"Go for it! Regardless of where you live, this is totally doable. And so far, it's been a lot of fun too! Just stay positive, stay motivated, and keep working toward your goals."
Q: What's your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
A: My name is Erin Vader and I'm working toward a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science with a Graduate Certificate in Information Management. December 2012 is when I expect to graduate.
Q: Where are you from originally? How long have you been in the area? Did you move here to go to school?
A: I'm originally from Livonia, Michigan, but I've been living in Norfolk, Virginia, for two and a half years. I did not move back to Michigan for school-I'm in the online master's program. I did fly home for orientation and I'm glad I did. I think orientation was a good way to start feeling like a real part of the program.
Q: What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
Q: Why did you choose Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science?
A: I chose Wayne State's School of Library and Information Science because it's online and yet online students still pay in-state tuition. In addition, I've heard good things about Wayne's program. My mother graduated from the program (with a completely different specialization), and she learned a lot. She went from not being able to find Google, let alone use it, to teaching other teachers how to use technology and incorporate it in their classrooms. She really gained a lot of confidence from the program as well.
Q: What area are you specializing in? Why?
A: I'm specializing in the area of organization of information and getting an Information Management Certificate because I love organizing large amounts of data, especially digitally, and then using databases and lists to try to find specific pieces of that data when it's later needed. It's what I have experience in and I really enjoy it. Currently, I just use basic tools and software but I am really excited to learn more efficient and effective ways of organizing and finding information.
Q: What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
A: I take all my classes online because I live in Virginia which is where my full-time job is located. I can't move back to Michigan because I have to keep my full-time job. However, I also took a lot of online classes as an undergrad, and I just love the format. I work at a faster pace than most students and the online environment means that I don't have to listen to the professor repeat the same things over and over again. I can work at my pace and not waste time. That frees up more time for doing a really excellent job on assignments and learning new skills on my own (or with the informal help of the professor).
Q: Are you active in any student organizations?
A: I just started my degree program, and also, I think that it will be difficult to be involved in student organizations from Virginia. We'll have to see how it goes. I do keep track of the student organizations and what they're up to, but I'm not sure how to get involved in them remotely.
Q: Are you currently doing any library related work? If so, how has the School prepared you for it?
A: I help run the library for PETA. However, I was doing that before I started the program. I'm hoping the program will give me more tools and skills that I can use to make the library more functional and efficient.
Q: What are you most proud of in library school?
A: Getting in!
Q:Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into librarianship?
A: Not yet. I've just started, so I hope that I'll be really impacted by my professors and the whole experience! However, I can say that both my professors have been really responsive and helpful so far. I've asked them both several questions, and I've received thorough responses that were useful and encouraging. I know I just started the program, but I'm already enjoying it and learning a lot.
Q: Since joining the program, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A: The profession is very customer-oriented and I've never really thought about it like that.
Q: Do you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
A: Not yet! But I do feel confident that I will be prepared when I finish this program. I hope to one day work full-time in information management, preferably staying in the nonprofit sector. Currently, I'm primarily an editor, and running the library is more of a secondary task.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their library school?
A: Go for it! Regardless of where you live, this is totally doable. And so far, it's been a lot of fun too! Just stay positive, stay motivated, and keep working toward your goals.