UMSI student Tawfiq Ammari does research in Jordan

UMSI Master of Science in Information student, Tawfiq Ammari, shared with the Career Development Office a blog post on his recent trip to his native country, Jordan. In Jordan, Tawfiq worked on a project pertaining to research on assistive technology and its use in the visually impaired society in collaboration with Dr. Joyojeet Pal, UMSI's resident Assistive Technology expert.

Hot but not sultry, with the occasional zephyr now and then; the hilly city is ancient, yet always re-inventing itself, I am back in my hometown, the capital of Jordan. It has been a year since I left Jordan for my Master’s degree at the University of Michigan School of Information. Going back home and meeting old friends and family was great as always. But this time, I came back in a different capacity, this time, I am a researcher!

I am working on research pertaining to assistive technology and its use in the visually impaired society here in Jordan in collaboration with Dr. Joyojeet Pal, our resident Assistive Technology expert. This has allowed me to see different people working in government institutions, NGOs and regular persons with disabilities who have been able to cope with their disabilities and blend in the Jordanian society. One of the most interesting visits I made was that to Friendship Association for the Blind in Jordan. This is one of the NGOs that provides services to the visually impaired in training them to use technology, in turn, giving them access to many opportunities that would otherwise, be far from their reach.

Another NGO that was of great interest was Ruwwad. Operating in one of the most penurious neighborhoods in the capital, this NGO provides services for the local population whilst at the same time, engaging them in the services and activities provided. This allows the local population to have more ownership of the activities of the NGO and at the same time, allows the NGO’s operations to be
more sustainable.

Whilst visiting Ruwwad, I was shown the services they provide for persons with disabilities. Local artists, musicians and singers have decided to donate some of their time, weekly, to work with the persons with disabilities in the area (most of them intellectually disabled). Many think that these services have proven to be rather successful as those persons with disabilities (whom I met) were quite happy to come to the art lesson.

Later, we went on to see the other services provided by Ruwwad. The bulk of the services provided are directed to children, who have little else to do throughout the summer time. Ruwwad provides them
with a reading space, art lessons, oration and other activities. On the day of my visit, the kids were very excited because they were going on a trip. Although I cannot remember the details, I could tell they were all very happy and did not have the slightest measure of reticence when it came to discussing said visit, but against the wishes of their teachers, did not want to discuss with “the dude with the back-pack” (my nickname for that period of time) their daily activities in the center.

Though Amman is my hometown, this visit has allowed me to see my city from a different point of view. I am happy to have met so many great people. This is, indeed , a great summer.

Posted by kkowatch on August 03, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs – According to Employees

We're excited to announce the Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs of 2012 . This list of top bosses is based entirely on employee feedback - close to 280,000 employees shared a company review on Glassdoor in the past year in which they were asked to rate their CEO.

Check out which CEOs made the list: Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs

Posted by jckroll on April 05, 2012 at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

50 Glassdoor Announces: Best Places to Work - Employees' Choice Awards

Glassdoor announces the top 50 Best Places to Work for 2012. What makes this list unique is that it's the "Employees' Choice" of workplace awards - the winners were selected by the 250,000 employees that completed a company review on Glassdoor during 2011.
Check out who did (and didn't) make the list: 50 Best Places to Work.,19.htm?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=best-ne-BPTW&utm_campaign=best-ne

Posted by jckroll on December 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

UM Diplomat in Residence for 2011-12

If you are interested in a career with the United States Department of State, or other foreign of civil service careers or internships, the University of Michigan has a resource for you to utilize.

The Ford School is pleased to welcome Jim Ellickson-Brown as a Diplomat in Residence (DIR) for the 2011-12 academic year. More info on his background is available at

The DIR is a resource for all UM students considering foreign and civil service careers, internships, and fellowship opportunities. State has a surprising number of positions available across fields and disciplines. Please don't hesitate to contact Jim for additional information or to arrange a meeting or program. He can be reached at

The following two programs led by the DIR and open to all students are currently scheduled at the Ford School. Please feel free to encourage your students to attend:

U.S. State Department Foreign Service Exam Information Session
September 20
6:00 - 7:00 pm, Fisher Classroom, 1220 Weill Hall

Careers in U.S. Foreign Affairs
October 11
6:00 - 7:00 pm, Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weill Hall (This program is part of the UM International Career Pathways)

Posted by kkowatch on August 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

Top 25 companies for work-life balance

Glassdoor has announced the top 25 companies for work-life balance. We are happy to see that a fair number of these companies actively recruit and hire SI students! These companies provide the best balance between work and personal life, and were selected based on the thousands of company reviews and ratings shared by employees on over the past year.
Check out who made the list: Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance.

Posted by jckroll on May 19, 2011 at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

Tech Jobs Boom Like It's 1999

It’s like the early 2000s again for tech workers who are seeing the benefits of the biggest hiring binge in the industry in more than a decade. Suddenly, companies are fighting for talent and are once again pressured to offer lots of perks to employees in addition to a big salary, reports USA Today.

Companies on a hiring binge...

Posted by jckroll on May 09, 2011 at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

Detroit Outgrows Silicon Valley in Tech Jobs

SI graduates--particularly those in the technology-centric specializations, may not have to go far to find great, full-time technology positions. When many of the old tech strongholds are contracting, tech jobs in Detroit are growing. With competitive salaries, less competition, and a lower cost of living, looking for work in Detroit may be a smart move for SI grads. Read more at Bloomberg.

Posted by embow on March 28, 2011 at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Verbal Communication Skills Most Sought by Employers

New college graduates looking to crack the still-tight job market need to hone their verbal communication skills, say employers taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey.

Survey respondents indicate that verbal communication skills topped the list of “soft” skills they seek in new college graduates looking to join their organizations, followed by strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative. (See Figure 1.)

Interestingly, when asked how satisfied they were that new college graduates could deliver on key skills, employer response was mixed. They reported being “very satisfied” with the teamwork and analytical skills of new college graduates, but verbal communication skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic all fell below that level, with ratings hovering between “somewhat” and “very satisfied.”

Even if candidates can deliver on those top five skills, employers have a fairly substantial list of other skills they deem as important and other attributes they seek. In fact, employers rated nine other skills/qualities as “very important”’ to “extremely important,” and most cited GPA requirements and a preference for new graduates with internship or other relevant work experience.

Figure 1: Employers Rank Top 5 Candidate Skills/Qualities

1. Verbal Communication Skills
2. Strong Work Ethic
3. Teamwork Skills
4. Analytical Skills
5. Initiative

Source: Job Outlook 2011, National Association of Colleges and Employers.

NACE conducted the NACE Job Outlook 2011 survey from mid-August through October 15, 2010. A total of 172 surveys were returned for a 20.7 percent response rate.

Posted by jckroll on December 08, 2010 at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

Growing Need for Designers In Silicon Valley! Why?

Why is there such a stunningly short supply of designers in Silicon Valley right now?

Higher demand, increased awareness, more appreciation, more projects, good design= higher ROI, and more!

Check out this interesting discussion on Quora from designers across all industries:

Posted by jckroll on December 08, 2010 at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

2009 SI Employment Report

The School of Information Career Development Office surveys both Master of Science in Information (MSI) students, as well as PhD recipients, to identify their post-graduation plans and outcomes. This report primarily summarizes MSI employment outcomes from April 2009, August 2009, and December 2009 graduates who com¬pleted the survey by the deadline. Specifically, this report details post-graduation pursuits, salary information, work type, industry type, work setting, geographic distribution, job search methods, and job satisfaction. Of the 162 MSI students who graduated in 2009, 129 respondents completed the survey. This represents an 80% response rate.

While this report is directed mainly at MSI employment outcomes, PhD employment outcomes are also included.

The following are key points from the report:
• Of the five PhD graduates, 100% have found employment in their research interests of choice.
• 99% of the respondents reported professional job outcomes or are continuing their education.
• 92% reported a high level of satisfaction with their employment outcomes in terms of ideal fit for their careers.
• Although the job search took a bit longer this year (4-5 months), 84% of respondents indicated job acceptance in less than 6 months.
• Overall average MSI salary increased 11% from 2008.
• Networking as a job search method, still proves to be the most effective way SI graduates are getting jobs.
• Jobs reported in Michigan are up 4% from 2008; keeping Michigan as the state employing the highest percentage of SI graduates at 39%; followed by the West coast at 23% (California, Washington, and Oregon mainly)
• 81% of respondents placed high value on the impact their PEP internship hand on their job success.
• 80% of respondents reported that their overall SI education and SI experience(s) adequately prepared them to be a change agent/leader in their career field of choice.

You can access the full report online at
The MSI 2009 Internship Report is also available at

If you have any questions or would like more information (or would like a hardcopy of either reports) please contact the SI Career Development Office.


Joanna Kroll
Sr. Associate Director of Career Development
University of Michigan School of Information
ph 734-615-8294 fax 734-615-3587

Posted by kkowatch on November 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

Freelance CMS Development: WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla?

One can only assume that freelance web development and design will cross the minds of many HCI students and grads at some point in their careers. With content management systems gaining in popularity, the question may not be if you master one, but which one should you focus your energies on. Turn to Mashable's post, Do Freelancers Do Best on WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla? for a quick look at the current state of freelance CMS development market.

Posted by embow on November 05, 2010 at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

Federal job reform-- application process is now simpler and shorter

As federal jobs have been on the rise, indicating one of the most stable industries right now, the application process may prevent some qualified candidates from applying.

Does the thought of completing a federal job application feel overwhelming? Does it take you 3 days to complete one application?

Well, worry no more. The process is now much simpler and takes about half the time to not only complete the application, but also to get an offer.

NO MORE KSAs and job descriptions that actually make sense!

President Obama in May gave federal agencies until this week to radically overhaul the federal hiring process, mandating simply worded job descriptions and the end of the lengthy "KSAs," or essays that describe an applicant's knowledge, skills and abilities. Applicants for federal employment should be able to apply and be rejected or hired in about 80 days once changes are fully implemented.

Posted by jckroll on November 03, 2010 at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

[Using LinkedIn] How to Build a Professional Student LinkedIn Profile

This week, the SI CDO will feature a five-part series on how to use The online networking resource, LinkedIn.

How to Build a Professional Student LinkedIn Profile

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive business card. It’s a summary of your professional experience, interests, and capabilities that is designed to attract the attention of important people who are searching for you online — recruiters, networking contacts, and grad school admissions officers. A strong profile is a key differentiator in the job market. So let’s get started...

1. Craft an informative profile headline
Your profile headline gives people a short, memorable way to understand who you are in a professional context. Think of the headline as the slogan for your professional brand, such as “Student, National University” or “Recent honors grad seeking marketing position.” Check out the profiles of students and recent alums you admire for ideas and inspiration.

2. Display an appropriate photo
Remember that LinkedIn is not Facebook or MySpace. If you choose to post a photograph — and we recommend that you do — select a professional, high-quality headshot of you alone. Party photos, cartoon avatars, and cute pics of your puppy don’t fit in the professional environment of LinkedIn.

3. Show off your education
Be sure to include information about all institutions you’ve attended. Include your major and minor if you have one, as well
as highlights of your activities. It’s also appropriate to include study abroad programs and summer institutes. Don’t be shy — your LinkedIn profile is an appropriate place to show off your strong GPA and any honors or awards you’ve won.

4. Develop a professional summary statement
Your summary statement should resemble the first few paragraphs of your best-written cover letter — concise and confident about your goals and qualifications. Remember to include relevant internships, volunteer work, and extracurriculars. Present your summary statement in short blocks of text for easy reading. Bullet points are great, too.

5. Fill your “Specialties” section with keywords
“Specialties” is the place to include key words and phrases that a recruiter or hiring manager might type into a search engine to find a person like you. The best place to find relevant keywords is in the job listings that appeal to you and the LinkedIn profiles of people who currently hold the kinds of positions you want.

6. Update your status weekly
A great way to stay on other people’s radar screens and enhance your professional image is to update your status at least once a week. Tell people about events you’re attending, major projects you’ve completed, professional books you’re reading, or any other news that you would tell someone at a networking reception or on a quick catch-up phone call.

7. Show your connectedness with LinkedIn Group badges
Joining Groups and displaying the group badges on your profile are the perfect ways to fill out the professionalism of your profile and show your desire to connect to people with whom you have something in common. Most students start by joining their university’s LinkedIn group as well as the larger industry groups related to the career they want to pursue.

8. Collect diverse recommendations
Nothing builds credibility like third-party endorsements. The most impressive LinkedIn profiles have at least one recommendation associated with each position a person has held. Think about soliciting recommendations from professors, internship coordinators and colleagues, employers, and professional mentors.

9. Claim your unique LinkedIn URL
To increase the professional results that appear when people type your name into a search engine, set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim a unique URL for your profile (for example: This also makes it easier to include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, which is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism.

10. Share your work
A final way to enhance your LinkedIn profile is to add examples of your writing, design work, or other accomplishments by displaying URLs or adding LinkedIn Applications. By including URLs, you can direct people to your website, blog, or Twitter feed. Through Applications, you can share a PowerPoint or store a downloadable version of your resume.

Posted by kkowatch on October 11, 2010 at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

Free UM Business Cards for Current SI Students

To help SI students represent themselves and represent SI in a variety of settings, and in response to student requests, we are offering SI students (MSI and Ph.D.) a set of 100 free business cards with the SI logo and block M, and personalized with individual student names etc. SI students assisted with the card design and the design has been approved by the University.

For those of you who ordered cards in a previous semester and still have plenty, please use the cards you have rather than order more. If you ordered last year and have used most of your cards, it’s fine to order again.

In order to keep the cost down and thus allow for providing free cards to all students who request them, we must order the cards in a single batch. Thus, only students who submit the request form by 3pm on Friday, October 15th will be included in the order. Don’t delay – get your order in soon!

We are not able to process individual or small group requests after the deadline. We will send TWO reminders after this email to help you meet the deadline.

You can access the request form via the SI intranet (login with your uniqname and kerberos password) at:

Remember, submit your request by 3PM ON Friday, October 15th.

We will send an email to those who request the cards with details on when the cards will be ready and where to pick them up.

We hope you will enjoy using these cards at conferences, interviews, etc. as well as giving them to prospective students or professionals who may be able to refer students to our program or who may want to recruit SI students for internships or jobs.


Veronica Falandino
Student Affairs Program Manager
School of Information
University of Michigan

Posted by kkowatch on October 07, 2010 at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

SI-CDO’s New Kid on the Block: Emily Mahood Bowman

Hello there SI students, faculty, and staff! I’m Emily Bowman, and I’ll be the trusty Graduate Assistant in the SI Career Development Office. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work amongst the exceptional SI staff while supporting and building relationships with SI students on their career development journeys.

