Guess what? It worked!
posted November 13, 2013 12:09 PM by Julie Steenson
I am writing to share some good news. As the end of my degree program nears, I have started looking at jobs that require the MLIS. I have been fortunate to have worked in a public library and volunteered in a prison library while going to school, giving me lots of valuable paraprofessional experience. Having spent all this time and money, however, I felt it was time to look at moving on to an entry-level professional position.
If you spend any time on the blogs or on LinkedIn, you don't believe it is possible to take that degree and get a job, but guess what? The whole "go to school, get a professional degree and join the profession" plan works!
As one of my last classes here at GSLIS, I am taking Literature for the Humanities. In this advanced reference class, my professor has been nothing but encouraging, so after one of his pep talks, I started looking at the advertisements for reference librarians. Most want the degree in hand, but I am so close, I figured the worst they could say was "no thanks." I decided to apply for an evening Reference Librarian position at a local university. This was exciting because the word "Librarian" was in the title - not Library Assistant or Associate or Clerk. This was the real deal.
Before applying, I carefully reviewed in my mind all the bits of resume advice and interviewing tips I have received from the dedicated faculty I have had here. I reworked the resume, studied the university's website, contacted my references, wrote a really good cover letter, and crossed my fingers. Then the call came for the interview! Woohoo - Step 1! I was thrilled to learn how many of the library team had Simmons MLIS degrees. Instant connection! The librarian who interviewed me got her degree from GSLIS just five years ago and now she is in charge of Information Literacy Instruction. Then I received the request for references. Woohoo - Step 2! And then the call came to offer me the position! (Do I sound just a little excited?)
I had my first day of training this past week, and learned about my new job at the reference desk. I will simultaneously be doing reference in-person, and through chat, email, and phone. While this is only an evening position, I am still very excited to be part of the university's reference team, and am hopeful for future opportunities as they are building a brand new library that will open next summer. Meanwhile, I am enjoying my new space, learning about their cool 3D printer, and having the chance to participate in collection development. Most importantly, I have the chance to help so many students both in-person and through long-distance learning technologies. The rest of the library team was warm and friendly and made me feel welcome.
This week I fly solo, and I am nervous but ready! Thank you to all the amazing GSLIS faculty and peers because in all honesty, I could not have done this without you.