Monday, December 19, 2016


One thing that unites the UMSI community is the desire to utilize information and technology to craft a better world.

We all find that the principles of UMSI align with those of our own:
  • We share a passion for the fundamental intertwining of people, information and technology.
  • We believe that to understand and improve interactions between people, information, and technology, we must combine scientific expertise in all three.
  • We share a willingness to take risks.
  • We are progressive and forward-looking.
  • We are a welcoming and diverse community.
  • We believe fun is a necessity.

But we also have our personal reasons for attending UMSI. Here are some reasons shared by those in the UMSI community:

Large School Benefits, Small School Feel
“For me, it was the strong Archives/Records Management program in particular, the overall quality of the whole School of Information, and the opportunity to be in such a small, intimate school that is an integral part of a large, outstanding research university (essentially having the advantages of both a small school and a large one at the same time)”, said Michael, an ARM and PI major from the class of 2014 currently working as an archivist at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum
Brian, a first year MSI student also pursuing a masters in Higher Education, said he was drawn to “the fantastic courses [and convinced by] the way that you can pair them with just about any other fantastic UM degree you find exciting.”

The Amazing Community
“I came for the love of the work, and stayed for the love of the people,” stated Nisreen, a first year also working as an IT Product Designer at Ford.  Meg, a second year with interests in games UX echoed this sentiment, sharing that she initially attended UMSI for the networking opportunities, but stayed because of the good friends she had made.

An Innovative, Forward-Thinking Space
UMSI is "where Information Architecture for the World Wide Web became a thing," said Dan, an alum currently working as an Information Architect.

Strong Career Preparedness
“UMSI equips tomorrow's leaders with the design and data skills necessary to build the application-layer of the information age, the most important layer, the one humans actually interact with, ” shared Michael an MSI and law student.

Commitment to Service
Maggie, a full-time Data & Systems Analyst and part-time first year student pursuing a tailored degree in Information Management for the Public Sector was drawn to the Citizen Interaction Design program, which seeks to improve civic engagement through the use of information tools.

Honorable Mentions
  • “Cat photo email threads on the all-school, no-filter listserv”
  • “The squirrels”

Monday, December 12, 2016

Career Development at UMSI

Last year in March when I came to Michigan for Visiting Days, I was really impressed by the offerings of the Career Development Office (CDO). It wasn’t just a job posting board. It was an entire office staffed with people dedicated to helping you achieve employment success. This was extremely important to me as I wanted my graduate degree to be a good investment, and I wanted additional guidance as I transitioned into a field that I didn’t know much about and had no contacts in. The CDO ended up playing a big role in my decision to attend UMSI.

Although, I’ve yet to finish up my first term, I’ve already taken advantage of the CDO to rehabilitate my resume and have attended on-campus events by various employers. I actually can't keep track of everything the CDO has going on (so many emails!). The extensiveness of the CDO, in my opinion, is unparalleled.

Some of the services the Career Development Office provides students include:
  • Resume and cover letter assistance
  • Mock interviews
  • Advising for summer internships
  • Employer recruiting events
  • iTrack, a job postings/event site specific to UMSI students

Get a better sense of the services the CDO provides students:

Learn more about the program’s job outcomes:

See the amazing 2016 employment outcomes:

To learn more about the Career Development Office please visit:

Monday, December 5, 2016

Tips for a Successful Application

With the priority deadline for the MSI fast approaching (January 15th!!!), I hope many of you have crossed the big things off your to-do list, such as taking the GREs (or other necessary exams) and asking for your letters of recommendation. If you're anything like me, you'll probably be spending the next few weeks trying to whip up the perfect essays (so much for Happy Holidays...).

It's tough, but here are some tips to help you submit your strongest application:

Think about your story. What makes you unique?
Tip: For the personal statement, imagine you are having a conversation with someone you feel very comfortable with. Jot down how you would convey your history and your passion to them; let the words flow naturally without trying to make them sound "better". Once you have all your thoughts down, you need only formalize and edit them.

In the Statement of Purpose, show that you've done your research.
When applying for a job it's best to do some background research on the company; for graduate school it's no different. Take the time to understand: What is the goal of the school? What kind of activities are they engaged in? What kind of research is going on? Then try to answer: Why do I want to study here? How/what can I add to the school?

Have a friend (or three) review your personal statement and statement of purpose.
A fresh set of eyes can pick up on things that you may not have. Especially when you feel like flinging your laptop into a wall after spending hours on your essays.

Craft a resume that highlights both the unique voice of your personal statement and the skills of your statement of purpose.
I encourage you to look at sample resumes online and get family and friends to review yours. Tip: Use action words, especially those that show leadership and responsibility (i.e. supervised, directed, organized). Tip: Use specific examples when giving evidence of your skills/experiences (i.e. worked the cash register vs managed cash flows of up to $100,000 each day).

Remind your letters of recommendation writers 1-2 weeks before the deadline.
Luckily the MSI application notifies you when a recommendation has been submitted. [Don't forget to send a thank you note to them afterwards!]

Most importantly, get your application in by January 15th!
I cannot stress how important it is, especially if you like getting money to help pay for things (i.e. everyone). The most UMSI merit scholarships are given out to applicants who apply within this first pool.

Please visit the application requirements page to make sure your awesome application is also a complete application 😅.

Also, be sure to keep up-to-date with this blog.  In the coming weeks, we will post more information about the application process, the MSI degree, and life in Ann Arbor.

If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email at We’re always happy to help!