Highlights From the Fall 2017 Director’s Forum

iStudent Blog

Published: October 16, 2017 

iSchool Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh recently hosted a virtual coffee chat with students. The virtual chat is a chance for students to hear news and updates about the iSchool, as well as ask questions and participate in an informal conversation with the director. If you missed it, pour yourself a cup of joe and read on for some of the highlights. You can also watch the full recording here

Important Updates
Dr. Hirsh kicked off the session by sharing some important updates. First up was the alumni survey. All students are asked to take a survey after they graduate, and it was recently revamped. From the results of the most recent survey, Dr. Hirsh shared the top five experiences that were helpful to recent graduates in obtaining their first job: previous employment, technological skills, coursework/electives, subject specialization, and this is a big one, learning to work collaboratively with people in an online environment.

Dr. Hirsh reported that the career pathways have been updated to reflect the current landscape and course offerings. Interested in a career in data science? Check out the new data science career pathway.

In other updates, you can start using your Zoom pro account now! Zoom will officially replace Collaborate in January, so why not get a head start on this new technology? You’ll benefit from improved audio and video quality, and from my experience, it’s very user-friendly. 

Career Advice
There are some great resources that Dr. Hirsh highlighted during the session to prepare yourself for your first post-graduation job, check them out below:

Don’t forget to leverage the expertise of our wonderful Career Center Liaison Jill Klees. Dr. Hirsh further recommended that you ask Jill to take a look at your resume as she can provide suggestions and show you how to best feature your skills. 

“In general it’s a very robust job market out there right now,” commented Dr. Hirsh. The iSchool just published its MLIS Skills at Work snapshot. Hundreds of LIS job postings were analyzed to see what employers are looking for. Here are Dr. Hirsh’s top class picks for next semester that build some of the most in-demand skills discovered in the report:

  • 281 Digital Content (1 unit)
  • 281 Intercultural Communications (2 units)
  • 282 Crisis Management (1 unit)
  • 282 Political Advocacy (1 unit)
  • 282 Digital Asset Management (3 units)
  • 284 Enterprise Content Management & Digital Preservation (2 units)
  • 287 Library Services in the Digital Age (3 units)

Check out the Spring 2018 Course List and look out for next week’s blog post for more information.

She also highly recommended doing an internship, explaining it’s a valuable experience to test out your skills in a new environment, and expand the network of professionals that you know that can vouch for your abilities.

Celebrating Student and Alumni Success
It was great to learn about the awesome things students and alums have been up to and recognized for. Here’s some of our recent wins to be proud of:

  • BCALA Tyson Leadership Award – Tiffany Duck (alum)
  • CLA awards - Erin Berman (alum), Julian Jaravata (student), Gabriella Terzian (alum), and Amy Cheney (alum)
  • ASIS&T: New Leader Award – Tamarack Hockin (alum)
  • James M Cretsos Leadership Award – Jeremy McLaughlin (alum)
  • Six students from INFO-280 had library history papers published in LHRT News and Notes
  • Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship – Karen Kaufmann (Gateway PhD student)

Upcoming Conferences
If you’re planning on attending any of the below conferences, make sure to stop by the SJSU School of Information table or booth, and you may have the good fortune to connect with Dr. Hirsh herself.

And don’t forget about the Library 2.0 Virtual Conferences. You can watch the recordings of the most recent mini-conference, “Makerspaces,” here

Dr. Hirsh hosts these coffee chats as she likes to interact with students and hear how it’s going. If you have a question or comment that can’t wait until next semester’s forum, drop her an email at sandy.hirsh@sjsu.edu.


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