One Success Leads to Another– A Letter from iSchool Alumna Kate Dillon

iStudent Blog

Published: May 11, 2016

The following letter was written in November of 2015 by iSchool alumna Kate Dillon to our Online Student Advisor Sheila Gurtu and the School of Information’s Career Advisor Jill Klees.

Dillon just wanted to drop a line sharing her success and how her coursework and internships shaped her job search. We’re so thankful Kate is letting us share in her success by publishing this email as well as a short bio she wrote about her journey through graduate school, and beyond into the working world.

Email entitled: ‘Landed a Job!’
Hi there – I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time at Branner Earth Sciences Library at Stanford creating metadata for geospatial datasets. I started there as an intern in the Fall 2014 semester and they hired me on before I graduated in May 2015. Everyone there has been so amazingly fantastic. It was a phenomenal experience. They’ve also been incredibly supportive of my job search.

I interviewed for a Metadata Operations Coordinator position at Perseus Books Group (Berkeley) in early October and will be starting the new position on December 2nd. This position combines the interests I pursued in graduate school: metadata and digital asset management. It also includes database management and tech support, which were my bailiwicks pre-graduate school. It is a perfect fit for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I wanted to keep you guys in the loop. I hope you are both doing well!

Best regards,
Kate

Kate’s Journey
I focused on a non-traditional path through my MLIS program. As such, I was pioneering my selection of coursework, extracurricular activities, and internships. Although I’m proud of the job I did, I do wish I had established an ongoing connection with my advisor to hone my path that much more. It’s important to take advantage of as many opportunities and as much support as possible during graduate school. It’s an investment you make in yourself. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.

I knew I was interested in metadata when I got the internship at Stanford. I took the metadata course (INFO 281) over the summer of 2014, focusing my research on standards and current practices specifically related to my internship. This and my technology background gave me a leg up on my learning curve and I picked up things quickly. During my time at the Branner Earth Sciences Library, I not only created metadata for data that was later published online, but I familiarized myself with the entire data lifecycle of which metadata played a part.

My last semester at the iSchool was spent on my job search while doing another internship, taking one course, and completing my ePortfolio. A month before graduation, I was surprised by a phone call. Branner had funding for a temporary position over the summer. I applied immediately and was offered the job a couple of weeks later. I was the only candidate who knew the job and wouldn’t require any training. The work experience I had at Branner was the best litmus test for vetting my interest in pursuing metadata professionally.

Right now, I’m working as a metadata technician in the publishing industry. My company was just purchased by Ingram Content Group, based in Nashville, TN, which distributes both print and digital content to publishers, libraries, book sellers, and educators worldwide. I’m working towards an eventual position as a metadata analyst, keeping my eyes open to opportunities that arise to broaden my skill set. The one thing that’s for certain now more than ever is that change is constant. As information professionals, we have to be prepared to shift gears at a moment’s notice, to think innovatively, and to keep our eyes on the horizon. That’s what our field needs and that’s what I enjoy doing.    

More letters from successful iSchool students and alumni:
The iSchool’s Impact: Letter from Lea Takigawa

Letter to the iSchool from Alumnus Eddy Hamelin

Letter to the iSchool from Alumna Remy Timbrook