As a first-year MSI student and a recent emigrant from the south, getting accustomed to a new region, a new city, a new school, and new jobs has certainly provided enough excitement to keep me gasping for air. So now that we are one and a half weeks in to the semester, I can breathe again. And I’m ready to start meeting SI students who may need some help preparing their resumes, finding a part-time job, or scoping out internships opportunities for this year.

I am no stranger to working with students, as I’ve spent the last six years working in various student development capacities in higher education. I hold a Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of West Florida, as well as my Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Development from Florida State University. While I’ve always enjoyed student affairs and higher education, I knew that something was missing. So here I am at SI, studying social computing... and exploring how I can combine my past experiences with my interest in the information professions.

I encourage you to stop by and meet with me if you are ever in need of any career assistance. I will hold walk-in hours in the SI-CDO every week (which will be advertised in the weekly CDO email), and you are welcome to make an appointment with me via email at

And of course, what kind of social computing student would I be without a shout-out about my various sites on the web? Feel free to connect with me on and, just to name a few. Bonus points to anyone who can find me elsewhere on the web!

Have an awesome week!


Posted by embow on September 15, 2010 at 01:43 PM | Comments (1)

How to Find SI-CDO in North Quad

We continue to settle in and learn our way around North Quad – it is great to be here! I wanted to confirm and clarify some key points to help you in accessing the building and using the spaces available to you:

North Quad Building Access
Quite a few of the exterior doors at North Quad still have signs that say “closed to the public.” These will remain for a few more weeks while final construction and moving in furniture is completed to discourage too much foot traffic. However, SI is now in the building and SI students have access – so SI students are not “the public” and are free to come on in!

Finding SI within North Quad
To get to SI within North Quad, I find it is easiest to come up the steps off Washington Street, enter the courtyard and turn left, then enter the second set of doors on your left. Inside those doors you will find the academic elevators just beyond the entrance to the dining hall. Come up to the third floor and the Student Affairs suite (where the SI Career Development Office is located) is just around the corner on the right (room 3360).

Dining Hall within North Quad
Speaking of the Dining Hall, it will be open by end of August, and you can purchase meals there as you wish using cash, credit or Blue Bucks, or which can be applied to your Mcard. You can also purchase a meal plan. See for details.

SI Student Lounges
Note that the new SI student lounges (two spacious adjoining lounges, one for socializing/eating, the other for study and group work) are on the first floor, so if you took the academic elevator down to level one, come off the elevator and go right, then walk down the hall a short way to the SI student lounge (room 1295). The lounge furniture will not arrive until mid-August; I will email you when the lounge is ready for your use. You will access the lounge by swiping your Mcard. The social/eating lounge has vending machines and a kitchen area with microwave and full size refrigerator.

Group Project Meeting Rooms
There are several group meeting spaces on the first floor which will have card swipe access; these are not fully furnished yet so I will email you when they are ready and will provide guidelines for accessing these rooms.

Faculty/Staff lounges – for faculty and staff use
On the third and fourth floors of SI, there are faculty/staff lounges which are not physically closed off but are not for master’s student use. Since doctoral students are also staff due to their teaching and research appointments, they will have access to the faculty/staff lounges. There are some alcove areas on floors three and four which will soon be furnished and students could land there to work from a laptop or chat with someone, but even if the faculty/staff lounges aren’t occupied when you walk by, please respect the purpose of these spaces.

There will also be lots of space for students to relax or work in the public areas on the first and second levels of the building, such as in the Media Gateway.

Note to doctoral students: While doctoral students don’t move into North Quad until October along with faculty and staff from the SI North building, you are welcome to use the lounges, meeting rooms, and common areas when at North Quad.

Hopefully you received my recent email inviting you to the North Quad Housewarming event on September 15. Also watch your email for an invitation to visit the Student Affairs suite on the first day of classes for morning coffee and baked goods!

Please let me know if you have additional questions now or later as you begin to use the North Quad facility. We will do our best to help make your transition to our new space as smooth as possible.


Judy Lawson
Director, Admissions and Student Affairs
School of Information
University of Michigan

Posted by kkowatch on August 09, 2010 at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

If You Are An Intern, Know Your Value!

One of the blogs I subscribe to had an interesting article written from the perspective of what you can learn from an intern. For all of our 134 students doing internships this summer and for all of our readers who have been interns in the past, know that you made a contribution!

Although I've posted the text below, I suggest going to the link as the author, Penelope, peppers her blog text with some other fun, interesting links to blogs, etc.

Fire-up your career by befriending the intern

I am going to be a better person at self-promotion because I don’t brag enough. Ryan Paugh, who was basically my intern when I met him, and now he's almost my boss and definitely my social-skills mentor, tells me that I am popular because I'm interesting but that I suck at self-promotion. (He uses, as an example, the day I promoted an event on my blog a few hours after it it actually happened.)

I do not tell Ryan to shut up because he has taught me a ton about myself since the day I started working with him. And in fact, he makes me feel qualified to tell you why you can fire-up your career by paying close attention to the people with the least work experience.

1. Recognize interns are gatekeepers to the good stuff.
When it was time to promote my second book, I went to Keith Ferrazzi, author of one of my favorite career advice books. I needed a quotation from Keith that said something like, “I am The Great Keith Ferazzi and I can tell you for sure that your career will be crap and you will die drowning in the blood of a rabid coyote if you do not buy Penelope Trunk’s book.”

Just so you don’t get confused, I’m going to start calling my first book my first book and my second book my second book. At this point, I have written enough about oral sex and family atrocities that you will not be shocked to hear that first book is really a memoir that my publisher – out of the University of Colorado — decided was too disturbing to be sold as a memoir, so it was published as a novel.
Anyway, another thing Keith is great at is hiring interns. Keith’s intern, and gatekeeper, at the time of the publication of my second book, was Ian Ybarra. Ian said sure, he could come up with a quote. (It did not have animal references, but still, it was a nice endorsement.) Ian could see that I was a book-promotion novice, so he started giving me tips: Trade email lists, give speeches, pitch bloggers. Note: this was five years ago, when no one pitched bloggers.

Wait, please. Do not send me your book because I get too many. I’m sick of getting copies of business books. (Note to all publishers: I am getting really good at self-promotion and my blog is about to really take off, so could you please start sending me books with literary merit? Here’s my address: 15010 Oak Grove Lane, Darlington, WI 53030.) (And, a note to people who are going to say aren’t I worried that if I publish my address that stalkers will come get me in my sleep. Check me out on Google maps. The farm is so remote that even a stalker would be scared to go there in the dark.) (Finally, a note about using parentheses: Can we talk about style? Can there be more talk about style in blogging? Are links inherently parenthetical? What if each thought in a post is parenthetical, but they all add up to something that is central to our lives? Is that innovative or is it too e e cummings?) It’s so difficult to be original.

2. Take extra time on the phone, because interns take time to chat about things that really matter.
Then, one day, Ian wrote to me that he was moving with his girlfriend to Beloit. And then to Saudi Arabia. Or something like that. I can’t remember where he moved, but he grew up in a really really small town in a state that gets joked about just like Wisconsin. And he told me about how MIT courted him because he had high SAT scores in a weird zip code. When I worry about my kids going to a rural school with no orchestra, I hang my hat on hopes painted with broad brush strokes of the tidbits of Ian’s life that I may or may not remember correctly.

The next intern was Ryan Geist. I love him because I met him when he was at a big job at a big firm where I would never have been able to go to when I was his age because I was too busy not doing what the world expected me to do. What I love about Ryan is he gave those expectations a chance, and he was brave enough to say he didn’t like them, and he landed on Keith’s doorstep.

At the same time Ryan was there, so was Sara Grace. She called to get a quote from me. And I started talking to her about what she does. What her aspirations are. And she started telling me all these ways that Keith repurposes content. I was blown away. He is great at turning everything he writes or says into a post. The thing that really struck me was that he records interviews and has them transcribed in India and then edited into a post. That’s a great idea.

3. Let an intern show you your weak spot: you'll love her for it.
That’s a great idea because reporters ask interesting questions. And then I end up talking about topics I hadn’t thought about talking about before. The reporter uses 10% of what I say and the rest is gone. Poof. I do about five interviews a week, so recording them seemed like a good idea. But I realized that I actually like the process of writing. I don’t like the process of reading what I already said. (I wonder, does anyone actually like that process? It seems solipsistic. And shut up to all you people who think everything I do is solipsistic, self-promotion. Here is a list of people who are a thousand times better at self-promotion I am at it and I wish I could be any of them for a day:

Guy Kawasaki
Jason Calcanis
Ramit Sethi

And probably all you people who say that I’m in love with myself and never shut up about myself are also people who rant about me into a recorder and then hit replay so you can listen to yourself rant.)

4. Lay groundwork to get a job from the intern one day. (You never know…)
So goal number one is to be better at promoting myself.
And goal number two is to be better at using all the content I generate to create more posts. I am also not good at this because once I generate the content, it bores me. I want to move on. So I’m not sure how I will meet this goal either.

But here’s a start:

Esquire magazine contacted me this week about how to quit. And I decided it might make a good blog post. I see that it’s taken me too many words to get to it. So it’s hard to say that it’s the real subject of this blog post. But maybe you will like it:
(Don't do an exit interview. If they wanted to hear your ideas about how to make things better, you wouldn't be quitting, would you? So this is really just a way for you to burn bridges and annoy people. Don't fall into the trap. If they insist on an exit interview, say nothing negative. At all.

Send a thank you note. Anyone you worked closely with should get a hand-written thank you note. Bring up specific times when they surprised you with kindness, made your work better, invigorated you with their own contagious brilliance or creativity. And, if you are thinking that you work with people who merely make you want to hit your head on a brick wall, remember this: Intelligent people should can learn from anyone.

Take a vacation. You probably think about work all the time, not because you're a slave but because you like solving problems and learning new things and meeting interesting people. Which is what work really is. This means that the only time you can really take a vacation is in between jobs. So do that. Don't start the new job right away.

Have humility. You are probably not quitting to take a job that sucks, right? So, since you are quitting for a better job, you don't need to shove it in peoples' faces that you are moving up in the world and they are not. The world is not a race to a McMansion, the world is a contest for who can be the most kind hearted and tolerant. That's what makes a good life–you'll get kindness in return. So be gracious and grateful.)

Think of quitting as a networking event. These people are no longer your co-workers, they are they network that will help you get the job after the one you just got. And don't forget the entry-level people who look like they couldn't help anyone. The interns will get big jobs one day, and they will remember each person who saw them for who they are and who they could be.

Posted by kkowatch on August 05, 2010 at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Updates to PEP Courses for Fall and Winter Terms

Highlighted below are the changes associated with PEP courses:

TO: MSI Students
FROM: Margaret Hedstrom, Associate Dean for Academic Programs
RE: Important updates on 2010-11 course offerings

Dear MSI Students:
Greetings from SI's new headquarters in North Quad. As we head into the final stretch of summer, we have made a few adjustments in the class offerings for the coming year. We also have approved some new options for what can count for certain degree or specialization requirements.

Here are updates regarding specific courses:

SI 529 eCommunities - offered in fall
Paul Resnick will offer this class in fall term this year rather than in winter.

SI 539 Complex Web Design – seats added for Fall term
We have added some additional seats given student interest; however, remember this course is also offered in winter term.

SI 534 Theories of Social Influence - now counts for management distribution
This course has been approved to count for the management distribution requirement. Students who took the course last year may also count the course for the management distribution.

SI 543 Java – seats added
We have added some additional seats given student interest.

SI 572 Database Design - offered fall without PEP credits and in winter with PEP credits
The popularity of this course had been increasing steadily and really jumped this fall. The course also has a new instructor, Colleen Van Lent, who has received very positive evaluations for teaching SI 543. To accommodate the growing student interest, we have decided to offer SI 572 in winter term as well as in fall term. However, due to the transition to a new instructor, we are not able to offer the PEP component of the course for the fall. Starting in winter, the external projects that justify the PEP credits will be offered again as part of the class. If you are enrolled in this course and need the PEP credits to graduate this fall, you can seek advising from Joanna Kroll or Xiao-Wen Zou to identify an alternative plan.

SI 645 Information Use in Communities - offered winter term
This course will be offered this academic year, after all. Our new faculty member, Joyojeet Pal, will teach the course in winter term.

SI 686 User Generated Content (New title; formerly Public Goods)
This course has a new title, and now counts for the Social Computing specialization in addition to Community Informatics and Information Economics for Management (formerly ICD).

Note that the updated TAP sheets are now available at Remember that you can follow the new options described above for meeting requirements. The updated TAPS will reflect changes in the terms that courses will be offered as well.

Please check the status of your fall registration. If you signed up for an extra course or two that you no longer intend to take, please drop courses you no longer need to make room for the incoming MSI students who will be registering Wednesday, July 28! If you need to make a change in your schedule, you may want to take care of it soon.

Enjoy the rest of summer and best wishes,

Margaret Hedstrom
Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor
School of Information
University of Michigan
4323 North Quad
105 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

Posted by kkowatch on July 23, 2010 at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Three SI Students Awarded the CIC Stipend for Summer Internships

Three SI students were awarded 2010 CIC Internship Stipend for their summer internship opportunities. These students are taking part in an unpaid or low paying CI/CIC-related internship opportunity and have demonstrated experience in the CI specialization and/or the Community Information Corps (CIC).

Carrie Nusbaum will spend the summer working at the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP) in Incheon, Republic of Korea. During July 2010 the Director of APCICT will deliver a presentation to Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Conference on ICT-based Trade and Transportation Facilitation (TTF). Carrie will conduct research on ICT-TTF, prepare a Background Paper to be referenced during the conference panel discussion, and prepare a survey to be administered to conference participants. Within the coming months, APCICT will also develop and launch an online resource centre devoted to its Academy Partners throughout the Asia-Pacific. Carrie will support the project coordinator by researching and presenting design mock-ups, provide feedback on web designer proposals, facilitate the development of content, troubleshoot website errors, and promote the launch of the new online portal.

Sarah Pipes, an Intern with the Central European University Center for Media and Communications Studies (CMCS) in Budapest, Hungary, will be responsible for the collection of the country contributors’ input to the European Privacy and Human Rights report, the consolidation of existing networks and establishment of new liaisons in Europe, and the review, consolidation and editing of the reports. Through this internship, Sarah will acquire an understanding of European privacy frameworks and will help to draft the project report and documentation required to close the project.

Andrew (Drew) Gordon, the third SI student to receive the CIC award, will spend the summer working with the Media & Democracy Coalition in Washington, D.C. The Media and Democracy Coalition is a coalition of more than thirty organizations that work to amplify the public’s voice in media and communications policy. There, Drew will be exposed to the many facets of the way that communications policy is made. He will be developing and executing campaign materials and plans (including social media) in targeted Congressional districts to educate and move members of the House Commerce Telecom Subcommittee towards progressive media policy in addition to representing the Coalition as a whole during visits to Congressional offices with MADCO staffers, assist in the preparation for and planning for these visits, and communication with members around the country on policy initiatives and political situation here in Congress and on the Hill.

