iSchool Alumni and Student Association’s New Name Captures Mission to Build Connections and Support Next Career Steps
The San José State University (SJSU) School of Information alumni and student association has recently changed its name, and the new name better embodies the goals of the dynamic group. Alumni President Jennifer Dinalo explained that she supported the name change from SLISConnect to iSchool Connext because “the mission of this group is to create connections between students and alumni and to provide continued support as members transition from being students to what comes next in their careers as alumni.”
In order to support networking and career development, iSchool Connext organizes a number of events including Fireside Chats, virtual job fairs, convocation activities, and more, usually in conjunction with other student groups. Dr. Kristen Rebmann, the group’s faculty advisor, commented on the numerous activities planned for 2015. “iSchool Connext has some fantastic energy, and it’s a great time for students and alumni to participate in this supportive group,” said Rebmann.
In December, iSchool Connext hosted a Fireside Chat via Blackboard Collaborate with four working librarians to discuss such topics as the essential skills learned in library school, the most useful graduate courses, the most important competencies to have in today’s information centers, and other observations from the workplace. The four librarians, Ann Agee, Elizabeth Borghi, Madeline Peña, and Jessica Lee, came from varied work environments and were able to offer insights and field questions about academic libraries, special libraries, public libraries, and school libraries.
iSchool Connext also has plans for a second Fireside Chat in February devoted to the job hunt. The group has invited Emily Weak of Hiring Librarians and Stephen Flynn of Open Cover Letters to share their knowledge about the job search process with students and alumni in a Blackboard Collaborate session on February 10, 2015, at 7 p.m. PST.
Dinalo stated that she has had fun meeting students and alumni since getting involved with iSchool Connext, and also that networking such as that done in the alumni and student association has been a key to her own job success. “Getting involved in student groups is always my advice to students,” said Dinalo. “You never know how your network will affect your future. I found out about my job from my network. I have also referred fellow alumni and students in my network to job openings.”