Academic and Professional Goals

Why did you decide to join the LIS Program? What kind of work do you enjoy doing? What kind of information professional do you want to be? These are questions that you should think about as you move through the LIS Program – but you don’t have to decide right away! We encourage students to take many different kinds of classes to create a broad foundation for professional life – you never know what might interest you. Also it’s not uncommon for a librarian to do many kinds of tasks on the job, and broad preparation will help you in your first jobs.

Some ideas to think about while you are in the LIS Program:

  • Read this website and the Office of Graduate Education website carefully, so you are familiar with the requirements for graduation. Don’t let anything surprise you in your last semester!
  • Investigate scholarship and paid internship opportunities to help finance your education.
  • Review the information presented by professional organizations, stay in touch with recent grads, and keep an eye on both job advertisements and the resumes and public Web pages of people who work where you’d like to work someday.  This will show you the many kinds of jobs MLISc degree holders have and may help you decide what direction you want to take.
  • Participate in one of the student groups to showcase your professional involvement and perhaps your leadership abilities.
  • Look at the internships for credit – these are a unique opportunity to get professional experience while a student. You can do a total of two internships for 6 credits in the fall or spring semesters.
  • To demonstrate your professional contributions in a more formal way, consider doing a research project.  You can write a thesis for the MLISc degree (particularly recommended for those who are considering academic librarianship or a PhD), or take an LIS 699 Directed Reading and/or Research class where you can design your own project for credit.  Even if you’re not doing a thesis or 699, faculty are happy to help you prepare and submit your work for publication.
  • Create and maintain a Web presence to show off your coursework, resume and various experiences to prospective employers.
  • Have fun! Library Students are a talented, generous and smart group of people who can inspire each other to great things. Enjoy your experience in your classes and your work!