Posted by kkowatch on June 15, 2010 at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

UMSI Seeking SI 501 / Information Process Redesign Clients

Have you often been frustrated by the way information gets passed -- or not passed -- along in your organization? Is there an information flow that could be more effective or efficient if it were analyzed, key issues were identified, and you were provided a set of recommendations for improvement?

If so, we invite your participation in “Contextual Inquiry and Project Management” a 14-week client-based course at the University of Michigan School of Information ( For this course, Master’s students perform an in-depth analysis of a process flow of organizational information use from several perspectives at no cost to your organization. (The course description and more examples of past SI 501 clients and projects are available at

Past projects have included:

• The analysis of information flow that occurs between a board of directors and volunteers at a local wildlife care organization, from the processing of incoming reports regarding injured mammals on through to the placement and care of the animals

• The review of a health clinic’s telephone queue and voicemail system, establishing a formal protocol for routing phone calls and messages from patients, medical specialists, pharmacists, funders, and vendors to appropriate staff

• An examination of how a government agency plans, creates, and disseminates information about current events and projects to regional employees to encourage collaboration and decrease the duplication of effort among employees

• An evaluation of how information flows in a product development organization from the generation of new ideas, through market research, finance, to the actual development of the product

• The study of a public library's process to acquire and weed materials among its three branches

In order to be eligible, your organization must meet the following criteria:

• Have a formal or informal information process already in place, that needs improvement
• Provide 5-10 people who are involved in the process and willing and able to be interviewed by the student team

If you are interested in learning more, please reply by Friday June 18, 2010 and I'll follow up with additional information.

Feel free to forward this email on to any colleagues, clients, or friends who would be interested in this opportunity. Ixchel Faniel, Assistant Professor at the School of Information, and her SI 501 instruction team are looking forward to another great semester of client consulting projects, and we hope you will join us!


Kelly A. Kowatch, Assistant Director
University of Michigan School of Information
Career Development Office
(734) 936-8735

Posted by kkowatch on June 03, 2010 at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

This Month at The Career Center - April

This Month at The Career Center for Graduate Students focuses on resources and strategies to help you get a head start on next year's job search. Read how the skills you've developed in graduate school can translate to a range of career choices. Learn about what you can be doing now to start getting ready for the fall academic job market. And visit our page on career fields of interest to graduate students to learn more about your options. See all this and more at This Month at:

Posted by kkowatch on April 01, 2010 at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

Congrats to the expoSItion Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the exposition yesterday—particularly to the student exhibitors—for without you there would be no expo. Thank you for showcasing SI in such a positive light! And thank you to the audience who took time out of your busy schedules to attend the expo and support these students in their efforts. Feedback from the audience indicated that it was a great success! Projects and presentations were all impressive which made the voting difficult.

We have counted the votes, and the winners are…

Best Overall Project Presentations:
• 1st place: $750 mibo: Get Walking (Students - Malhar Gupta, Kathryn McCurdy, Eunkyoung Song, Xiaowen Zhang)
• 2nd place: $500 Food Buddha (Kiran Jagadeesh, Urmila Kashyap, Jacob Solomon, Weihua Wang)
• 3rd place: $250 Night Beacon (Students - Yi-Wei Chia, Garima Garg, Michael Harmala, Taeho Ko)
• Honorable Mention: $100 NexText (Students - Derek Blancey, Natalia Fisher, Amanda Kosater, Ari Parnes, Matthew Scheinerman)

Voting was based on the following criteria:
Be related to the SI curriculum; most attractive display, best presentation, most innovative topic, most applicable to the real world

Best Social Computing Project Presentations:
• 1st place: $500 Talking Points (Students - Zhenan Hong, Hanna Jung, Amy Kuo, Jane Leibrock, Sonali Mishra, Clint Newsom, Sangmi Park, Eunice Shin, Gary Suen, Jordan Washburn, Sui Yan, Rayoung Yang)
• 2nd place: $250 Peregrine (Students - Divye Bokdia, Simon Ng, Manaswi Shukla, Kshitiz Singh, Saul Wyner)

Voting was based on the following criteria:
Be related to social computing—either an analysis of patterns of interaction or a software application that supports connection, interaction, or coordination; most attractive display, best presentation, most innovative topic, most applicable to the real world.

Best Community Information Project Presentations:
• 1st place: $200 NexText (Students - Derek Blancey, Natalia Fisher, Amanda Kosater, Ari Parnes, Matthew Scheinerman)
• 2nd place: $100 Zydeco (Students - Alex Pompe, Clara Cahill, Alex Kuhn, Shannon Schmoll)
• 3rd place: $50 FootPrints (Students - Janani Bhuvaneswari, Kumar Mayank)

Voting was based on the following criteria:
Be related to community informatics - demonstrating a relevant and significant outreach and accommodation towards social justice, access, and/or community empowerment; most attractive display, best presentation, most innovative topic, most applicable to the real world.

Thank you again to our sponsors, for without them, these fabulous awards would not be possible: John Deere Corporation, Microsoft Research, and Yahoo!

Thank you to the CIC sponsored award—as your contribution provided a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase the work they are doing in the area of Community Information.

Thank you to the expo student planning team for your publicity efforts AND a special thank you goes out to Shamille Orr, Career Development Assistant extraordinaire—whose exceptional organizational skills and patience directly impacted the success of both the exposition and the Networking Fair!

Congratulations to all of the winners on a great job!

Posted by kkowatch on March 26, 2010 at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

USAJOBs Redesigned -- Finally!

From the Call to Serve eNews January 2010

USAJOBS Redesign Complete

As of January 23, StudentJobs, VeteransJobs and Senior Executive Services (SES) are no longer individual Web sites, independent of USAJOBS. All of the services and information previously located on these sites can now be found on USAJOBS, which has become the sole government search engine for finding and applying for federal jobs and internships.

To accommodate all of the information previously accessed through one of the four specialized government sites, USAJOBS has completely overhauled its layout and increased its functionality in new, user-friendly ways. Different sections still exist on USAJOBS to address the more specialized needs of students, veterans and Senior Executives; consequently, although more information is housed on this one Web site, job searches and results can still be more personal and refined for applicants.

The shift to a single, uniform Web site stems from a range of usability studies, as well as from extensive feedback from applicants, which was gathered through customer satisfaction surveys and focus groups. The redesigned site will enhance the user experience by:

• Introducing social media and increased personalization;
• Improving site navigation, making it easier to move throughout the site;
• Enhancing the job search tool so applicants can find jobs that better match their skills;
• Streamlining employment information to ensure that guidance is readily accessible; and
• Providing targeted resources for those with special needs (students, executives and individuals with disabilities).

If you previously had an account on StudentJobs, VeteransJobs or SES, there’s no need to panic! If you have already registered with one of these three sites or with USAJOBS, your username and password will remain the same. All information stored in your account, including resumes, search agents and saved jobs will be carried over to the new site.

Click here to see USAJOBS’ new look for yourself!

Below are some other useful resources from Call to Serve that may be of use to you during your federal job/internship search:

Making the Difference: The Partnership's Web site for college students and recent graduates interested in federal employment.
Best Places to Work: Based on feedback from more than 221,000 civil servants, the Partnership has compiled its "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" rankings of 283 federal agencies and subcomponents.
Where the Jobs Are: Check out a list of federal hiring projections through 2012! The U.S. government's official web portal. Learn more about federal, state and local agencies on the site's A-Z Agency Index.

Posted by kkowatch on February 01, 2010 at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

Are You Aware of How Your Actions Can Affect Others Through Social Media?

Okay, so this title is a bit long, but I wasn't sure how to concisely say what I'm trying to convey in this quick blog post. I'm sure you hear it all the time: "Watch what you put on your Facebook page because employers are watching!" And so on... here at SI, we are all hyper-aware that everyone and anyone can see what we put out there (at least I hope we all are!)

Well, this is leaking into the Twitter-sphere now. We had an employer at SI this week doing mock interviews. He got stood up. (And just let me tell you here that more than one of our employers got stood up for mock interview this fall - this is ridiculously unprofessional and inappropriate! Mock Interviews should be treated like real interviews, because in a way, they are. And now I'll get off my soapbox.)

So, while this employer is here at SI, he Tweets about how he got stood up.

Specifically, he Tweets:

at UMSI to do some mock interviews for my Production Librarian position. First interviewee didn't show; she's not mock getting the mock job. 8:26 AM Nov 17th from Tweetie

The thing here is that he doesn't target the student because they go unnamed, but he does target SI. This is bad for all of us. This is a reflection of our school and says something to other organizations that might want to recruit here. So, please, please, please show up for your mock interview, interviews, and think about your other activities that may reflect the entire SI community.

Posted by kkowatch on November 18, 2009 at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

Entreprenrial Funding For SI Students -- up to $100K Available

In the past few years, SI students have obtained venture fund funding to aid in the development of start-ups for internships via RPM Ventures, a local venture capital firm devoted to funding local companies. (Sponsored by RPM Ventures, RPM10 is an innovative summer intern program designed to fuel the entrepreneurial energy and ingenuity of University of Michigan students. If you are accepted, you will receive guidance and capital to help your software or web services start-up company get off the ground. )

Also see Phonagle unleashes outWord (2009) and Troubadour Mobile (2008)

It has come to my attention that the Frankel Commercialization Fund provides similar funding.

Although the first round draft acceptance date (November 2) has passed, the contacts at the FCF have shared with me that SI students and alumni are more than welcome to submit proposals for the second round date of January 17, 2009.

See below for more information on the Franklin Commercialization Fund and opportunities for SI entrepreneurial developments.

The Frankel Commercialization Fund (FCF) is a pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area. The team adopts a hands-on approach to investing that leverages the talents and resources available at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan to make a real impact for the entrepreneur and the University.

The Frankel team is actively looking for entrepreneurs seeking pre-seed funds to turn big ideas into exceptional companies.

The goals of the FCF are to:

* Identify and enable the commercialization of research and ideas originating within the University of Michigan and surrounding community.
* Create a financially self-sustainable process of research commercialization, by which exits from past investments fund future investments.
* Provide hands-on business strategy assistance to the entrepreneur to help position them for success.
* Enable an action-based educational experience for Ross MBA students in early stage company formation and evaluation.
* Build excitement within the University community about the prospects of research commercialization.

The strength of the Frankel Fund is directly derived from the core team of Ross MBA students ("Frankel Fellows"), selected for their depth of related prior experience and their interest in early stage company formation. The Frankel Fellows are organized into four investment teams - health care, technology, consumer, and cleantech investments.

Each Frankel team may invest up to $100,000 per investment (in multiple installments) to entrepreneurial ideas with great potential and a vision for the future. The teams are mentored by Tom Porter, the Fund's managing director and executive-in-residence at the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School, and guided by an advisory board, consisting of experienced executives in health care and information technologies and early-stage company formation and investing.

Student Testimonials

““More than any other extracurricular activity, the Frankel Fund has been the highlight of my Ross education. The opportunity to interview entrepreneurs, discuss the merits of applicants with Frankel Advisory Board members, and attend lectures on topics such as early-stage venture capital finance, has provided invaluable exposure to the technology commercialization process. I look forward to employing what I have learned as I pursue a career in entrepreneurship.” Hanns Anders, MBA 2009

“My experience in the Frankel Fund has without question been the most enriching aspect of my MBA education. The unique blend of real world experience infused with academic structure has helped to solidify both my classroom knowledge and ability to add value to the early-stage technology commercialization process.” Carl Timm, Ross MBA 2007

Posted by kkowatch on November 09, 2009 at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

Alumni Mentoring Options at UM

The School of Information hosts its very own Student-Alumni Network in iTrack. We encourage all alumni to register for this database to be connected with current students.

However, if you are seeking a broader range or would like an additional mentoring opportunity, you can also sign up with the University's Alumni Networks:

Sign up to be a mentor with Alumni NetWorks!

A U-M degree is a common bond and shared experience between you and more than 460,000 alumni, providing networking and career development opportunities.

Through the Alumni NetWorks program, the Alumni Association strives to connect current students and its members with U-M alumni mentors able to provide career coaching on topics ranging from information about their occupation to relocating to a new city. Mentors represent all job stages, from early career to experienced professional.

Being a mentor can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, and with Alumni NetWorks you can control your level of involvement in the program. Fill out our secure form online to become a mentor today! Get connected. Give back. Become an Alumni NetWorks mentor.
Questions? Contact us at

The Career Services Department
Alumni Association of the University of Michigan
200 Fletcher St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1007

Posted by kkowatch on November 05, 2009 at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

MLA Conference Presentation Opportunity

A former SI student contacted SI to make students aware of an opportunity to present at the upcoming Michigan Library Association Conference in Lansing.


The Associate director of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library , Juliane Morian, recently emailed asking if of the names of any ambitious, project-oriented SI students who would be interested in presenting at the Tomorrow’s Professionals session of this year’s MLA conference.

Here’s a description of the session of the conference schedule: “Attend this program to learn about library student projects from tomorrow’s professionals and tap into their talents today. MLA is delighted to welcome students from local library science programs to offer presentations on a noteworthy project or internship completed while pursuing their graduate degree. In this annual program, student and recent grads have showcased digitization projects, grand-writing initiatives, website redesigns, and service projects. Harness the energy of these students in your library today.”

The session will be in Lansing on Wednesday, 11/4 at 3:45. Presentations will be approximately 15-20 minutes, with about five minutes afterward for questions. There is space available for two SI presentations, either by individuals or groups.

Interested students should get in touch with Juliane at

Posted by kkowatch on September 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Preparing for Career Fairs

This week, the College of Engineering is hosting the annual career fair:

The SWE/TBP Fall Engineering Career Fair, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Tau Beta Pi (TBP), the National Engineering Honor Society, has been offering corporate recruiters and Michigan engineering students the chance to meet and discuss professional opportunities for over 24 years. Come celebrate our 25th anniversary this fall!

The 25th Annual Career Fair will be held on:
Monday, September 21, 2009 and Tuesday, September 22, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

But, how to best prepare for a career fair? Below, you will find a collection of tips and information on how to prepare for this fair and for others this year.

The key thing to know is that when a career fair isn't sponsored by the School of Information, you need to be prepared to sell not just you, but also to make the bridge between our school and what you are learning and what the organization gets out of hiring you. Its actually pretty easy, but the recruiters at the career fair aren't going to be attuned to the sort of jobs that you are interested, so you need to educate them. Be prepared to sell SI!

Read on for more general tips on how to maximize your time at a career fair.

Making the Most of a Job Fair
(Source: The Employment Guide)

Job fairs are a great way for you to explore potential employment opportunities and learn more about companies who are actively hiring in your neighborhood. Many people see it as something as serious as a first interview, while others view it as an opportunity to gather information about potential employers. Regardless of what reason you have for attending, there are a few important things to keep in mind before, during, and after the job fair to make it successful for you.

