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Non-Profit Tech Salaries...

The Non-Profit Technology Network (that also hosts a great listserv) recently published an article on NPO-Tech Job salaries that I wanted to share...

Are You Paid What You're Worth? Nonprofit vs. Forprofit Salaries
Submitted by Holly on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 9:42am.

(Go to the source to see all the fancy charts and respective comments from users).

It's an interesting question. I think most of us in the nonprofit sector -- especially on the tech side of things -- know that it wouldn't be too hard to walk out the door and find a higher paying job. But does that mean you aren't being paid what you're worth?

Last week, we had an interesting exchange on the NTEN Discuss list about this and other salary related questions. It began with a simple ask (paraphrasing here): "My boss wants to pay a network admin $40k a year. That's not reasonable, is it?" This led to a discussion about what tech staff make in nonprofits vs. for profits.

The answer is, as far as I can surmise, about 25-30% less.

But how real are those number? NTEN Member Jenny Council sent me a link to a TechRepublic Salary report a while back, and I finally got around to doing some numbers comparison with our IT Staffing Survey report on NPTech salaries.

(Go to the site to see the chart)

At first glance, it seems easy just to say that nonprofits pay a LOT less than their for-profit counterparts -- but there's one important thing to keep in mind: size of the organization/company really impacts how much they pay staff. The bigger you are, the more you generally pay. Check out this excerpt of a graph from our salary survey (the "Very Large" organizations are the lavender bars on the far right).

What we don't have is equivalent data from the TechRepublic survey. I'd be really interested to see if these numbers would line up more closely if we filtered by revenue/budget size of the organization.

But I do expect that a gap of some size would remain.

So I ask you: if you were drafting a job description, would you look at the nonprofit benchmark or the for-profit benchmark? And do you think nonprofits should try to close that pay gap or do we all need to accept working for "a cause" as part of our pay?

Posted by kkowatch on April 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

Opportunity with Boston Consulting Group for Student w/ Advanced Degrees

*Bridge to BCG Workshop

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) would like to invite all qualified advanced degree candidates to apply to Bridge to BCG: A 3-day consulting workshop for advanced degree candidates. These workshops are specifically for advanced degree candidates (PhD, MD, medical residents/fellows, post-docs) expecting to finish in 2009. This highly interactive experience will provide a view into a career with a strategic management consulting firm. Those selected to participate will:

Simulate a realistic project experience
Learn from BCG's thought leaders
Find out more about BCG
Network with colleagues

Bridge to BCG workshop dates
July 28-30, 2008 in BCG - San Francisco, CA

How to apply to Bridge to BCG:
Please send your resume and cover letter to Bridge2BCG@bcg.com with subject line= 60;interested in workshop61; by May 9, 2008. No business experience required. All workshop expenses will be paid by BCG.  More information can be found at www.bcg.com/ADC

Posted by kkowatch on April 28, 2008 at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

Working, Studying, or Traveling Abroad this Summer?

If you are working, traveling, or studying abroad this summer, then you should check out the Travel Insurance offered by UM. This is a great benefit, that for only about $1 per day, you really can't really turn down. See below for more information...

This important message includes announcements of two new University of Michigan programs offered through the University Health Service (UHS) for staying healthy while traveling abroad.

1) UM-UHS TRAVEL ABROAD HEALTH INSURANCE--see http://www.uhs.umich.edu/tai for information

If you're traveling abroad soon, be sure to sign up for this University-sponsored health insurance coverage!

Signing up takes just a few minutes and is done online at http://www.umich.edu/~itoc (click on "Travel Registration/Purchase Health Insurance for Travel Abroad").

After you fill out & submit your travel itinerary, you'll be directed to the HTH insurance site where you may purchase the University of Michigan Travel Abroad Health Insurance and pay for it with your credit card.

