Monday, July 15, 2013

Student Involvement at UMSI

Opportunities at the University of Michigan School of Information lie beyond the walls of the classrooms; in fact, involvement outside of academics can have important effects on a student's time here.  A couple of our students wrote first hand accounts of their experience:
Before coming to UMSI, I set out a few goals for myself, one of which was to be a ‘joiner’ -- to join organizations and go to events and grow my personal and professional network. Like many people in the library world, I tend to be an introvert. I don’t see this as a negative trait, but I worried about missing out on the graduate experience that happens outside the classroom. We learn to be professionals as much from our peers as from our teachers, and these professional connections become career connections when we go on the job market.

As a ULA, I already had a full schedule between my library responsibilities and my coursework, but I made time to get involved with SOIAR (my specialization’s student group) -- initially, in my first year, simply by attending events and then, in my second year, in a leadership position. My role as an executive officer of SOIAR has given me the opportunity to interact with the administration, the career development office, other student groups, and a wide variety of fellow students. I have given presentations, organized workshops and panels and meetings, and set up happy hours. Being in this role has helped me learn, in a low-stakes way, about my strengths and weaknesses as leader, with a time commitment as low as an hour a week. It has also connected me to a much larger group of students and alumni than I would have met otherwise. I am very happy I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to become not only a joiner but a leader as UMSI.  --Jeremy Salfen, MSI ‘13
The core of U-M experience is the wide opportunities and rich resources at the University and Ann Arbor. Besides SI, U-M's other schools and institutes are also very good, I can easily tailor the courses, the part-time position, the voluntary work and etc to his or her own interest and career path. I may also meet interesting and talented people in Ann Arbor which becomes increasingly entrepreneurial. The Michigan difference gives you the confidence to follow your own path.  --Xiaohan Yu, MSI ‘13
So, be sure to check out our student groups and projects for ways to start considering involvement at UMSI!