Before the Job Fair:
* Find out what businesses will be there. The more information you can gather beforehand, the more successful the job fair is going to be for you. Find out what businesses are going to be at the job fair, and spend some time doing some research about them. What types of jobs do they have open? What kind of people are they looking for? What kinds of skills do these people need to have?

* Develop some questions you'd like to ask employers. Narrow down your list of businesses to include those who have positions you are interested in, or are businesses you think you might like to work for. Then list some questions you would like to ask the company representative at the job fair.

* Proofread your resume - at least twice. If you don't already have one, it is a good idea to put a resume together for a job fair. It gives employers a blueprint of your skills and something tangible to remember you by. Be sure to proofread your resume before the job fair to find any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Even if you think there are no errors, have someone else look it over too. Don't let errors overshadow your qualifications for a job!

* Be sure your resume contains your updated contact information. You'll want employers to be able to reach you if necessary. Double check that your address, phone number, and e-mail address is current.

At the Job Fair:

* Dress the part. As with a job interview, first impressions at a job fair are important. How you represent yourself sends an immediate message to employers about how serious you are in your job search. It isn't always necessary to wear a suit to a job fair - unless you are looking for a job that would require you to dress professionally at work. However, you should leave the jeans and t-shirts at home. "Business Casual" is usually the most appropriate at a job fair - nice slacks and a collared shirt for men and nice slacks or a skirt and a blouse for women are appropriate. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry or clothing that is too short or revealing.

* Take time to talk to employers. Don't just drop off a resume and move to the next booth. Take time to get additional information and make an impression. The point is not to see how many resumes you can give to employers in the least amount of time - it is to establish some solid job prospects. Also, try to avoid approaching employers when they are crowded by a large group of jobseekers. Approaching a crowded booth makes it difficult for employers to answer your individual questions, and they are less likely to remember you when they return to their offices.

* Use your research to appear confident and knowledgeable. If you have done research before the job fair, you won't have to ask the question, "What does your company do?" If you have to ask, you are wasting valuable time. Instead, you could be asking questions about the position or department you are interested in. It works to your advantage if you can tell employers how your skills match what they are looking for. Employers want to hire people who are genuinely interested in their company. Do your homework!

* Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Let employers know how serious you are. Greet the employer with a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact throughout your conversation. Showing interest and good manners is important, regardless of the type of job you are looking for. Every employer appreciates someone who is dedicated, conscientious, and attentive.

After the Job Fair:

* Follow up with a thank you note. Experts agree that follow-up is an important part of attending a job fair. If you picked up a business card, or the name of the company's job fair representative, send a thank you note a day or two after the job fair. This is not only polite, but will let the representative know you paid attention, are serious about the job, and that you are the right person for it.

Other resources to prep for a career fair:

Navigating a Career Fair by Graduating Engineer
Career Fair Checklist for Career Fair Success by Quint Careers
And... the UM Career Center has a great article: Simple things you can do now to assist you in your future job/internship search

Posted by kkowatch on September 21, 2009 at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

45% of Employers Now Screen Social Media Profiles
August 19th, 2009 | by Jennifer Van Grove

We all know that employers are getting savvy to social networking sites and the information we share online. But what you may not know is that a recently conducted survey shows that nearly 1 in 2 companies are doing their online due diligence for prospective job candidates.

This according to research firm Harris Interactive, who was commissioned by and surveyed 2,667 HR professionals, finding that 45% of them use social networking sites to research job candidates, with an additional 11% planning to implement social media screening in the very near future.

According to the study, “thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate.” The big lessons you can learn are quite obvious, but bear repeating. Provocative photos and info are a bad idea (53% of employers won’t hire you), shared content with booze and drugs is also highly dangerous (44% dismissed candidates for this reason), and bad-mouthing former employers is very risky behavior (35% reported this a the main reason they didn’t hire a candidate).

We also think it interesting that emoticons, those friendly smiley faces you see everywhere, are actually big no-nos in direct communication. 14% of surveyed employers disregard candidates for that single lapse in judgment alone.

Though this may seem as a big downer for those of us who are oversharers, the reality is that there’s still opportunity to use your social presence to land that job. The survey also found that, “eighteen percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them to hire the candidate.”

This might be a good time to see if you pass the social media recruitment test.

Posted by kkowatch on August 20, 2009 at 09:22 AM | Comments (1)

[SI Careers] 2009-10 PEP Internship Update - Please Read!

Dear SI Students,

Over the summer, the SI Career Development Office staff has reviewed and revised the PEP Internship Proposal Approval process, with the hopes of streamlining the process and making more effective use of the iTrack recruiting system. As a result, the system has now been migrated to iTrack and should prove to be a more simplified process for both you and your mentor.

If you plan on participating in a PEP credit-based internship for Fall 2009 internship, please read the instructions below carefully.

Once you have secured an internship offer, contact Kelly Kowatch at Please provide her with the following information:

--Name of Organization
--Name of Mentor/Supervisor
--Mentor/Supervisor’s email address and phone number

With your mentor, begin drafting a PEP Internship Proposal. A guide to draft a PEP Proposal can be found at

Because internship proposals must be submitted by your mentor, we will contact your mentor and initiate the PEP Internship proposal process within 3 business days. You will be copied on the message.

Note that you must have an established account and approved resume on iTrack in order for your mentor to submit a PEP Internship Proposal for you. Also, be sure to add the iTrack email address ( to your Safe Senders list so that you do not miss out on an important email.

You will receive further instructions for your internship approval process as required.

Please bear with us during this transitory period as we may encounter a few workable kinks in our new system!

Kelly Kowatch

Kelly A. Kowatch, Career Counselor
University of Michigan School of Information
Career Development Office
404C West Hall
SI Career Development Blog
Follow us on Twitter: @SI_Careers

Posted by kkowatch on August 18, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

Presidential Management Fellows Program 2010

The dates for the 2010 Presidential Management Fellows program application cycle have been posted online:

Applications are due October 1-15, 2009 and school nominations by October 31, 2009. More details about applications and the program are available at the website above.

Link to PMF Home page

The purpose of the Program is to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.

Posted by kkowatch on August 18, 2009 at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) - Call for Applications

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Diversity Programs are accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (the Initiative), a program designed to recruit LIS graduate students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic and racial backgrounds into careers in research libraries. The Initiative includes a stipend up to $10,000, leadership and
career development training, and a formal mentorship program.

The ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and ARL member libraries, offers a stipend up to $10,000 (over two years) to attract LIS graduate students from underrepresented groups to careers in research libraries. These stipends can be combined with other financial aid to provide an extra incentive for completing library and information science degrees. This initiative reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library community that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis of global perspectives in the academy.
Program Goal and Objectives:

*Attracting LIS graduate students from underrepresented groups to careers in research libraries, especially students with an educational background in applied and natural sciences or information technology*

*Strengthening participants’ leadership skills via a Leadership Institute held in conjunction with ALA Midwinter Meeting

*Developing a network of mentors who will guide and nurture the career development of the participants

*Candidates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Those without academic training in natural/applied sciences or information technology/computer science will be required to complete coursework that will better prepare the candidate to work in science librarianship or information technology.

Program Design
The ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce comprises three components over a two-year timeframe: (1) stipend award and disbursement, (2) an ongoing Mentoring Relationship, and (3) a two-day Leadership Institute hosted in conjunction with ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. A “community of learners” will be created with in-person exchanges and online interaction among the Diversity Scholar cohort and their mentors.
Mentor Relationship

Mentors will be recruited based on mutual interest. Mentors are asked to commit time to the program’s success; this includes interacting virtually and in-person as needed with his or her designated protégé. Mentors are expected to interact selectively, but regularly, with ARL Diversity Scholars via electronic communications, conference calls, and by attending the networking reception held in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Scholar-and-mentor pairs will establish mutual expectations for their newly developed working relationship.
Program Promotion

The ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce is a highly visible program sponsored by ARL member institutions and the Institute of Library and Museum Services. ARL Diversity Scholars are expected to work with ARL to provide information (i.e., résumé, photo, e-mail address, etc.) to inform the ARL community about their participation in the program. ARL will announce the Diversity Scholars in print, online, and other communication vehicles, and provide information about each scholar on a public Web site.


Application Criteria
1. Member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group (Note: Racial and ethnic group membership is based on the categories outlined in the US Census. Racially and ethnically underrepresented groups include: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino.)

2.Acceptance into an ALA-accredited LIS graduate program

3.Interest in pursuing a career in a research library

Application Checklist

Completed applications should be submitted by Monday, August 31, 2009. Go to for more information on the application.

Posted by kkowatch on August 11, 2009 at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Interview Tips -- Do's And Don'ts

Its mid-summer and many people are in the midst of a full-blown job search. And with job searching, comes interviews. Below is a list of different articles, videos, and clips on interview bloopers. So, if you blow an interview (and just about everyone has!), check these out to make yourself feel better because these people did much worse! Or, read ahead to plan for what not to do.

Sarcasm and Joking in the Workplace (or in the Interview - an absolute no-no!)

43 Weird Thins Said in Job Interviews ""I get angry easily and I went to jail for domestic violence. But I won't get mad at you." Weird, definitely!

More about what not to do after you are hired, but check out 30 Ways to Lose a Job on Twitter. This would mean don't post "My boss is an idiot!"

A whole book on the topic: Job Search Bloopers: Every Mistake You Can Make on the Road to Career Suicide...and How to Avoid Them

Top 10 Interview Blunders

Job Interviewing Do's and Don'ts

I'm sure that there are many more out there but this should guide you well. And if you have any doubts, don't hesitate to contact Joanna or me with questions or concerns! --Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on July 29, 2009 at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

What Not to Do When Applying for Library Jobs

A current student sent me the following article and I thought that it would be an interesting one to share to all. Although the article is directed towards library jobs, the information and tips provided are pretty universal! Check out the comments at the link too -- lots more tips to be found! Enjoy!

What Not to Do When Applying for Library Jobs
by Brett Bonfield
June 24, 2009

This week we decided to do a “collective wisdom” post about job hunting mistakes. This is an issue affecting every librarian, whether you’ve got a job, you’re in the market, or you’ll begin looking five years down the road. We’ve all made errors in selecting jobs to apply for, drafting our cover letters and resumes, and during interviews. Once we realize what we’ve done, we promise ourselves never to repeat them again and create strategies that work for us. Many of us have also been on the other side of the table, interviewing great candidates who are amazingly well prepared, and also some applicants who fail to put their best foot forward. This group post is our way of pulling together our collective experiences as both interviewees and interviewers and offering up some practical advice to our readers. We welcome your thoughts, advice, and questions.

Plan Ahead!

Before you look for a job, while you’re still in school or if you’re getting curious about another facet of the library profession, it is most advantageous to you to schedule informational interviews. Ask engaging and meaningful questions to show your curiosity about the institution/organization. Ask about work duties, ask about the organizational culture. Really get a feel for the place and decide if it’s something to keep on your list for a place of employ in the future. When it’s all said and done, write thank you notes to the people who took the time to speak with you. They will remember you when you return for an interview and in the future you can talk about this experience in your cover letter. If it’s not some place you want to work, you can still occasionally email these people and “update” them on your professional life. You never know, they might have some inside skinny about jobs in that area. Currently, I am employed in a library where I conducted an informational interview two years before I eventually landed an actual interview at the institution. Colleagues with whom I work everyday are people who received thank you notes from me while I was still in graduate school. -Emily

As You Consider Applying

Don’t worry about your inexperience. While many hiring employers look for applicants with experience in the job for which they’re hiring, some don’t. I, for one, would rather hire someone who demonstrates the desire and capacity to take on a new job. They bring a fresh perspective and an eagerness to learn that those hired laterally often don’t. -Joan Bernstein

Don’t apply for a job for which you have no qualifications. You are wasting the time of the people reviewing resumes and your own! They may remember you, and when they do it might be a time when you are qualified. Sadly, by then you may have annoyed the wrong people. -Derik

Along those same lines, think hard before applying for a job for which you are extremely overqualified. Many libraries won’t hire someone with an MLS for a non-Librarian position. There’s less of a danger of inciting quite as much ire, but it’s still a waste of their time and yours. -Ellie

Don’t go out for jobs without learning about the organization first. For the most part, the people who have hired me, and, to some extent, the people I’ve hired, are people I know. It isn’t that I’ve ever benefited from nepotism, at least not that I know of, or hired folks because I knew them, but the dynamics of filling open positions, even in the best of times, encourages employers to be risk averse. There’s usually high demand (many current and potential applicants) and low supply (usually just one or two open positions), and there are significant opportunity costs associated with making the wrong decision. The way to reduce a potential employer’s sense of risk is to get to know them in advance, or, at the very least, make sure mutual acquaintances advocate in your behalf. I look back at the times I attempted the job application equivalent of cold calling and shudder. -Brett

Don’t forget about your needs. Focus on yourself and your future working life. If you know you don’t want to commute an hour and half in the car each way to work every day, don’t apply for a job that would require this commute. Likewise, if you know you are qualified for a position but it sounds like you’ll hate the work, don’t apply. It’s tempting to make these sacrifices, especially in our current economy and with the seeming scarcity of library jobs in certain markets (like Portland), but it’s just not worth it. You’re better off poor and happy rather than miserable at your job or hating your commute. (I’ve done both and have vowed never to do either again.) -Emily

Don’t develop an emotional attachment to a job listing. This seems to have occurred most often for me when I applied for a job that seemed perfect, usually because I hadn’t done my networking, so I romanticized the position and employer. Emotional attachments also seem to accompany the reach applications, the feeling of, “it would be great if they hired me,” rather than the, “I’m going to be really great at this job the moment I start.” -Brett
Application Materials

Don’t use valuable space in your cover letter to summarize the job description/announcement or rehash facts from your resume. The people reading the letter know what they are looking for, so you should focus on why you are the person that fulfills those qualities. Show them how, with narrative that won’t be found on your resume: details, story, analysis, anything that might be relevant, interesting, and positive. -Derik

I agree with Derik that it’s a bad idea to summarize the job description in the cover letter, but on the other hand if you don’t address every job requirement listed in that description and explain how you meet it, you’re also missing out. Your search committee members may be reviewing one hundred or more applications, so you can imagine how tempting it is to look for excuses to eliminate candidates from the pool. The cover letter can easily be a make or break element in that initial application review. If you don’t manage in the first page of the cover letter to make it clear how well you fit (and hopefully, exceed) all the requirements of the job in question, your application may get tossed into the backup pile pretty quickly. -Kim