U-M students, staff and faculty who are traveling abroad may purchase this special health insurance coverage. The coverage is very inexpensive ($1 per day plus a $5 registration fee) and provides health insurance coverage while abroad of up to $500,000, as well as emergency medical assistance and access to English-speaking doctors abroad for all health care needs.

Individuals may sign up as above.

If you are part of a group traveling abroad, consider requiring this coverage for all members--many University organizations have made the smart decision to do so. Please contact Karen Klever at (tel. 734-764-5182) for directions on group registration.

She and Bill Nolting (tel.734-647-2299) can answer any questions about the Travel Abroad Health Insurance.

Karen Klever, Chair (University Health Service) and Bill Nolting, Co-Chair (International Center), Travel Abroad Health Insurance Committee

2) UM-UHS ONLINE TRAVEL HEALTH SERVICES-- http://www.uhs.umich.edu/services/travel/

(This is a separate service from the Health Insurance program above-- you may sign up for each separately).

This message pertains to use of travel health services at University Health Service (UHS) on the Ann Arbor campus.

UHS requires patients to complete an online travel health program before

scheduling travel health services (such as inoculations & prescriptions for travel medications).

This program will help patients:

* Make the best use of their travel health visit
* Learn to protect themselves from major health risks of travel
* Make informed decisions before, during, and after traveling

The program will also allow UHS to accommodate growing demand for travel health services.

Please direct students to our webpage on travel health services at

GRADUATING? -- Note that even if you are graduating, you are eligible to purchase this special U-M travel abroad health insurance, at least until the next academic year starts in September.

You may purchase the insurance online. It takes just a few minutes.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about going abroad, Including opportunities still available for study, work, & volunteering.

We are open our regular hours, Mondays-Fridays 8 AM - 5 PM.

Wishing you safe travels wherever you are heading, Bill Nolting, tel. 734-647-2299, U-M International Center, http://internationalcenter.umich.edu/swt

Posted by kkowatch on April 28, 2008 at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Its Graduation Day!

Today is graduation day at SI! I cannot believe that the 2007-08 school year is already over. This was my first whole academic year at SI and I'm really sad to see this year Master's students go. I'm wondering who I am going to find to replace those that really helped out with panels, ASB, and other SI Careers related events... (Any takers, newbie second years?!?)

One key resource that we recommend to current student to utilize in their job or internship search is Alumni. We have alumni contacts available in the Student Alumni Network, on Facebook, iTrack, and LinkedIn that we use regularly as a resource for jobs, ASB sites, internships, advice, panels, and just general life-outside-SI information.

Now that you are graduating, think of joining or updating your profile as an Alumni member in these resources. Of course, that means just simply registering with the Student Alumni Network, but it also means being active as an alumnus. And we really want you to! We want you to keep in touch with us, let us know when you change jobs, get a promotion, get married or go back to school. We'd love to have you back as a recruiting employer or to be part of panels or lead a presentation whatever it is you are learning about in the real world. We'll make opportunities happen for you if you want to visit.

It has been so great to work with many of you over the past two years and we are sad to see you go. We've enjoyed your time here and really hope that you are willing to stay in touch with us! Remember that there is a whole webpage on the SI website devoted to SI Alumni - make sure to check it regularly. GOOD LUCK! ~Kelly

Note from Karen Jordan...

...there are several U-M School of Information Alumni facebook groups - one for Ann Arbor area, one for greater D.C. area, another for Bay area....and, we can (or alumni can) create them for any location. EVERYONE is invited and encouraged to join the U-M School of Information Alumni Group - You should be able to search for it in Facebook too!

Alumni should not hesitate to contact me -via email, facebook, etc.....

Karen Jordan, AMLS
Associate Director, Development and Alumni Relations University of Michigan School of Information
1085 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1107
Phone: (734) 647-7652
Fax: (734) 764-2475

Posted by kkowatch on April 25, 2008 at 12:50 PM | Comments (1)

Interviewing: Tips, Suggestions, Resources...

