With my program finished and graduation looming, I have officially reached the end of my short but happy tenure as a Hack Library School contributor. It was a fabulous experience, and I’m grateful to have had it. It was a two-shot privilege – not only did I have the chance to collaborate with HLS’s talented writers and editorial staff, but I had the opportunity to engage in meaningful professional dialogue with other library students. That’s pretty hard to beat.
Before I go, I wanted to toss out a few bits of parting advice, (hindsight being 20/20, and all).
1. Career Research. Start researching potential career paths early in your program, in your first semester if possible. Choose your courses wisely and with the long view in mind. Keep a running list of important projects that can be used on your resume. Most of all, stay flexible and open to new opportunities, ideas and career possibilities. If your program has a career center, check in with it early and often.
2. Internships. Do one! Do at least one! If you can possibly do two, do two! If you don’t already have a library job, and don’t have one waiting for you, do an internship. Really. They are invaluable. I mean it. Invaluable.
3. Network, network, network. Believe me, I know. You’ve probably heard it a million times, but networking really is really important. Really. And I say this a networking-resistant, committed introvert. Connect with people in your classes, join listserves and comments on blogs. If you’re able to, go to conferences and talk to people. It all gets you out there, participating in the profession and making connections.
So, that’s it. The sum total of two and half years distilled into 3 heartfelt pieces of advice. Good luck to all of you as you rock through the rest of your programs, and thanks for letting me contribute to the academic and professional dialogue here at Hack for the past few months. I wish you all the best!