But don’t bank on your cover letter either. Personally, I read every cover letter that comes in and place an extreme amount of importance on applicants’ writing skills. I barely skim the resumes. But I know others who do the opposite. Make sure your resume is just as perfect and tailored to the specific opening. Don’t bank on your beautiful resume formatting either. Chances are you’ll have to put it through some terrible online form that will destroy it. When that happens to me I always clean it up as much as humanly possible for the form, which usually means removing all of the formatting, and then email a PDF. Speaking from the hiring side, I’ve only ever received the ugly forms, so either no one else is sending a follow up email or HR isn’t forwarding them. Take the time to make the online submission look as nice as you can. -Ellie

Don’t pretend it’s all about you. The “cold call” application also seems to lead to other mistakes I’ve made myself and see all the time in others: telling employers why you want a job or how it will benefit you rather than demonstrating how well you understand the organization and how useful you’ll be in helping the organization achieve its aims. If they don’t know you already, it’s natural to try to introduce yourself (see also: the only thing I’ve ever learned from Seth Godin). In my opinion, introducing yourself is almost always a mistake. Don’t say anything about yourself until you’re asked, in person, and you’re sure they’re really interested. And then keep it brief, something I’m not good at, especially when I’m nervous or eager. -Brett

Don’t overestimate your qualifications. One of the strangest resumes I ever received came from a plumber who applied for the Head of Reference position. I guess “MLS degree” didn’t mean anything to him, so he thought it couldn’t be important. While this is an extreme example, I think it’s important to not over-analyze your qualifications. Obviously, you should be in the right ballpark, but even if you’re not sure you’re the perfect applicant, go ahead and give it a shot. It’s the employer’s decision who to interview; don’t do that job for him by ruling yourself out. -Joan Bernstein

Don’t lie or exaggerate (excessively) in your cover letter. You may get called on it and look the worse for it. If you claim something is your research interest, be ready to answer questions about that interest with some modicum of intelligence and enthusiasm. -Derik

Don’t write application materials in times of emotional duress. This might seem pretty simple to most people, but I recently had the experience of submitting a job application at a very emotional time. In my case a family member had just passed away and the application deadline, which I had been keeping in the back of my mind, got completely forgotten. I awoke one morning (the day before the deadline) and gasped as soon as I had opened my eyes remembering in shock that I hadn’t yet drafted a cover letter for the position. Hurriedly I pieced together a draft over my lunch break and spent my evening hours “refining” the cover letter before I printed the application then drove it to the institution in order to get the application in on time. Two days later I revisited the materials out of curiosity and was ashamed to see what I had written. Sentences in my letter were missing prepositions, sentences were incomplete. To make a long story short, I should have passed on this job application opportunity and taken care of my emotional self over hurriedly applying for a job. At the very least, I should have had someone else read the cover letter before I pressed “print.” -Emily

Don’t use the same resume without revisions. Your resume should be tailored to the job that you’re applying for. It’s critical to take the extra time and attention to showcase how your skills and experience meet the job requirements as described in the position description. And remember that the job requirements are usually ordered from most critical to least critical in terms of reviewing applicants as a good fit for a position. So, if strong communications skills is a requirement that is listed first, make sure you pay particular attention to showcasing what you can bring to the position in terms of your ability to communicate effectively orally, in writing, and in interpersonal communications. If the position description requires experience or expertise with certain programming languages or software and you have that experience, be sure it makes it onto your resume. If your qualifications match the position requirements, then you’ve made it that much easier for the search committee to identify you as a qualified candidate. Make sure that there are no spelling errors, that you’ve elucidated each acronym (where appropriate), and if you have gaps in your work history, be sure to clarify why they exist in the cover letter. -Hilary

Don’t experiment with unusual organizational schemas in your curriculum vitae or resume. The search committee is going to be reviewing a whole lot of resumes and it helps them to be able to easily identify your educational background, work history, and other qualifications. If you decide that, say, grouping your past jobs by state sounds like a good idea, you’re going to drive them nuts unless there’s a really good reason to do so. And that’s just not a good foot to start out on. -Kim

But don’t be scared to try something different if it really makes sense in your particular situation. I came to librarianship from another career and with no library experience. I included a paragraph towards the end of my resume highlighting how my prior experiences explicitly related to the current position’s requirements, then briefly listed the job titles and dates. As I gather more library experience, that will come off, but at the time it showed that I was an experienced professional already and eager to apply those skills to a new field. -Ellie

Once you’ve decided to apply, here are my tips, based on my experiences from the other side of the table:

* Don’t get the name of the library wrong. Hint: use the name as shown in the job posting.
* Don’t be late! Apply on time—by posted end date.
* Don’t ignore instructions. If asked to apply by e-mail, don’t show up in person with your resume.
* Don’t omit a cover letter. Cover letters are important. Include one. It shows that you are literate (hopefully) and it spotlights the strengths that make you suited for job. You, not the hiring manager, have a stake in identifying what sets you apart from other applicants.
* Don’t generalize. Make the cover letter, and resume, position-specific. Generic applications don’t show much commitment on your part, and they communicate laziness.
* Don’t randomize your resume. List most recent experience first. The hiring manager wants to know what you’ve done recently, as well as seeing a pattern of career progression.
* Don’t be vague. Be specific about your past responsibilities and accomplishments. Don’t exaggerate, but don’t be too modest, either.
-Joan Bernstein

Screening Phone Call with HR

Don’t ignore HR. This is where you have an opportunity to ask questions about the position and the timeline of the search committee process. And this is where you show who you are and your enthusiasm for the job. The people who call you are typically going to be very skilled in listening for how easy you are to talk to, how forthcoming you are with answers to questions, if you’re nervous or if you’re holding back. They bring this information along with your expressed level of interest back to the search committee. If you’re in a hurry to get the phone call over, it will be noticed. Be genuine, be honest, be open, and be cheerful. -Hilary
Phone Interviews

Don’t be concise! If your phone interview runs less than a half hour, chances are you didn’t give your interviewers a good flavor for who you are. It’s incredibly difficult to make conversation with invisible people you’ve never met, and it’s doubly difficulty to put the required energy into selling yourself to them on top of it all, but if you don’t you’re going to find yourself back at square one. Think of the phone interview less as an interview where you get grilled by the search committee and more as an opportunity to state your case. Prepare your message in advance: identify two or three main points you want your interviewers to remember about you and fit those points into whatever questions you get. Make the phone interview do what you want while still answering the questions. It’s extremely challenging, yes, but if you can pull it off you’re likely to stand out. -Kim

Don’t freak out. When the people interviewing you on the other end are all in a room together with a speaker-phone, its downright freaky. There are awkward pauses and sometimes you can’t tell whether you’ve lost the phone connection. And you wonder to yourself if they are making faces at each other based on your responses. In my dark, dark past, I royally screwed up a phone interview and I will probably never apply to work at that organization again because of it. I under-prepared and got lost in my responses. However, I learned from it and modified my approach. First, don’t plan on conducting the phone interview in a setting where you’re worried that you’ll be disturbed (is someone likely to knock on your office door?, is it possible that the fire alarm will go off?). Stay home or go someplace where you are sure you’ll be left alone. If you’re using your cell phone, make sure you’ve got solid battery life. Second, take the advice in the section on “Interview Preparation” below and practice responding to interview questions. Write out your responses and practice them out loud and get them so well-ingrained that you can spout them out at a moment’s notice. I was so scarred from my previous horrible phone interview experience that I wrote my responses on single sheets of paper and color coded them based on the topic so that I couldn’t lose track of what I wanted to say. I practiced these backward and forwards, and on the morning of my next phone interview I taped them up on the walls of my apartment and practiced them again. This phone interview went super—I had a new method that worked and I had regained my confidence in being able to conduct a great phone interview. Bottom line: over-prepare for phone interviews. And remember, the people on the other end of the line also probably hate phone interviews too and those awkward silences are because they are writing notes to themselves or are trying to negotiate who responds next without talking over each other. -Hilary
Interview Preparation

Don’t be a generalist. Look up the mission statement of the library and/or institution of which it is a part. Be prepared to answer why you want to work in that particular type of environment specifically (e.g. academic, public, community college, etc.), not just libraries in general. Ask for the names of the hiring committee, find out what you can about them, and whenever possible apply what you’ve learned. Some academic hiring committees will have non-librarian faculty on the hiring committee. A particularly impressive applicant tailored her information literacy presentation to a specific assignment on that faculty member’s syllabus. Even if you aren’t able to get that specific, be sure to tailor your presentation to the appropriate audience. A presentation on advanced search techniques in a mostly graduate level science database is not going to score you many points with a community college committee. I also have to agree with the others who have mentioned preparing questions for the committee, and not just logistical questions about benefits or when you’ll hear back. You want to know if you’re going to like it here, too. Ask them what they enjoy most about coming to work each day at this particular institution or what they think the biggest challenges facing them are in the next year or so. -Ellie

Don’t interview cold. This is important: you must, absolutely must, review the materials that you sent in with your application (resume, cover letter, references, etc.) and make sure that you have the key points about each experience or qualification ready to leverage to answer the interview questions. Just as it is vital that you know your own resume and cover letter forwards and backwards, it’s also critical that you know the job requirements and that you have prepared key talking points about how you meet each of the requirements. There are tons of librarian interview question sets on the web (Google “librarian interview questions“): use them to prep yourself. Write out your responses to the questions, then say your answers out loud. Practice with a trusted friend or relative. Be prepared to use examples from your past work/classroom experiences to help illustrate what you can bring to the position or to help you answer a question. If you’ve got a list of the people you’ll be meeting on your interview, do a little investigative work on the web and see what projects and initiatives they’re involved with both at the organization that is interviewing you and in the profession as a whole (e.g., are they active in LITA, ALA, Code4Lib, SLA?). Knowing a little bit about each person will give you some insight into what is compelling to them and that will give you an edge in how you respond to interview questions and what kinds of things to chat about when you are walking with a search committee member between sessions or over lunch. And, by all means, prepare questions to ask—write them down and take them with you (Google “questions to ask in an interview” if you need ideas). You will be asked if you have any questions during your interview and if you don’t have any questions for them, then it tells your potential employer that you’re really not that interested. -Hilary

Seconding Hilary here, in particular—have answers prepared for all the standard questions along with an example from a real life situation. There are a chunk of questions you are almost guaranteed to be asked, don’t let them be the ones that stump you. -Ellie

Don’t treat every library as if it were the same. Do your research about each place you interview, and know at least a few unique projects or initiatives that characterize them. If you can drop specific references during your interview you’re going to impress the heck out of them. Wow, they’ll think, this person really wants to work here. And that’s what your interviewers want to find—the person who fits their position and their organization. -Kim

Don’t wing it. Look sharp—business casual or suit attire are expected. Iron your clothes or get them pressed. Wear kick-ass shoes. Get a fresh hair cut. You need to feel good about how you look and on an interview day, this is absolutely critical. Get sleep so that you have energy. There’s nothing worse than having to interview a candidate who looks tired, acts tired, and is slumping in their chair. Shake people’s hands and be confident when you do so. You want these people to like you so you need to offer them a genuine, welcoming, warm handshake. Shake everyone’s hand in the room, or at the very least, give recognition to everyone in the room. Have a pencil and notepad ready if you feel you need it, but don’t write in it excessively while you’re being interviewed. And don’t write down everyone’s name when you’re introduced to them during an interview session. You can always request a list of the people that you met with from your HR contact at the end of the day if you really need to have an inventory of the folks who interviewed you. If someone asks you a question, look them in the eyes when you respond. If your gaze is all over the place or is focused on the paper in front of you, that tells the people who are interviewing you that you either aren’t confident in your response or that you have poor interpersonal skills. If you’ve practiced what you’re going to say and how you’re going to present yourself, then you should be able to look each person in the eye and express your genuine self. Never, never denigrate or complain about someone at your current or former place of employment. Seriously, this is a red flag to your potential employer that you have no tact, no professionalism, and no respect. Thank each interview group for meeting with you and smile at them! It’s surprising how often nervousness will cause a candidate to keep their face unwelcoming and “frowny”—if you smile, they will smile back at you and you will feel good. Simple as that. -Hilary

If you are doing a presentation as part of your interview, don’t make boring slides: lots of text, lots of bullet points, ugly pre-made templates. Often, a presentation is a time during your interview when you will be seeing the largest number of people at once. Catching their attention is important and that won’t happen if you are reading bullet points off a long sequence of slides. Show creativity, if not originality, or at least steal from someone who shows creativity or originality. -Derik

Don’t be shy! The interview is the only chance your interviewers get to see you in action, so pull together all your reserves of extroverted energy and make the most of the opportunity. Be prepared with a list of questions and topics for small-talk to ensure that there is no dead air during your meetings. And for goodness sake, show interest in your interviewers! The easiest way to fill up awkward pauses is by asking them about their jobs and projects. -Kim

Don’t tell the committee you’re nervous. Of course you are, everyone is, you don’t need to draw attention to it. If your nerves are acting up so badly that you’re stumbling over the questions excessively, ask to take a moment to collect your thoughts, take a deep breath, a sip of water and continue. -Ellie

Don’t be late. If you are chronic late-runner, the interview is not the time to let that quality shine through. -Emily

Here are my tips for when you are called for an interview:

* Don’t come in unprepared. Study the institution’s Website. Google the institution and the person who’s interviewing you. This will demonstrate that you prepared for the interview and will distinguish you from other applicants.
* Don’t act disinterested. Be ready with good questions. You are a better candidate if you are able to engage the hiring manager in discussion. I always appreciated questions that I had to think about before I answered. This showed interest in the position and depth of thought—two definite pluses in a candidate.
* Don’t ever badmouth past employers in an interview. I always thought that if I hired that person, maybe someday he’d be saying that about me!
* Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you note. It’s common courtesy, and also an opportunity to reemphasize your skills and interest in the position.
-Joan Bernstein


Don’t only keep in touch with your references when you need their help. Your references will be more willing and able to provide good information about your work if they have a personal stake in your well being. Send them an e-mail at least a few times a year to let them know how you’re doing, what projects you’re working on, etc. even when you’re not looking for a job. -Emily

Don’t leave your references unprepared. Obviously, you want to ask people who you trust will say good things about you to be your references. When you apply for a job and you send your references’ names and contact info as part of your application, make sure to tell your references that you’ve just applied for this job. Better yet, tell them before you send in your application materials. Maybe they have colleagues at the organization to which you’re applying and can give you some insight to help you better craft your resume and cover letter. By all means give your references the heads up and make sure they have the resume (and maybe even the cover letter) for the job that you’re applying to as well as the job description. Tell them why you’re interested in this particular position. You want to prepare your references for being interviewed about you! Don’t leave them empty-handed or surprised when they get a call from an interviewer. Imagine the kinds of questions that they could be asked (Google “references interview questions” if you can’t imagine what these would be) and feed them potential responses by telling them about how you qualify for the job, what you like about the job, and what you like about the organization to which you’re applying. -Hilary

Don’t give lame references. If the people you list on that page are not past supervisors, professors, or other professionals who can really speak intelligently about your strengths and skills, you’re only hurting yourself. The people on your references list should easily match up with your education and work experience listed on your CV or resume. -Kim
The Offer

Don’t underestimate your value. That’s one error I hope never to make or have to deal with again: not knowing your price. Knowing an organization and its expectations doesn’t just mean knowing that you’re going to be an asset, it means knowing how much of an asset you’re going to be. It means getting a starting offer for what you’re worth (and accepting it happily) or being willing to walk away if you don’t get an offer that meets your demands. There’s nothing worse than colleagues who whine about their salaries except, perhaps, being the one who’s doing the whining. -Brett
After You Land the Job

You’ve just landed a plum job. A nice little bump in pay, something more aligned with your interests, a city you’ve always wanted to live in. Time to file the resume away and unsubscribe from all of those pesky jobs RSS feeds that were taking up all of your time?