Lately, most of my appointments have revolved around preparing for interviews. We all know those people who interview and get lots of offers (which at one time in my life, that was me!) and then there is the rest of the world (which now includes me) who sometimes have several interviews and then get that one lucky job offer.

We all ask, “what is that makes these people who get lots of job offers different?? “What do they do that makes them impress the interviewers pretty much every time they have an interview?? The answers, from my perspective, are below...

1. Let them know you want the job. So many times, people interview really well for a position and are perfectly qualified, but leave the interview with the interviewers not that sure that they even want the job. Those people that let it be known, even simply by saying, "I really want this job", are often considered to be top candidates because everyone wants to work with someone who wants to be at work. A closely qualified candidate who really wants the job will usually get the position over the person who is most qualified by doesn’t seem too interested because the employer wants to hire some who sees the opportunity as just that: an opportunity (and not just a paycheck). Make sure before you leave every interview that you clearly indicate that you are very interested in this position and that you consider to be a great opportunity.

2. Research and preparation. This comes in three forms -- the company, the position, and your own resume and cover letter. My husband and I go back and forth on this: he never prepares for interviews where as I probably over prepare (yes, I spent two weeks once prepping for an interview! – I don’t recommend or condone this at all!) But it does take time to be adequately prepared for an interview – and trust, this shows when you meet with the interviewers. Even if you don’t have all the answers to the questions, the other information that you can supplement your experiences can make a huge difference.

--You should read the entire website of the organization over and any other literature that you can find so that you know as much as you can about the organization. You need to be prepared for that question, "What do you know about our organization" even if they don't ask it (because if you are, you can weave that information into the rest of your interview). Consider searching for the organization and seeing what they are up to in the news and on the internet – not just what their website says they are all about. And, its good to ask other people what they know about the organization or if they know of people who work there now or have in the past. If you can talk to them, they can often provide information that’s not readily available to the public.

--Review the job description and requirements. You should know this information through and through because it helps you tailor your answers. Its shocking to me how many people come in and want to talk about a job they applied for and how to prepare for it and they don't really know what the position entails (which also means to me that they didn't tailor their resume and/or cover letter at all). Being very familiar with the position description will help you in answering your questions accurately.

-- Review your resume and cover letter so that you know what have you said you have done. In an interview, they may ask you to work through your resume and share about your experiences and you want to be sure that you are consistent about what you've written (and the same for your cover letter). Reviewing your resume with the job description in mind will also help you tailor your answers about your experiences to what they are looking for. This will also help you to know what to elaborate on that you may have left off of your resume for space reasons.

3. Practice, practice, practice. Seriously, practicing interviewing questions makes ALL the difference in the world. If you can sit down and go over general and specific interview questions and either outline the answers or practice them out loud with a friend or by yourself, this will make a ton of difference. It’s good to think about answers to interview questions, but actually taking the time to practice answers out loud really does make a difference.

So what questions should you be using for practice? There are a couple resources for you to use -- and of course, you can do an internet search for "interview questions" and find a wide array to go from. My personal favorite is...

Job Interview Questions by Quint Careers - This database has 109 questions to go over that cover a wide range of soft/transferable skills, behavioral interviewing, and will really help you to reflect on questions regarding yoru preferred work, supervisory, and environment styles and methods.

The SI Careers Wiki - Interview Questions Resources for all SI Specializations -- This is a compilation that I've been putting together -- and since its a WIKI, you can add information too - on questions for the different specializations at SI. A wide range of questions that are tailored to LIS, ARM, HCI, etc that will make you think about what they are looking for.

When answering questions, you should keep the STAR approach in mind.

S/T - Situation or Task
Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.

A - Action you took
Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did -- not the efforts of the team. Don't tell what you might do, tell what you did.

