Here is this week’s installment of the Library School Career Center feature, which is presented in partnership with the folks from the blog Hack Library School. If you’re interested in library education, or in new ideas and the future of the profession, you should check it out.
This interview is with Jennifer Lally, Event & Career Services Manager, Drexel University, The iSchool, College of Information Science & Technology. Jennifer Lally plans all the events for the college and manages a jobs page on the iSchool’s website, where she posts weekly full-time and part-time jobs that pertain to iSchool students. Jennifer works with employers interested in hiring iSchool students, by setting up information sessions, webinars and field trips. She also works with student groups helping them plan events.
Career Center Information
Who staffs the career center? Please talk a little about how it is managed and run.
We do not have a “career center” per se; I am the only person in the iSchool’s office that deals with career services. Drexel University as a whole has the Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC) where career services are offered to ALL Drexel students. Each college is assigned someone from the SCDC to work with our students. The iSchool at Drexel’s key feature is the job board we keep where any jobs received are sent to an email address where they are then opened and posted onto our website. If students have career services questions, they stop in, call or email me. I field the questions they have and decide which department they should speak to. I am basically the liaison to all career services questions, I field the questions and then send them to the appropriate department/person.
We want the students to understand the resources we have available so we include a few career services slides in our mandatory online/on-campus orientation presentation in the beginning of each quarter. We have a weekly e-newsletter, “The iSchool Weekly Digest” where announcements are sent out every Tuesday and we also have an announcements section in Blackboard Learn where I can post upcoming information sessions, networking events, internships, etc. We have Graduate Peer Mentors who are available to speak to prospective and new library science students. The Alumni Association also manages an Alumni Peer Mentoring Program, so students can sign up and find a mentor. Students may schedule appointments with Ken Bohrer, Graduate co-op coordinator at the SCDC to talk about career questions, resume and cover letter review. I also help the student chapters advertise the events they plan, which consist of information sessions, field trips, webinars, tours, networking events, resume review events.
Are there “career experts” on staff? What are their credentials?
We have faculty mentors and we list on our website their specialty areas so students can contact them with questions.
Does the career center provide any of the following:
(If I do not directly provide this service, a department on campus does)
√ Job Listings √ Resume/CV Review √ Help writing cover letters
√ Literature/articles √ Interview Practice √ General career coaching
√ Networking events (virtual or in-person)
√ Other: We participate and help promote events sponsored by the student groups of professional library associations.
Do you provide in-person services?
√ Appointments (Ken Bohrer does at the SCDC)
√ Speakers, or programs that present experts
√ Mixers or other networking events
√ Job Fairs (*The SCDC hosts 2 big career fairs a year one in October and one in April and I have an event every year after the October career fair inviting all employers who hire iSchool students and invite them to a private reception where students can speak to them one on one.)
√ Drop-in career center: Students can stop in anytime from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Do you provide online services?
(If I do not personally do it, the Marketing team promotes on Facebook and Twitter; The student groups have webcasted events, I advertise in the e-newsletter)
√ Website with resources
√ Webinars √ Podcasts √ Twitter: @ischoolatDrexel
√ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ischoolatdrexel √ Newsletter
√ Other: Blackboard announcements section.
What do you think is the best way for students to use the career center?
To read the weekly e-newsletter that goes out every week, to join a student group and keep an eye on the iSchools job board.
May alumni use career center resources?
Yes, the jobs website is open to the public, so anyone can view it. They can also contact the Career Services Office in the Department of Alumni Relations.
Are there any charges for services?
Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using the career center?
Students that pay attention to the announcements and job board and become involved in the student groups are more likely to get an internship and gain the experience they need to get a job after graduation.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about your services in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?
Students’ Career Paths
Can you share any statistics about employment rates after graduation?
Can you talk a little bit about the school’s approach to internships, practicums and/or volunteering?
We post all internships, practicums and volunteer projects on our job board and will highlight specific ones in our weekly e-newsletter. We encourage students to take the practicum after they have 24 credits to help build their job portfolio and to become involved if they do not have any prior library experiences.
Does the school have a stated approach or policy on helping students to find careers?
Does the school have any relationships with organizations that offer fellowships or other post-graduate opportunities?
Yes, we received announcements like these from faculty members and staff on the student services team.
How many students in the library school?
We have 470 students currently enrolled in the library science program this winter quarter.
What degree(s) do you offer?
Is it ALA accredited?
What are the entrance requirements?
When was the library school founded?
Where are you?
√ Northeastern US
Where are you?
This interview was conducted by Brianna Marshall is a second year dual-degree Master of Library Science and Master of Information Science student at Indiana University’s School of Library and Information Science. She is Managing Editor for Hack Library School and a 2012-2013 HASTAC scholar. Learn more about Brianna through her blog and portfolio or by following her on Twitter @notsosternlib