Odds are, this isn’t the last job you’ll ever have. And if you wait until two weeks before the application is due to get yourself ready for the next job, you’ll find you’ve got a lot of last minute scrambling to do.

Many library job applications include essays and a brief window of time in which to apply. Prepare the basics in advance, and when you’re ready to apply you can focus on customizing your application. Have a master resume on hand, something that you update every few months with new accomplishments (while you still remember them). Rather than including a general summary of duties, pull highlights from your monthly reports that reference specific projects.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on job postings, even if you’re not on the market. You’ll be in a better position to identify trends, compare salaries, and track which skills potential employers are seeking. You’ll also have a better sense of what you’re getting yourself into. A month or three of scanning the want ads when you’re searching for a new job gives you a snapshot of the current atmosphere. With a year or two of trend watching under your belt, you’ll spot signals that are more subtle or nuanced. Why does McLargeHuge Library repost the same position every eight months? Why does TinyTown Library have such high turnover?

By keeping your ear to the ground, you’ll be in a position to act on a good opportunity when it catches your attention, rather than settling for the best you can get when you’ve realized it’s time to move on. -Heidi Dolamore
Guest contributor bios

Heidi Dolamore lives in San Francisco with her cat, bicycle, and unpaid library fines.

Joan Bernstein recently retired as director of the Mount Laurel Library (NJ). She has spoken, written, and consulted nationally on subjects including the merchandising of public libraries and privacy protection in the library. She served as the president of the New Jersey Library Association from 2006–2007. She can be contacted at

Posted by kkowatch on July 27, 2009 at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

Love KSA's? Hate KSA's? Either way, they are about to change

I had heard rumors that this was about to happen, but I finally found an article that confirmed it. KSA's -- or otherwise know as the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities section of any federal job application -- are about to be phased out. See below for an article that explains the pending change.

You can also read a formal statement from the government here.

Hiring reform: KSAs to be phased out within a year
June 29, 2009

They’re known by many as the point where dreams of finding a federal job die: The dreaded knowledge, skills and abilities questionnaires.
Now the oft-despised KSAs could be headed for the trash bin. The Office of Personnel Management plans to ask agencies in September to stop requiring job seekers to fill out the time-consuming questionnaires.

Agencies instead should rely on applicant résumés to decide if someone is qualified and warrants a second look, OPM Director John Berry said last week.

“Our society operates on a résumé-based approach, and for years, the government has had its own approach separate from that,” Berry said. “What I’m hoping we can accomplish is a culture shift to have the federal government rely upon what the societal norm is.”

Berry said scrapping KSAs would be part of a broader government attempt to overhaul its hiring process. The effort started June 11, when Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag told agencies to start mapping each step of the hiring process, involve managers more, keep applicants notified of their status throughout the hiring process, and to write position descriptions in plain English.

“We’re going to dog this and resolve it and try to produce fruit in one year,” Berry said.

But it remains to be seen what kind of evaluation system will
replace KSAs and allow agencies to sift through dozens, hundreds or sometimes thousands of applications for a single job.

OPM hiring experts and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council are developing strategies and advice on how the hiring process can be fixed, Berry said. Those strategies will be released later this summer, he said.

The government started using KSAs to weed out unqualified applicants as it moved away from civil service exams in the 1980s, said John Palguta of the Partnership for Public Service.

KSA questionnaires sometime contain dozens of questions requiring applicants to write essays describing their work experience or qualifications. HR specialists and subject matter experts then read through those responses — or use software to search for key words — and assign point values to KSA responses that help determine which applications will be reviewed further.

But KSA questions are sometimes repetitive and require lengthy responses, and critics say they discourage some people from applying for federal jobs.

“It’s like we’re putting out job announcements that should read, ‘We don’t want you, and the following will prove it,’ ” said Joe Maas, a former personnel director at the Small Business Administration and member of the Council of Former Federal Executives, who has helped walk several job applicants through the KSA process.

The Army earlier this decade stopped using KSAs and now relies only on applicants’ résumés, said Robert Schanke, an engineer at the Army Corps of Engineers in Pueblo, Colo. He said it’s much easier to apply for other jobs within the Army Corps of Engineers — where he only has to click his mouse to submit a résumé — than answer dozens of KSA questions for jobs at other agencies, such as the Energy Department. Schanke said he keeps dozens of pages of his old KSA essays on his computer so he doesn’t have to rewrite them if he applies for a job outside of the Army.

“I [think] these guys [human resources specialists] don’t read them,” Schanke said. “I’m kind of torn as to how much effort to put into them.”

The Army isn’t the only agency that stopped using KSAs years ago. A 2004 report from the Partnership for Public Service said that the former U.S. Customs Service in 1988 began requiring applicants to take reasoning and integrity tests. Another screening method Customs adopted required applicants to watch a video showing a situation they might encounter on the job, and then act out how they might respond. Internal Customs surveys found that managers felt the new evaluation method resulted in higher-quality candidates, the Partnership said.

Palguta said agencies will have to think up new ways to evaluate employees after getting rid of KSAs.

“Some HR offices and reviewers who have been relying on KSAs, they’ll have to step up their game and be more creative in terms of how they evaluate people,” he said.

But some HR specialists argue that KSAs play an important role that résumés can’t always fill.

“I don’t love them, but it really shows you what a person is about,” said Stephanie Hamilton, an HR specialist at the Veterans Affairs Department medical center in Syracuse, N.Y. “You’ve got to write today, and sometimes in high school, kids are coming out and they can’t even spell. They say they’re an expert in communicating, and then they have run-on sentences [in their KSA answers] or have improper grammar. I think it’s a very good mechanism for screening out people.”

Some HR officials feel that if someone can’t be bothered to put time and effort into answering KSA questions, they may not be that interested in the job after all.

“If you can’t address these KSAs, how thorough are you going to be on the job?” asked one HR director at a small agency, who asked not to be identified. “If we do away with KSAs, we’ll be moving away from information we need to properly evaluate people. I’m not sure this is going to work.”

Linda Rix of Avue Technologies said switching to a pure résumé system isn’t the right idea. Without KSAs, she said HR offices will have to ask job seekers more follow-up questions, which will just end up slowing the hiring process further.

“Let’s not create the illusion that because the process will be easier on the front end, it will also be easier on the back end,” Brooks said. “If this bogs down the hiring process, then we won’t achieve the result we’re looking for.”

Federal Managers Association President Darryl Perkinson said he thinks it’s important to have job applicants fill out questionnaires, but they should come later in the hiring process after clearly unqualified candidates are rooted out.
“It’s very cumbersome for anybody to qualify” now, Perkinson said.
OPM’s Berry said agencies are expected to map out their hiring processes by Dec. 15. Once that’s done, he said, they can start weeding out unnecessary and slow steps.

Berry would not say how fast the hiring process should be. Some agencies have unique challenges and hard-to-fill jobs, and forcing all agencies into one model would not work, he said.

“I don’t think you ever want to put an artificial timeline,” Berry said. “If you say you must find someone in 60 or 40 days, that would be silly because it would force you to hire someone who’s not qualified. That is not the objective we want to accomplish.”

Posted by kkowatch on July 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

Tooting Our Own Horn!

We just received news that the SI Career Development Blog was listed as a valuable resource on (which in itself has many great articles and information for the job seeker!).

Check out the article link here.

Posted by kkowatch on July 17, 2009 at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

YDL Seeking a New Trustee

Due to one of our Board Members moving outside of the District, the Ypsilanti District Library is seeking candidates to fill a position on the Board. The position is open to anyone who lives in the Library District (Ypsilanti City, Township, and the portion of Superior Township that is not in the Ann Arbor School District).

A position description and application are available at:

Please consider submitting an application if you are interested, and/or share this message widely. The deadline is July 15.

Suzanne Gray
President, Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees

Posted by kkowatch on June 25, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

* Using emerging social networking tools like LinkedIn and Twitter to support your career exploration and job search process Visit The Career Center this summer!

Summer can be an important time to work on career and job search plans, and The Career Center is here to help all summer long. Check out This Summer at The Career Center at: to learn more about:

* Connecting with our office during the summer, including call-ahead advising, career counseling appointments and our web resources
* Scheduling a C.V. critique appointment
* Using emerging social networking tools like LinkedIn and Twitter to support your career exploration and job search process

Visit The Career Center this summer!

Tom Lehker
Senior Assistant Director,
The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316

Posted by kkowatch on May 15, 2009 at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

The Market Value of a UM Degree

This week, I attended an internal higher education conference sponsored by UM LSA Academic Advising. One of the sessions that I attended featured four employers who provided feedback on the value of the University of Michigan degree. I thought that this information was very valuable and would be of interest to all of our readers, no matter if you are a prospective SI student, a current student or alumnus of SI, or an employer.

Three specific questions were asked and the employer's provided their perspective. The four employers were Susanna Brennan from Media Genesis, Jason Keech from the American Cancer Society, Tyler Coffey from Target, and Angela Shelby of the State of Michigan.

The first question asked of these employers was, "What is your perceived market value of the University of Michigan degree?" The employers provided that when they see the UM degree on a resume, they know that the applicant will have been an outstanding student and therefore, an outstanding employee. UM students are bright, talented, and hardworking. They established a reputation of these characteristics from when they were in high school, as they needed to establish these traits that early on in order to get into Michigan. Students are tech-savvy and can juggle multiple priorities.

However, they also shared that the UM brand/degree won't get you the job. The degree creates a great foundation of skills and work ethic, but its up to you to demonstrate what kind of "house you will build on that foundation" as an employee. However, what's great about UM is that you basically have unlimited opportunities in which to develop your skills in leadership, research, and extracurricular activities. Students are able to get involved in programs such as AIESC, Dance Marathon, Rackham Student Government, amongst a wide range of other roles. What is a key selling point to employers is that many UM students hold professional-level roles in their student organizations while going to school full-time and excelling.

Media Genesis most often recruits for Project Managers, which is a role that is more about communication skills and problem-solving than anything. Michigan grads are able to meet their requirements because the education system provides the opportunity to develop excellent reading and writing skills, often proficiency in a second language, good overall communication skills, the ability to analyze information and to learn very quickly. They are good at managing deadlines -- and their own managers.

The Ann Arbor environment is also large enough that it a good foundation for students to move into any other environment, whether it be New York City or a more rural situation. Also as a product of the environment, UM students are more independent than students from other schools, and as employees, then seem to have less issues with housing, benefits, roommates, etc. The presence of the school in a some-what sizable metropolitan area also makes students aware of urban issues in away that is not possible in a more-insulted "college town".

The recruiter from Target, a recent UM grad, stated that what was the best thing that she took from her UM degree (from Organizational Studies, was here ability to understand and relate to people, especially a diverse range of people. In everything from her classes to social activities, she learned how to work with people -- and also how to influence them positively through her work.

The second question that was asked was, "How can students enhance their UM experience in the eyes of employers?"

Not surprisingly, the three main tips provided were volunteering, networking, and doing internships that are relevant to your area of study.

All of these experiences enhance your resume and indicate to the employee what kind of employee you will be. Networking can be an experience in which you talk to someone who talks to someone who puts you in contact with just the right person.

Internships are an opportunity to build upon that foundation that was mentioned earlier. In an internship, it should be known that all eyes are on you as an employee and that not only is the organization concerned that you are learning and getting your work done, but that you are adding value to the organization. Internships now are pretty much a requirement for a four-year degree, and more commonly so for graduate degrees. Without one, a candidate is not as competitive as that other applicant who has at least a few months of real-world work experience. Doing an internship can provide students with familiarity with office culture and organization vernacular in a way that they just can't get from the classroom experience.

It was shared that the student with the 4.0 GPA but no other activities is less valuable to any employer than the 3.4 GPA and a resume full of other experiences. Being studious is good, but being well-rounded is much more valuable.

Again, the point that leadership opportunities are everywhere at UM came up here. Service is everywhere -- student government, sports, LeaderShape, volunteering with Washtenaw Historical Society. It was also said that doing service work is "good karma" -- if you give, you will be benefited in return.

Networking was also pointed out to be not just a way to get a job, but also a way to exemplify your ability to build relationships, which is important in every job.

Employers also like to see creative-thinking, the ability to learn and grow, and for students to be well-rounded. Again, UM provides opportunities for students to take advantage of in order to fine-tune these skills, which puts them at an advantage over other students at different schools.

One of the recruiters made the point that although Ann Arbor is a good size city, in itself it can be insulating. So, it is up to the student to gain skills and experiences that make them capable in a diverse, fast-paced setting and they can do this through exploring the Michigan surrounding areas.

Another collective thought shared was that good experience doesn't have to come from an internship. Many students work part-time jobs and discount the value of such experiences. These jobs can be thoughtfully described in resumes, cover letters, and interviews as experiences that demonstrated loyalty, an excellent work ethic, well-developed customer service skills, time-management, attention to detail, or a multitude of other important and highly-transferable soft skills. Don't discount your weekend job of waiting tables!

The recruiters all also pointed out that quality over quantity is better in terms of experiences. An applicant who's involved with everything on campus never had the chance to really immerse themselves in anything, so a student who's only in one organization, but has been involved with them for years in a variety of positions would be considered to be the better candidate.

The last question asked was, "What are the best ways that UM students/graduates can represent themselves?"

Its probably of no surprise that the focus was on the resume and cover letter writing. It was suggested that the most important information on a resume should be right around the top crease of a piece of paper that has been folded into thirds, as this is where the eyes fall naturally when first viewing a piece of paper. This could be a skills section, education, or a listing of important achievements. The resume should not be a full-detailed explanation of your current job, just the basics on what you do as relevant to the position at hand. You'll get the chance to explain in more detail in the interview.

The cover letter should not be a review of your life. This is like making the employer fit the square peg of your life into the round hole of the job. Don't make them struggle to see the fit! One of the recruiters talked about how their organization just received almost 600 resumes for two posted positions. When there are that many resumes received, your resume needs to be obvious and tailored to the position so that the relevant information is not looked over.