R- Results you achieved
What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

Use examples from internships, classes and school projects, activities, team participation, community service, hobbies and work experience -- anything really -- as examples of your past behavior. In addition, you may use examples of special accomplishments, whether personal or professional, such as scoring the winning touchdown, being elected president of your Greek organization, winning a prize for your artwork, surfing a big wave, or raising money for charity. Wherever possible, quantify your results. Numbers always impress employers. Remember that many behavioral questions try to get at how you responded to negative situations; you'll need to have examples of negative experiences ready, but try to choose negative experiences that you made the best of or -- better yet, those that had positive outcomes. (Taken from Wayne State University Career Services).

On a side note, it’s important to go over lots of interview questions because you never know what they are going to ask you. But, by going over a set of questions like the 109 Quint Careers questions, you will put together a nice collection of stories and experiences that will transfer to other questions that you may get asked.

Remember that interviewing is really only you telling stories about yourself. No one else know else knows these stories better than you do and there is no reason that with a little preparation and practice and enthusiasm, you can't be the one getting all the job offers. Oh, and don't forget to send a thank you!

Contact me if you want to go over interviews questions… I’m more than happy to help you develop answers to questions and to put together a strategy of how to best approach your next interview.

Posted by kkowatch on April 24, 2008 at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

Bill Gates' Final Tour

From the Chronicle of Higher Education...

Bill Gates: the Last Word

The Rolling Stones. The Eagles. The founder of the world's dominant software company. Farewell tours by legends are becoming commonplace. But that last one, featuring Bill Gates, is coming to his final stop on a multiple-university tour, as he prepares to step back from day-to-day duties at Microsoft. This Friday, at the University of Washington, Mr. Gates will deliver a lecture called "Bill Gates Unplugged: On Software, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Giving Back." The time of the event is 3:15 p.m. Pacific time. And you can tune in through UWTV, available in Seattle through broadcast, elsewhere on satellite through DISHnetwork, and (of course) over the Internet. For a preview, check out Carnegie Mellon's student newspaper, The Tartan, which reported on a Gates college stop back in February. Interestingly, they described it as the last stop. Well, the Rolling Stones have had multiple encores. Why not the Software King? --Josh Fischman

For in-depth coverage of technology on campus, visit:

Copyright © 2008 The Chronicle of Higher Education

Posted by kkowatch on April 23, 2008 at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

Have to do a Presentation at an Interview? Tips!

It's not uncommon for master's students to have to do a presentation on a topic when interviweing for a post-graduate school position. A soon-to-be graduting SI student provided me with the tips/guidelines provided to him by the organization he was interviewing with for his presentation... this should be helpful for those that aren't quite certain about which approach to take, what to include, etc...

To assist the candidate in preparing for the presentation, the following should prove helpful:

• The presentation is to be on the assigned topic. The candidate chooses what approach to take.

• The candidate should state at the outset what assumptions he or she is making about the composition of the audience being addressed and its knowledge level; e.g., a group of librarians with considerable knowledge of the topic; a group of board members who know little about the topic, etc.

• The presentation should last for XX minutes. The presentation will be timed, and the principal interviewer of the candidate will indicate when the allotted time has expired.

• The presentation may be videotaped by division personnel.

• The presentation will be given before a group of X to XX staff and will normally include staff members whose positions require giving presentations and presenting workshops and seminars.

• After the presentation, attendees will rate the candidate on a seven-point scale in the areas of organization and presentation. An average of the ratings will be used as a weighted factor in the hiring decision.

Criteria that will be considered in rating the candidate's organization are whether the purpose or goal of the presentation is clearly stated, whether the information presented is well chosen to achieve the goal, whether the content is organized around a few key points, whether the amount of time per point covered is appropriate to its relative importance, the degree of helpfulness of any handouts or visual aids, and whether the content is presented in logical order.

Criteria that will be considered in rating the candidate's presentation are whether ideas and explanations are well expressed without distracting digressions; pacing, intonation, enunciation, volume and speed; the use of proper grammar; the use of undefined, specialized language inappropriate to the assumed audience and its knowledge level; whether good contact is established with entire audience; the timing of anecdotes, explanations, visual aids, demonstrations, etc.; and the presence or absence of fidgeting or distracting mannerisms.

