Spring 2018 Director’s Forum Highlights
Published: March 5, 2018
The director hosts a virtual coffee chat with students every semester to share iSchool news and answer questions.
Mention coffee and you’ve got my attention. Dr. Sandra Hirsh, iSchool Director, recently hosted a virtual coffee chat with students. I attended not just because I enjoy any excuse to drink coffee, but to hear news and updates about the School of Information and to participate in an informal conversation with the director. If you missed this semester’s forum, read on for some of the highlights. You can also watch the full recording here.
iSchool News and Updates
Dr. Hirsh kicked off the meeting by sharing some updates. There are several new partnerships you might not be aware of, including the Freedom to Read Foundation and Gwinnett County Public Library. Several faculty members also received grants recently, for example Dr. Michelle Chen received the SJSU RSCA Infusion grant to focus on the impact of social media on tourism.
Out and about at conferences, Dr. Hirsh has been hearing from employers about what they are looking for in graduate candidates. Five key things employers look for that you should keep in mind as you work through your program include:
- internship experience
- strong soft skills
- technological skills
- demonstrated potential for leadership and
- a willingness to embrace change.
Dr. Hirsh believes iSchool students are well prepared in terms of technological skills because of the online learning environment and huge number of courses focused on technical areas, and she encouraged students to do these electives. She also suggested ideas for building leadership skills while in the program, such as getting involved in professional associations and volunteering to lead a project.
“It’s never too early to start looking at career resources,” Dr. Hirsh commented. There are some great resources highlighted during the session to prepare yourself for your first post-graduation job including: Alumni Voices, Alumni Career Spotlights, Career Webcasts, Career Blog and the MLIS Skills at Work snapshot. 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.
Next on the agenda was new content for Summer and Fall 2018. Consider one of these exciting new classes as you plan your schedule for the next two semesters:
- Augmented/Virtual Reality (3 units)
- Workflow Assessment and Design in Collaboration with Technology Teams (1 unit)
- Evidence-based Research (1 unit)
- Python (2 units)
- Crisis Management: The Expanding Role of Information Professionals
- Digital Content Evaluation/Negotiation/Acquisition/Deployment/Tracking (1 unit)
- New Technologies that can Impact Information Awareness and Access (e.g. Chatbots) (1 unit)
It was great to learn about the awesome things students and alumnae have been up to and recognized for. A few recent wins to be proud of include three iSchool alumnae elected to the CLA board of directors, Annie Cipolla won the 2017 I Love my Librarian award and William Mcall and Tamara Foster joined VOYA’s advisory board as the first student members.
If you’re planning on attending any of the below conferences, make sure to stop by the SJSU School of Information table or booth. You might have the good fortune to connect with Dr. Hirsh herself at the SLA and ALA conferences. Upcoming receptions include:
- CUE Palm Springs 3/15 at 5pm
- PLA Philadelphia 3/22 at 5pm
- SLA Baltimore 6/12 at 6.30pm
- ALA New Orleans 6/23 at 5pm
Dr. Hirsh hosts these coffee chats to get to know students, answer questions and share any useful information she has. Everyone is welcome so make sure you tune in to fall’s forum.