The iSchool’s Best Resources for Networking and Planning Your Career
Published: April 6, 2016
Whether you’re getting ready to graduate this May or you’ve just started your coursework at the iSchool, it’s always a good time to check out the great webpages, blog posts and resources available to help you plan for your career as an information professional.
Here we’ll give you a long, lovely list of ways to focus your coursework for the job you want, network with like-minded people, and get yourself ready to grab the job of your dreams.
Map Your iSchool Program to Your Ideal Career
If you’re looking ahead to the upcoming semester, why not look a bit further and start mapping out your whole program? If you know what sort of information career you’d like to have, or you’d like to see where you could take your skills learned in graduate school, take a look at the Career Pathway web pages and blog posts listed below. These invaluable resources provide you an in-depth look at some of the course projects and skills learned in different pathways and features interviews with iSchool instructors about the unique opportunities each pathway offers.
- Digital Curation
- Emerging Technology: Issues and Trends
- Information Intermediation
- Information Organization, Description, Analysis, and Retrieval
- Teacher Librarian
- Web Programming and Information Architecture
- Youth Services
- Leadership and Management
- (Archival Studies coming soon!)
This post about a presentation given by alumna Elizabeth Borghi, for example, will help you get an idea of how the skills you learn at the iSchool will fit into a variety of information professions. Or conversely, the presentation suggests the best coursework to prepare you for a specific job as an information professional.
If you’re not sure about specific subjects and courses but want to take a peek at some possibilities, one-unit courses can give you a taste for something without submerging yourself into an unknown subject. I took an Info 246 Fundamentals of Programming class that helped me determine that programming isn’t my strong suit; however, the course helped me explore how apps and programs work and enabled me to better troubleshoot a program or be able to direct a programmer in the right direction should I need help writing one.
Network and Be Social
If you’re looking for a way to connect with your fellow students and the greater professional world, there are a wide variety of ways to do so. Student groups provide an invaluable experience to expand your professional skills and add to your resume as well as help you meet others. Check out these blog posts and web pages about student groups:
- Join a Student Group and Boost Your Future Employability
- Special Libraries (SLA) Student Chapter
- Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Student Chapter
- American Library Association (ALA) Student Chapter
- Society of American Archivists (SAA) Student Chapter page
If you’d like to make the most of the connections you’ve made at the iSchool, be it with instructors or fellow classmates, check out these two blog posts about building a LinkedIn page and using it to network effectively.
Prepare to Be the Best Person for the Job
Once you’ve planned out your study of focus, you’re thinking about that dream job and networking to connect with people who can help you make it happen. Be sure to visit the iSchool’s Career Development pages to learn about the best ways to make your resume shine, with or without a lot of on-the-job experience. Jill Klees, the School of Information’s Career Center Liaison offers all kinds of career-related online workshops and can even help you polish up your resume. She helped me identity ways to make my resume shine brighter than I could imagine on my own.
After you’ve got your resume polished up and listened to some of the workshops and career colloquia, continue your pursuit of excellent job searching by going through the extensive interviewing resources that Klees has put together.
I also recommend you flip through the iSchool’s Alumni Career Spotlights to get real-life examples of what it’s really like to work in the world of library and information science or archives and record management. Check out this blog post to find out the details on how to make the most out of reviewing the spotlights and contacting alumni.
Don’t let your coursework be the only way you prepare for a job. Really use these resources to get the most out of your time with the iSchool and to make your professional future a success!
Links to Your Best Resources as You Start the SJSU iSchool
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