Posted by kkowatch on April 18, 2008 at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

Still Searching? Have You Tried...?

Its the end of the term, the sun is out (finally!) and everyone is packing up to head off to see friends, start an internship, go to a new career or something. Or maybe not. Maybe schools over and you're still looking for something to do with your time and you feel like you've exhausted every resource out there. But have you?

Here's the first half of my top ten list of things to be using for your job or internship search. One resource often is not enough for a successful search; it often takes a combination of things and a little bit of networking to make your search make you happy.

Throughout all of this, networking is key. I recently had a SI student come to me and tell me that throughout this term, what he had learned was that an ounce of networking was worth one thousand pounds of portfolio and cover letter writing. So true! And it made me laugh, because as important as those formal job search tools are, if you don't follow up on them or get someone to advocate for you, sometimes a great cover letter isn't good enough. So that's numero UNO. If you haven't met with me or Joanna, your faculty, your friends, your parents, the UM Career Center, alumni, and let them know that you are SEARCHING for a JOB and effectively let them know what you want and why you’re good, then you're not networking.

Numero Dos: iTrack. I'm not talking about the jobs in iTrack -- well, at least not just jobs in iTrack. iTrack has so many other functionalities that I don’t think people really use. For example, did you know that you can look at the contact information of over 4000 companies in iTrack? This is a new resource that was recently released, but its true. 4000 companies, organizations, libraries, non-profits, government departments, whatever you want. There's one in there for you. And if the one you're not looking for isn't in there, let me know and we'll do some outreach immediately. You can also look at the Archived Jobs and Employer Information to see what jobs got posted last week, last month, last term, or last year. This is useful because most internships – and a lot of jobs too -- are cyclical and sometimes an organization may have forgotten to post a great internship with us this year that they did last year. So, check that option out too!

Numero Tres (I don't know why I'm counting in Spanish, but I just am!): Listservs. These are my favorites! Not only does reading all these fabulous listservs make me learn about trends in the areas that you are interested in, but there are great discussions and job postings out there. If you aren't on at least one specialization-relevant listserv, you are missing out! You can link to our online resources at http://www.si.umich.edu/careers/online-resources.htm click on your specialization and in the PDF find a list of listservs that you can sign up for. I'm serious -- this is where its at. And don't just read these listservs, ask questions! Join discussions! Ask if anyone is looking for an intern or if they know of any openings. It never hurts to ask. I see students from other schools ask questions all the time (and the occasional UM-SI student).

Numero Quatro: Informational Interviews. If listservs aren't my favorite resource, then informational interviews are. Seriously -- this is a goldmine of job or internship search information! If you don't know what an informational interview is, then you need to study up! What makes informational interviewing so great is that it gives you the answers to the questions you get asked in an interview. There are always those soft-skill questions that you get asked that you don't know what the answer is unless you've been able to ask someone that already works there. Are you a people or process-oriented person? Do you like autonomy or teamwork? What the best type of supervisor for you? The correct answer depends on the organization, department, boss. Its subjective and you can find out what the answer is before you get asked it. And, anytime you do an informational interview, you are pretty much guaranteed an interview if a job opens up in the near future. This is blatant networking – and everyone loves to talk about themselves to take them up on the opportunity.

Numero Cinco: Alumni. We have great alumni here at SI and they'd love to hear from you. You can reach out to alumni via the Student Alumni Network. A few tips for working with alumni. Don't ask for an internship or job. Instead, ask for help! Ask for tips, ideas, suggestions of people to talk to or to learn about what's going in their organization. You need to build a relationship with them before you can ask them for an internship or a job. It takes a little bit of time, so have patience! I often hear from SI students that they emailed the alumni, they got a response -- then what? Then you ask more questions, ask if they'll review your resume, if they have had interns in the past, how they found their internship when they were at SI. Trust me, these people know what you want when you connect with them. But make sure you do something for them -- at least say thank you! There are other UM resources for connecting with UM alumni through the Alumni NetWorks program. “Alumni NetWorks is a career service that offers graduates and current students the opportunity to gain information and networking contacts from one of U-M's most valuable resources, its alumni. Through this program, participants are able to contact alumni mentors who have volunteered to provide career coaching on topics ranging from information about their occupation and how to enter the job market to relocating to a specific city.?