Interviewing is all behavioral based. Behavioral interviewing is based on the concept that past performance/behavior is an indicator of future performance/behavior. In the past hypothetical questions were asked -- however, it is now felt that hypothetical questions result in hypothetical answers. Be prepared to talk about past achievements -- and also mistakes, but don't be too honest or to blatant about your mess-ups! Be sure to practice out loud before the interview -- this really does make a difference!

Thank you notes are still important. Media Genesis indicated that they prefer to receive old-fashioned hand-written cards/letters than an email. They felt that the email was pretty much the easy way out - and we all already receive too many emails!

A few other interviewing tips:
--Don't play it cool in the interview. Act like you want the job and let them know you do. Be enthusiastic!
--Go beyond why you like the company -- be specific about why you like the company, but also include tailored information about what it is about the job.
--It is okay to say, "I don't know the answer to that" -- but be sure to get the answer asap!
-- Ask questions about company culture, environment, a typical day.
--Being confident in huge and can make all the difference in an interview. Many other skills are trainable, but confidence and enthusiasm are not.
--Carry business cards and give them out at career fairs at in interviews. This is especially important if this is a norm for your field (i.e. graphic design) or a way to display your talents/skills.

In the end, old-fashioned, professionalism was deemed much more important than being the most progressive, tech-savvy applicant. Those skills are important too, but the foundation of professional abilities was what was pointed to be essential for success.

Posted by kkowatch on May 14, 2009 at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

SI Career Services Surveys

Internship Survey
All students are invited to take the SI Career Services Internship survey if they completed a professional-level internship during the Fall 2008 or Winter 2009 terms. (All students enrolled in SI 690 are required to complete the internship survey, but we appreciate the information from all other students who also completed a not-for-credit internship).

Complete the survey at:

Internship Public Portfolios
All students who completed an internship and did not receive credit are also invited to complete a public portfolio. The public portfolios, listed at, are a valuable resource for prospective students and first year MSIs for their internship search.

Create a public portfolio by logging into the Intranet at and clicking on Public Portfolios Updates. Then click on, Add a new listing

Part-Time Job Survey
If you worked in a part-time job over the last two terms or have one lined up for this summer, we’d like to hear about it. You can report your part-time position at

2009 MSI Employment Survey
Please complete the 2009 MSI Employment Survey to indicate your acceptance of a job or continuing education as a School of Information class of 2009 graduate

To show our appreciation for taking the time to complete this important survey, we will provide you with a $10 gift card to upon submission of your survey.

SI Career Services Satisfaction Survey
And, if you just really like taking surveys, you can also complete the SI Career Services Satisfaction Survey at

All of these surveys should only take a few minutes of your time.

Your feedback is highly valued and helps inform decisions for change or improvements to the resources and services that we provide to students.

Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary. All responses will be confidential, reported only in aggregate form, and will be used for evaluation, and planning purposes.

Posted by kkowatch on May 12, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

SI Careers on Twitter

SI Career Services is on Twitter...

You can follow us @si_careers --

We'll be sharing our events, announcements, and daily "Twips!" We hope to see us following out Tweets.

Posted by kkowatch on May 06, 2009 at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

How to Get the Most Out of Your Campus Career Center

A SI alumnus recently sent me this link about how to best utilize the resources that are provided by campus career centers. I thought that I would share this with readers, as its always good to hear from others about tips and suggestions that the internal resource provided.


How to Get the Most Out of Your Campus Career Center
Published by kcuene on April 30th, 2009 in Work

Note: This is a guest post from Kelly Cuene. Kelly is a friend of mine and a Career Advisor at The University of Wisconsin. Most people I knew in college, including me, didn’t take advantage of their career centers until it was too late. That’s unfortunate because your career center really can be a great resource. If you’re in college, I urge you to take Kelly’s advice and get the most out of your career center, before its too late.


I realize many students have serious concerns about the quality (or lack thereof) of their campus career center. It’s also important to know, however, how to get the most from your career services office. Some basic tips:

Do some work on your own, first

Student services staff are always trying to conveniently deliver information to students (notice the increasing use of videos, blogs, podcasts, websites and social networking sites by campus staff). Seriously, we have committees, surveys and focus groups trying to figure this out. If you look for these first, you’ll have a more productive appointment with a career advisor because you can ask follow-up questions or apply that information to your own situation.

Be prepared for an appointment
Before you visit with an advisor, think about what it is you hope to get out of the appointment. What questions do you have that you need answered? Some students with whom I meet apologize for bringing in a list of questions to ask. No worries - preparing questions in advance is awesome. It ensures all your concerns are discussed and our time is used effectively.

Visit early

Fall career fairs often launch campus recruiting for the year and usually take place just a few weeks after classes begin. This catches students off-guard, who have to scramble to prepare, or worse, miss out on great opportunities entirely. This is especially important for business majors and any students hoping to pursue careers with corporate employers, who conduct the bulk of recruiting in the fall. Plan ahead and hit the ground running once you get back to campus. Bonus points if you visit during the summer when few students are around.

Don’t believe the grand daddy of all career center myths

If nothing else, please do not wait until senior year to visit the career center! Most career centers are not in the business of handing out jobs once May hits. Advisors teach students to conduct a job search and build their brand, developing career management skills to be used long after graduation. Figuring out what to do with your life requires on-going assessment of your values, skills, strengths, interests and priorities. A career advisor will be more valuable to you if they can spend 2-3 years getting to know you and your needs, as they evolve.

In addition, your advisor is part of your network - nurture that relationship over the long-term to gain more from it. Advisors often have valuable contacts, including their own personal connections, and are more likely to share those when they know students will use them responsibly and professionally. Demonstrate, over time, that you are both those things.

Make an effort to attend group advising sessions or career workshops
Students tell me they prefer to skip group sessions because they want one-on-one attention from a career advisor to discuss their unique situation. I’m not sure if this is a millennial thing or what. Chances are, however, the issues are not as unique as students think. Many individuals struggle with the same questions. Group advising or workshops help you learn from others experiencing the similar things.

If your career center sucks, let someone know

Most colleges and universities, regardless of type, have a hierarchal structure. Academic departments and faculty are priority because they carry out the teaching and/or research missions of the institutions in a direct way, on a daily basis. Even a college president or chancellor is nothing without the support of faculty.

This means resources are often allocated other places before they go to undergraduate student services. It’s possible your college career center is lacking the financial or human resources it needs to meet student expectations. Start with the college career center staff if your needs aren’t being met. Most staff want to hear students’ ideas about how to improve services. But, if you feel like what’s going on is an issue beyond the career services office, let your voice be heard. Students can have a huge impact!

Posted by kkowatch on May 05, 2009 at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

Article: Southfield Public Librarian Shares...

I was skimming my e-mail today and noticed a message from a listserv that alluded to an essay by a Southfield (Michigan) Public Library librarian. I was amused to see that the opening lines state, "As a librarian, my world was always about books. But in this economy, I've evolved into a career counselor." Once I started my job as a Career Counselor at SI and learned more about the professional role of librarians, I saw the commonalities that the two professions share. As an SI student recently put it to me, we are both "brokers of information", which was a phrase that I really liked and have used several times since.

Anyway, I wanted to share this article which is on this particular librarian's experiences working at a library in this recession. The overall tone of this article is bleak, but it ends on a positive note as this librarian finds satisfaction in helping her patrons find and use the information necessary to their lives. Enjoy!

MY TURN: Reading Into the Future

As a librarian, my world was always about books. But in this economy, I've evolved into a career counselor.
By Eva Gronowska | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Apr 6, 2009

Libraries are my world. I've been a patron all my life, and for the past nine years I've worked at multiple libraries and archives in and around Detroit. The library as an institution has many roles, but as our country struggles through an economic crisis, I have watched the library where I work evolve into a career and business center, a community gathering place and a bastion for hope.

In the spring of 2007 I got a library internship at the Southfield Public Library, just north of Detroit. Summers at SPL were usually slow, but that year, we experienced a library that hustled and bustled like science-fair project week, midterms or tax season. Yet patrons weren't looking for Mosby's Nursing Drug Reference or 1040 forms. They were coming for information on entrepreneurship and growing their small business.

I interpreted people's interest in our business collection as the first step to pursuing their dreams, but these patrons were not motivated by dreams. They were responding to reality, and they were looking for Plan B. In Michigan, a slew of unfortunate circumstances caused the first rumblings of recession. Rising unemployment was compounded by rampant foreclosures. The auto industry went spiraling, and with it, their suppliers, then neighborhoods. Michigan's deficit grew, budgets were slashed and business slowed. Southfield used to headquarter five Fortune 500 corporations; today only Lear Corp. remains. As the city shed business, it shed tax revenue as well. Department budgets shrank and a hiring freeze permeated the city.

Things worsened in 2008, and in 2009 the economic crisis continues to suffocate Michigan. Interest in small businesses has remained high, but unemployment, the credit crunch and foreclosures command our patrons' attention and, consequently, ours. Last year, we put up a display with a variety of job resources that we restocked every hour. Each night the library closed, the display was bare. While we normally keep displays up for a week, we kept the job resources display up for months.

Our computer terminals began to fill up, too—this may not be unusual for smaller libraries, but SPL has more than 150 computers, and now some of the people coming in to use them had never even touched one. I challenge you to find someone that's never turned on a computer, explain to them how to use the mouse and keyboard, set up an e-mail address, and then fill out an online application. Now imagine doing that in less than 15 minutes while a line of people with more questions grows impatient at your desk. That's a typical weeknight at SPL.

Some of these folks are job seekers who are suddenly confronted with having to fill out online applications. I recently worked with a man in his mid-50s who was laid off after 25 years as a delivery driver. I helped him navigate the Web sites for UPS and FedEx, search through open positions, register his information and then apply for a job. He quickly became self-sufficient and returned often to check his application's status. I haven't seen him in a while; I'm hoping that's a good sign.

Housing is also a huge issue, and patrons routinely ask about rental vouchers, mortgages, foreclosure lists and apartment searches. A large number of low-income, mentally challenged or illiterate patrons often cannot comprehend the information and are in dire need of a social worker. At times, these conversations are trying, but demonstrate the extent of need.

Regardless of who they are, you can always hear the patron's voice quiver when living arrangements are uncertain. People are scrambling to keep a roof over their heads and as librarians we stay mindful that these folks are vulnerable. A local "company" publicized a free foreclosure-information event at SPL, unbeknownst to the library. The local news caught wind of it and aired a story without researching the company or contacting us. The next day we had ourselves a hubbub as people clamored to get their foreclosure packets. Worse yet, the representative of this "company" was asking for a $20 application fee just to give patrons what was freely available. One older woman was willing to forgo her medication for the week to pay the fee. A veteran librarian derailed the questionable practice by offering our service and the information for free.

Then there's the tightening credit market. People see the writing on the wall and they want to get educated. They can't afford a financial adviser, but checking books out is free. Some of the most popular titles now are "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," "Think and Grow Rich," and "Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan." We answer question about taxes, stimulus checks, grants, bankruptcy, credit scores, credit reports and many other personal-finance issues. Fortunately, we have all had comprehensive business training. Without it we wouldn't know where to start—especially now.

The crumbling economy affects us all. I have had to work long hours and don't get to see much of my boyfriend or experience any kind of social life lately, but I am thankful to be in a position where I can help people overcome this struggle. The long days are made great when I help job seekers find work, talk to teens about college, meet new business owners, have a discussion about literature and watch senior citizens send their first e-mail to their grandchildren. These small victories and billions just like them are why librarians continue to fight the good fight. In Michigan, we haven't lost hope. As long as there are libraries here, there will always be hope.

Gronowska Lives In Southfield, Mich.

© 2009

Posted by kkowatch on April 10, 2009 at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

Twitter in the Classroom?

So, I'm fascinated by Twitter. I'm not a fan of Twitter (especially when I just tried to log in and I got a message saying that there's "Too Many Tweets! - One Moment Please!"), but due to my unique personality type - INTJ - I like to learn how things work and why people use them, so I keep coming back to it. (You can follow me at kkowatch - yes, terribly dull name, I know!)

On top of the fact that I just read that Twitter will be one day used as a search tool for current information (which I can see the usefulness of), I now just saw an example of how a professor uses it in his classroom that sounds really great to me! Read on...

April 8, 2009
Professor Encourages Students to Pass Notes During Class -- via Twitter
From the Chronicle of Higher Education

Cole W. Camplese, director of education-technology services at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, prefers to teach in classrooms with two screens — one to project his slides, and another to project a Twitter stream of notes from students. He knows he is inviting distraction — after all, he’s essentially asking students to pass notes during class. But he argues that the additional layer of communication will make for richer class discussions.

Mr. Complese first tried out his idea in a course he co-taught last spring to about 20 graduate students at Penn State. He couldn’t get two screens, so he had students bring in their laptops and follow the Twitter-powered peanut gallery on their machines during discussions.

Back then, most of his students were unfamiliar with Twitter, the microblogging service that limits messages to 140 characters. And for the first few weeks of course, students were reluctant to tweet, says Mr. Complese. “It took a few weeks for this to click,” he said. “Before it started to work, there was just nothing on the back channel.”

Once students warmed to the idea that their professors actually wanted them to chat during class, students begin floating ideas or posting links to related materials, the professor says. In some cases, a shy student would type an observation or question on Twitter, and others in the class would respond with notes encouraging the student to raise the topic out loud. Other times, one of the professors would see a link posted by a student and stop class to discuss it.

Still, when Mr. Camplese told me about his experiment soon after he spoke at The Chronicle’s Tech Forum, I couldn’t help thinking that it sounded like a recipe for chaos, and I told him so. He replied that his hope is that the second layer of conversation will disrupt the old classroom model and allow new kinds of teaching in which students play a greater role and information is pulled in from outside the classroom walls. “I’m not a full-time faculty member,” he said. “I use my classrooms as an applied-research lab to decide what to promote as new solutions for our campus.”

He said he planned to try the technique again next time he teaches — hopefully with the second screen installed. “My goal is to only teach in rooms that allow me to project from two different sources,” he said. —Jeffrey R. Young

Posted by kkowatch on April 08, 2009 at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

UM-SI ULA and PLA PEP Credit Update


NEW PEP-credit option:

· All ULAs and PLAs are now eligible to receive 6 PEP credits through your current positions/assignments. These PEP credits will be applied to the Fall term of your second year in the program through SI 681 registration. So if you have completed 2 semesters of work already and will continue to work in your positions this summer, you are eligible for 6 PEP credits this fall.

· ULAs and PLAs will be required to complete the same requirements as all students participating in PEP internships (specifically SI 681). You will be required to develop an ePortfolio--as a self-reflective tool, to submit MONTHLY reflective reports and participate in a group shared discussion/blog with your peers through the ePortfolio system. You will have to submit a final reflective evaluation at the end of the summer as well.

