Published: May 26, 2021 by Leslie Parry

The end of the semester is here! For months we’ve been rearranging our lives and work around the pandemic, keeping up with our studies, and waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. Now it’s time to take a break and celebrate! For those who are looking to keep up momentum during the summer, there are plenty of ways to stay engaged. From summer classes to networking opportunities to simply getting organized, here are ideas for enhancing your iSchool experience over summer break.

Take a summer class

Whether you’re looking to power through with your coursework, brush up on a competency, or just take a class that’s interesting to you (Graphic Novels! Oral History!), the iSchool’s summer session is rich with possibility. Classes begin June 1 and run through August 14. All classes are offered in Special Session, but you can still enroll if you’re a Regular Session student. (You don’t have to officially switch – you’ll return to Regular Session in the fall unless you’ve requested otherwise). The last day to register is May 22. For more information on summer classes, check out the iSchool Curriculum Blog.

Start prepping for your e-Portfolio

Summer is a great time to get organized. As alums have noted before, it really helps to start planning early for your e-Portfolio. It’s worth taking the time to go over your coursework, start mapping your assignments to competencies, and identify what you still need to fulfill. The Student Success Planner (available from the iSchool Advising Toolkit) is hugely helpful not only for e-Port planning but for setting longer-term goals. Other students have relied on organizational tools like Trello and bullet journaling. For a helpful overview of the e-Portfolio, check out this how-to video from INFO 203 peer mentor Jenna Columbia. You’ll thank yourself later for getting a jump-start now!


Webinars and conferences are an excellent way to stay connected over the summer. You can build your networking skills, stay abreast of emerging issues and trends, and get ideas for your own career path. And with so many events still virtual this year, you can attend from the comfort of your own home!

Virtual conferences:

There are also a variety of webinars, talks and meetups hosted by the Special Libraries Association and ASIS&T.

To expand your network, you might also look for professional associations that are specific to your area of interest. Thinking about a career in film and media archives? The Association of Moving Image Archivists has many valuable resources, including student scholarships. Maybe you’re curious about theological librarianship? You might consider Atla (American Theological Library Association), which offers students grants, scholarships and professional development opportunities. Whatever your pathway or interest, there is likely an association that can help you on your way. Check out the current ALA affiliate organizations or iSchool Career Advisor Kim Dority’s list of LIS professional associations.

Boost your resume with extracurricular opportunities

If you have the time, community engagement opportunities – such as volunteering or mentoring – are an excellent way to gain practical experience and enhance your resume. If you’re interested in professional development and have completed the requisite number of units, you may also consider applying for an internship. You can browse the iSchool’s internship database or potentially create an internship of your own. (Handshake is another great resource if you’re looking for internships, part-time jobs and other professional experience.) If you’re interested in writing, consider submitting to iSchool publications such as the Student Research Journal or Archeota. And don’t forget the iSchool’s award-winning student groups. Serving on the board of a student group gives you a chance to connect to your peers, build your resume, contribute to your e-Port competencies, and hone leadership skills. Register for the student groups’ end-of-semester meetup on May 21.

Get ready for the job market

Whatever your pathway, it’s always worth taking the time to go over your resume, practice your interview skills, and prepare to be a visible presence on the job market. You may consider setting up a LinkedIn account or connecting with institutions and peers over social media. The iSchool’s Career Development Site and the SJSU Career Center have numerous resources to help you prepare for what’s next.

But first, some good R&R is definitely in order! Head for the pool, dive into summer reading, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.  


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