And, don't forget about your undergraduate institution! There are always alumni there that want to hear about what you are doing and would like to help.

Numero Seis through diez are for next time. Questions? -- email me at kkowatch@umich.edu or stop on by. ~Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on April 18, 2008 at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

Employer Feedback @ SI

SI Careers is always looking to collect feedback from the wide range of employers that come to SI to do employer visits and interviews. We've collected a wide range of data from the last few months of recruiting that we're analyzing currently. We'll be getting this information out to you so that you can learn more about what SI students are doing right and what could be done just a little better. So keep an eye out for that information.

Below, you can find some qualitative information that we've collected from recent recruiters that visited SI earlier this winter (this feedback has been anonoymized as requested by the employer):

"SI was extraordinary this year. The employment fair, Exposition, and interviews were all well organized and run and the students we met and talked to were very impressive and talented.

· Employment fair. We were extremely busy at it - we talked to students continuously for the entire 2 hours and never had a minute of downtime. Students waited in line at our table to talk to us.
· Exposition. The projects at the Exposition were amazing. We were fully consumed, visiting students at their project booths for the entire time of the event. However, we were also using the Exposition as a valuable opportunity to meet with students on our interview list and have a discussion with them in the context of a project they had worked on.
· Interviews. We conducted interviews with students for our open positions. We found some strong candidates that could be a match for some of our open positions and are going to be following up with them.

Last year, we provided some feedback to you about students and the interview process in an effort to help you as well as students best accomplish your goals. This year, we noticed that some of that feedback had been acted on.

· Employment fair. Last year only 1 of the students on our interview list visited us at the employment fair. This year the opposite occurred - most of the students on our interview list visited us there.

· Interviews. Last year we found that some students whom we interviewed were not enthusiastic nor prepared to discuss the positions they were interviewing for. This year students demonstrated to us that they had done some thinking about the position beforehand, and were prepared and motivated to discuss it.

SI’s career services, professors, and students are already very successful. This year we would like to again provide some feedback to you in the spirit of helping you and students become even more successful and go above and beyond other schools’ programs. One core competency that is so important for user experience researchers in our industry is the drive for results. Our work in product development is very impact focused. It’s one thing to do solid research and creative and thoughtful design, but at our organization, if this work doesn’t have an impact on the end product, then the quality research and design is lost.

We have the impression that in most cases, students’ results of research are not finalized until the end of the semester, and thus this does not allow the student to follow up with whomever they gave their project results to see if/how they were used. This makes it all the more challenging for them to gain experience that would sharpen their impact skills, such as having to prioritize recommendations, argue and convince product team members to make design changes, and making difficult trade-off decisions. If courses could be set up so that students gave results of research before the end of the semester, it would allow time for them to focus on turning their results into impact. Maybe they could be paired with CS students, who they'd have to work with to implement the final project?

Again, SI is already setting up its students with invaluable learning experiences around conducting research and driving user-centered design. Providing opportunities, structure, and guidance to focus on the realities of having to make impact might take the program up a level compared to other schools’ programs in terms of preparing students to be highly successful in our industry."

Posted by kkowatch on April 16, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

Article: The Library Interview Process

A recent essay-article in the Chronicle of Higher Education shares one person's experience of interviewing in the academic library. Maybe some of you can relate...

On the Library Market By Maura A. Smale Source

The academic year started slowly for me. I had just earned a master's in library science, but hadn't found an adjunct gig yet and was spending my time networking around New York while waiting to hear back about my job applications.

As you may or may not recall from my first column, I abandoned graduate school while pursuing a Ph.D. in archaeology and went to work in publishing (though I did eventually earn the doctorate). After a few years in the corporate world, I realized I missed academe, but I didn't want to return to archaeology. Librarianship seemed like a perfect fit, so I went to library school and am now searching for my first tenure-track job in an academic library. Hopefully somewhere in New York.

Midway through the semester, I finally got a call for my first job interview. The day of the interview was freakishly warm, which was a good thing because, in my zeal to be sure I didn't get lost (I had never been to the college before), I ended up arriving about 45 minutes early. I sat on a bench outside the library and read a magazine and people watched while biding my time.

I was nervous. On balance, though, while I recall a few questions that I wish I had answered better, I felt pretty good about the interview. It was exciting to be actually pounding the pavement after having spent what felt like a long time waiting.

A couple of weeks went by, and I settled into my job-hunting routine: Search a few Web sites, volunteer as a library intern, and do more networking at library events around town. And then things started to get interesting.

I got a callback for a second interview at the college. And then I got another call, from another library interested in arranging an interview. And another. And still another.

Suddenly everything was happening at once. In just a few days, I went from a sleepy and predictable job-hunting routine to a crazy schedule of four interviews over three days. Luckily one was a phone interview and two of the in-person interviews were on the same day because I realized, in a panic, that I didn't have enough interview clothes to go around.

What possessed me to schedule four interviews in three days? I know it sounds crazy. And those three days were some of the most demanding and exhausting of my life, even without the fashion issues.

But I wanted to be able to compare the institutions with one another, and compare how I fit at each of them -- in the event that I got an offer from one place while the other searches were still in progress. The hiring committees for each of the positions had different timetables, and some searches move faster than others. Packing my schedule was the only way I could think of to level the playing field and have as much information as possible about each job fresh in my mind. In addition, having so many interviews at once made it easier to get into interview mode.

After that hectic week, I had a short lull (for which I was grateful). I withdrew my candidacy from one position because it just wasn't the best fit for me, and it looked like I was not a good fit for another of the positions (the college wanted a long-term adjunct, I want to adjunct only until I could find a full-time position).

The library where I had had a second interview with did not make me an offer, which was disappointing, but not entirely awful as the commute would have been long. So I settled in to wait for the remaining possibility to get back in touch, fingers crossed that I would get a second interview.

And then things got really crazy. The library where I had been volunteering as an intern a few hours a week got a grant, and all of a sudden I was working as an adjunct three and a half days a week. I got called for a full-day second interview that included a presentation. And then another library called me for a first interview.

Once again I scheduled the two interviews during the same week, squeezing them in between my work hours. I spent one crazed day teaching an early class at the library, then running straight to my interview, and afterward going back to work the afternoon reference-desk shift.

As I write this, I can't tell you the result of all my interviews because I don't know yet. I'm still waiting for the happy ending.

If I had to do it over again, would I still keep the same interview schedule, running at breakneck speed? Absolutely. One piece of advice that everyone gives you on the job hunt is to remember that you are not just being interviewed by potential employers, you are interviewing them, too. They want to know if you're the best person for the job, and you want to know if the job is right for you.

I don't believe in the perfect fit. The more work I do as a librarian, and the more I learn about librarianship, the more I am convinced that there are lots of good jobs out there that I could do well. We just have to find each other.

Maura A. Smale is chronicling her first search for a tenure-track position in an academic library.

Posted by kkowatch on April 16, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

EW.com Photo Essay of Libraries in Movies

EW.com has chosen to celebrate National Library Week by posting a photo essay of libraries in movies. See it here.

You may or may not know that SI has an alumnus who works at EW.Com -- Marcos Vera -- and several students who have interned at EW.com in Winter 2008. You can check out the internship profiles on the Public Portfolio Internship Page.

Posted by kkowatch on April 15, 2008 at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

Michigan Career Opportunities - From Ann Arbor SPARK

Are you interested in staying in Michigan after you graduate? Are you trying to find a list of growing companies that hire college graduates for entry level positions? Would you like to find a list of helpful links that can make your job search easier? Are you interested in learning about career events? If the answer to these questions is “YES!? Please check out this link:


This portal was created just for you – college students that would like to stay in Michigan for internships and upon graduation. We have over 150 companies and a number of helpful links, and we are adding new companies each week to help connect talent to the great opportunities right here in Michigan. Please feel free to contact Amy Cell at Amy@AnnArborSPARK.org with any questions, comments, suggestions and other feedback.

Featured Michigan Opportunities of the Month:

Beyond Interaction
Based in Ann Arbor, Beyond Interactive is a digital marketing communications company that creates synchronized marketing programs that generate measurable success. Check out their job openings (such as data and software engineering) and apply online!

Con-way Freight, LTL
Con-way, one of the most successful and fastest growing freight shipping companies, is looking for exceptional people with top skills who thrive on challenge and desire to be the best. With headquarters in Ann Arbor, they seek talented candidates for sales, customer service, finance, purchasing,safety, IT and business development. Submit your resume online today!

Dow Chemical Company
In 2008, Dow announced expansion plans for a new solar power initiative with $50 million to be invested in Midland operations. Dow’s co-op and internship programs provide college students with work experience at a global company and the opportunity to evaluate Dow as an employer. For recent graduates seeking to broaden their experience, entry level jobs offer rotational assignments in a number of disciplines. Dow offers career opportunities in communications, engineering, finance, marketing and research. Check out their hiring process and apply online!

Fabri-Kal Corp
In 2008, Fabri-Kal Corp of Kalamazoo announced plans to expand by 160 jobs. Fabri-Kal is the sixth largest thermoformer in North America and primarily serves the food service and consumer goods packaging markets. Check online for paid internships and jobs. Resumes to HR at jopalewski@f-k.com

Google,one of Ann Arbor's hot new employers, is looking for the brightest minds in sales, advertising, business, marketing, product management and finance. Full-time internships are available. Bring your dreams and talents to Google's colorful table today!
Google Job Openings – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Google Internship Program

Posted by kkowatch on April 08, 2008 at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

ASB Internship...

Another potential internship with the Smithsonian -- and this one is probably going to be funded. See iTrack for more information and how to apply!

United States National Herbarium
Smithsonian Institution
The Science Fieldbook Registry

For centuries, biologists have been exploring the earth in an effort to describe the plants, animals, and other natural objects that make up our planet. In the course of these explorations, scientists recorded observations, maintained itineraries, prepared drawings and maps, and otherwise documented each collected specimen in personal notebooks. These critically important sources of bio-diversity data can be difficult to locate. Sometimes they are deposited in archives, other times catalogued in libraries, but all too often they are in limbo … on bookshelves in research offices or the wards of individual scientists.

The National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian) is designing an online registry of scientific field books and personal science journals and notes that will provide a central, accessible repository for these critical scientific and historical texts. The Departments of Botany and Vertebrate Zoology (Fishes Division) are piloting this project and are working together to catalog their respective field books, ships logs, research notes, and non-archived correspondence. Two summer interns are sought to help with researching and standardizing record structures, establishing object and data definitions, cataloging objects, and preparing a functional requirements document for a web-based registry.

Interns will have an opportunity to work together, in consultation with Museum staff in the Departments of Botany and Fishes, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives, during all system design activities. Each intern will then be assigned to one Department to proceed with cataloging efforts. Collections Managers Rusty Russell (Botany) and Jeff Williams (Fishes) share project management responsibilities and will directly supervise the interns.

We are seeking students with good research and organizational skills, and some experience at assessing system data requirements.

Posted by kkowatch on April 04, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)