· ULAs and PLAs will be required to participate in a Career Development seminar (offered in the fall following their first year of work) for additional self-reflection and peer sharing through structured career/self-assessment group activities. You will also be required to present on your experience and reflective learning to SI students, faculty, staff and mentors in the fall as well through SI@Work.

Again, these are the same requirements for any student participating in SI 681.

We have communicated this new policy with your supervisors and mentors so they are all aware of what is expected from them as well. They are all on board with this new policy. If you are interested, I’ve included this information below:

· Fall (for 1st year ULAs and PLAs): Job description (this can be the original job description that you post when recruiting ULAs and PLAs sent to the PEP office at the start of the year.

· Summer: Updated description if goals/objectives have changed or a new project has been added. If nothing has changed, then we would just contact supervisors for confirmation of the stated goals and objectives.

· End of Summer: Supervisors to complete a web-based survey/evaluation from the PEP office regarding student’s work performance for the year. Supervisors are encouraged to meet regularly with the student to provide adequate advice and guidance and to ensure progress towards goals/objectives. Supervisors are also encouraged to share this feedback with the students on a yearly basis, if not every semester.

This new policy was developed to provide equity, structure, self-reflection, and stronger communication channels between students, SI and the libraries. It should also make it easier for you all to meet your PEP credit requirements for graduation.

Registering for SI 681 is not required, and enrollment is not automatic. YOU MUST contact the SI Career Services if you intend on registering for SI 681 in the fall. We ask that you let us know by MAY 16th.

SI Career Services will be holding an information session for all ULAs and PLAs who plan on registering for 681 on MONDAY, APRIL 27TH from 12-1 in 405 A /B. If you have never attended a PEP rally/info session, we encourage you all to attend so that you are aware of everything that will be required of you to register and receive your PEP credits. If you can’t make this time, please contact Joanna Kroll at for an individual appointment.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Joanna Kroll
Sr. Associate Director, Career Services & Practical Engagement
University of Michigan School of Information
ph 734-615-8294 fax 734-615-3587

Posted by kkowatch on April 06, 2009 at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

Professional Portfolio Review & Tips

I came across this great resource from a listserv I was reading. I look at this site pretty frequently for job postings, but I've never really explored the other options. If you are a member of IAI, you can get your portfolio reviewed by professionals in the field.

Check this link out for more information. General information below.

Mentoring Program

The Mentoring Program serves to introduce experienced IA professionals ("mentors") to practitioners, newcomers to the field, students, and anyone interested in being mentored ("protégés"). We help by recruiting mentors, providing a listing to prospective mentors for protégés to review, and, if requested, making introductions based on criteria provided during registration.

This program is provided as a service to IAI members only. Mentors do not need to be members, but protégés do. If you are not already a member, you can join the Information Architecture Institute to participate as a protégé.

Anther resource that was offered from this discussion included:
"Designer needed: portfolio required"

Posted by kkowatch on March 27, 2009 at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

Good News!

Hiring Freeze Lifted for Federally Funded Jobs

The Smithsonian Institution is lifting its hiring freeze for workers paid from federal funds now that Congress has approved a 7 percent increase for the museum complex's budget, which began in October. Budget figures for fiscal 2009 announced yesterday total $731.4 million in federal funds for the Smithsonian, up from $682.6 million in fiscal 2008. The increase includes about $31 million more for salaries and expenses such as utilities, security and operating costs.

A hiring freeze remains in effect, however, for jobs paid from Smithsonian trust funds, spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said.
The increased federal funding comes from the $410 billion omnibus spending bill that was signed into law last week. Increased facilities funding will help revitalize some Smithsonian buildings. Improvements are planned at the National Museum of Natural History, the National Zoo and support buildings. Federal funding represents about 70 percent of the Smithsonian's annual budget of $1 billion.

The Smithsonian also is receiving $25 million from the federal stimulus package. About $5 million will be spent on repairs at the crumbling Arts and Industries Building, which has been shuttered on the Mall. The zoo will receive a $11.4 million more for fire protection and other upgrades to animal holding facilities at its Front Royal, Va., research center. -- Associated Press

Posted by kkowatch on March 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Seeking Michigan! Archives

This isn't really a job-search oriented topic, but I thought that some readers would find this new development interesting (and it could eventually be a potential source of employment for someone!)

From the Archives & Archivists Listserv...

Come check out! Among other things, you'll find digitized maps, photos, oral history, blue prints, sheet music, Civil War records and Michigan death records. There's also a blog (named "Look") and a "Teach" section for educators.

More details can be found in the official press release, which I've pasted below. - Bob


Following is a news release issued by the Department of History, Arts and Libraries today.

'Seeking Michigan' Web site employs today's technology to deliver Michigan's history to information seekers

The Department of History, Arts and Libraries today announced the launch of the Seeking Michigan Web site (, a growing collection of unique historical information that - through digitized source documents, maps, films, images, oral histories and artifacts - creatively tells the stories of Michigan's families, homes, businesses, communities and landscapes.

Seeking Michigan's first major project is the digitization of roughly 1 million death records covering the years 1897 through 1920. These records - never before available electronically - are indexed for easy searching by name, death date, location and age, and hold tremendous research opportunities for genealogists, historians and students.

Whether they are interested in Civil War records, photographs, architecture, music, photography or family history, Michigan enthusiasts are sure to discover a brand new side to Michigan through this unique online resource, a collaboration that has long been in the making between the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan. Site design and digitization of resources were funded through various grants.

"Seeking Michigan takes great information from both of our agencies and makes it available to everyone in a convenient and easy-to-navigate Web site," said State Librarian Nancy R. Robertson. "We were inspired by the state motto in designing the site. If you look, you will discover stories, photos and much more to connect you to our state's pleasant peninsulas and one-of-a-kind past."

With plans in place to add much more material, Seeking Michigan currently includes:

-More than 100,000 pages of Civil War documents; -Approximately 10,000 photographs; -A variety of Michigan sheet music; -Roughly 1 million death records; -A rich section about Michigan's 44 past governors; -Works Progress Administration data (circa 1936-1942) about land and buildings throughout rural Michigan; and -Oral histories with notable Michigan residents.

According to Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center, Seeking Michigan boldly moves the archives and library experience outside of the bricks and mortar of the building in which the collections are housed. By employing the latest Web technologies and social media, the site aims for an enhanced user experience. "We want to give visitors historical content and, whenever possible, the context for that content," she explained. "For K-12 educators, there's also a 'teach' page that links up with related resources and grade-level content expectations."

Clark noted that Seeking Michigan will open up Michigan's history to a whole new market of information hunters. "Seeking Michigan is definitely a big boost for those who already have an interest in our state's history, including scholars, authors, genealogists and publishers," she said. "What we're very excited about is the prospect of introducing new generations of Michigan residents to the Michigan they thought they knew and helping them forge connections with our state's remarkable past."

Seeking Michigan was made possible with generous funding from the Talbert and Leota Abrams Foundation, a Lansing-based nonprofit that primarily focuses on funding library and educational science programs. Since the mid-1980s, the Abrams Foundation has provided more than $2.5 million toward the development of the Library of Michigan's and Archives of Michigan' genealogy collection, including the digitization of the death records so crucial to family historians' research efforts. The National Historic Publications and Records Commission provided additional funding.
The Library of Michigan Foundation ( and the Michigan History Foundation ( helped facilitate the funding process for Seeking Michigan and provide donors the opportunity to contribute to Seeking Michigan and many other initiatives.

The Archives of Michigan is part of the Michigan Historical Center. The Michigan Historical Center and the Library of Michigan are agencies within the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). Dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, HAL also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. To learn more, visit

Bob Garrett
Archives of Michigan
Telephone: (517) 241-1382

Support preservation of Michigan's historic lighthouses through your purchase of a "Save Our Lights" specialty license plate. Find out more when you discover your connections at .

Posted by kkowatch on March 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

Article: Librarians Confront New Uncertainties Over Training and Jobs

Librarians Confront New Uncertainties Over Training and Jobs
From the Chronicle of Higher Education

How many academic librarians does the world need? More than it’s likely to have in a few years, as the baby-boom generation ages out of the work force, the prevailing theory has been. But the economic crisis may be changing that, and the job prospects and skills of tomorrow's librarians were hot topics at the 14th biannual conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, which ended here on Sunday. Preliminary figures showed 3,036 registrants for this year's conference—a better number than the organizers expected, given the economy, and very close to the attendance figures for the 2007 conference, held in Baltimore.

“We’ve been hearing for a long time about the impending crisis in the library work force,” said José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Griffiths, who spoke on a panel on trends affecting libraries, helps lead a long-term study, “The Future of Librarians in the Workforce,” being conducted under the aegis of the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

So far, that study appears to support the theory that future demand will exceed supply. There are about 30,000 academic librarians with American Library Association-certified degrees working now, Ms. Griffiths said. Over the next 10 years, 46 percent of those are expected to leave the work force. That attrition, on top of an expected increase of 3 percent in new positions, would more than absorb the qualified candidates coming out of library schools.

A prolonged economic downturn tends to disprove theories and disrupt plans, however. Librarians may delay retirement or postpone career changes. During past recessions, “library jobs continued to steadily increase,” Ms. Griffiths said, but there is no guarantee that pattern will hold this time around.

Slim Job Prospects

For now, uncertainty rules. Word at the conference was that many academic libraries have moved slowly to fill vacancies, reluctant to make new hires until they know for sure what budgetary constraints and cuts they face.

“There are just a lot less jobs than there were even three months ago,” Paul Solomon, an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, said in a conversation after he took part in a panel on recruiting and retaining the library work force of tomorrow.

Another member of that panel, Barbara B. Moran, a professor at Chapel Hill's library school, also noted openings were scarcer. “The entry level is hurting,” she said in response to a question from a recent library-school graduate. "It is a tough job market this spring.”

Ms. Moran also mentioned “deprofessionalization” at academic libraries: a shift away from hiring workers with degrees in library and information science.

That development came up again at a staged debate on whether the master’s in library science has any relevance for the future of the academic library. The moderator, James G. Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, referred to the growing role of “raised-by-wolves feral professionals.”

“We’re seeing a softening of the announced requirements for academic-library positions,” Mr. Neal said, calling that “a change of some significance.”

It grows out of increased demand for library workers with skills in many different arenas, not all of them digital. If you need to hire a Tibetan-studies librarian, as Mr. Neal did last year, a candidate with a Ph.D. in that subject area may be a better fit than one with an M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. degree.

The debaters—Liz Bishoff, director of digital preservation services at the library cooperative BCR, arguing for the continued relevance of the degree, and Arnold Hirshon, executive director of Nelinet, another library cooperative, arguing against—almost seemed to agree that the degree per se is not the problem. The question is whether it equips students to connect people and systems and information, as Mr. Hirshon put it. Library schools “too often teach the transient skills that rapidly become irrelevant.”

New Competencies

Meanwhile, conference-goers had plenty of opportunities to brush up on their skills and pick up new ones. The conference was hands-on and content-rich, heavy on poster sessions and multimedia presentations that focused on new applications and online resources that help get the work of the library done. Social networking was a big draw. Rooms filled for sessions focused on how libraries can use such tools to get the word out about their services and to connect with faculty members and students.

Joseph Murphy of the Yale University Science Libraries steered librarians away from blogs and toward Twitter, which allows users to share short updates and links instantly. “In this mobile world, I don’t have time to read blogs anymore,” he said. “I’m going to say it publicly: A blog is old-fashioned.”

Twitter can eat up a lot of staff time, he said, but is one of “the new competencies” librarians need to build in order to stay connected with users. Eventually, he said, he hopes to see reference materials delivered via such services.

At a session on “Beyond the Buzz: Planning Library Facebook Initiatives Grounded in User Needs,” two librarians from George Washington University talked about a survey they did last year on students’ use of Facebook and how the university’s library could tap into that space without scaring students off. “Librarians have recognized that that’s where our users are,” said David Bietila, one of the presenters.

Participants in the survey said they would feel comfortable using Facebook to contact a librarian for help with research or an assignment—as long as the contact came from the student. They “seemed very concerned that the librarian would do something weird—poke them or jump into the discussion on their wall,” said Elizabeth Edwards, also of George Washington, who helped run the survey.

“Definitely don’t send applications or 'poke' students unless they’ve indicated they’re interested in those things,” Ms. Edwards advised. “And don’t be upset if a student doesn’t friend you.” If Facebook doesn’t do the trick, try Twitter or something else, she said.

One audience member pointed out that Facebook can be a way for students to make less academically productive use of the library. At his institution, he said, someone used Facebook to share a list of best secret places to have sex on campus—and posted the access code to the library’s closed stacks. Being an academic librarian in the 21st century has its risks.

Posted by kkowatch on March 16, 2009 at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

Spend the Summer with Volunteers for Peace

(Note that this is most likely not a PEP-eligible summer experience.)

Volunteers for Peace (VFP) offers over 3,000 volunteer projects (sometimes known as “workcamps”) in more than 100 countries. VFP’s projects for spring/summer 2009 have just been announced today. Registration for most projects is $300, which includes room & board (but not transportation, of course)—less than staying in a youth hostel for the same amount of time! Projects typically last 2 to 3 weeks. Around two dozen U-M students participate in VFP programs each year. See a U-M student’s report on her VFP experience in France at:

Registration has just been opened for summer 2009 projects. VFP is kindly providing an advance preview for U-M students for a 3-week period starting today (March 13). If you register between March 13 and April 3, you’ll have the best chance of getting your first choice. After April 3 this site will be opened to the general public and places will go quickly. Applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants in these projects come from around the world.

VFP offers a limited number scholarships (in the amount of the registration fee)—the DEADLINE for applying for a scholarship is Monday, March 16—see:

Below is the URL for the early-access list of projects, courtesy of VFP:

Bill Nolting and Kelly Nelson, U-M International Center, Education Abroad Office, tel. 734-647-2299,

Posted by kkowatch on March 16, 2009 at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

Entry-Level Interaction Design Narratives

As I was skimming through the listserv messages I receive, I saw an interesting thread in one email from a graduate student asking about career opportunities and how people got where they are today. Much to my pleasure, I saw that it was an SI student asking the question.

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, then you will know how much I encourage the use of listservs for job searching, networking, and as a way to develop your online presence. This particular student has utilized listservs for his internship search and for career exploration with excellent results.

See below for the question and (anonymized) dialogue that resulted. I think you'll see that there is some great advice here to heed!

Hello world,

HCI grad student here. As my fellow students and I near graduation
and explore all the different kinds of opportunities out there, it
would be extremely helpful to learn about your entry-level
interaction design experience.

What was your first ID job? Generally speaking, is there anything
you would have liked to be different? Which experiences were most
beneficial in the long-term?

Ah, nostalgia. :) My first job on the field was not even called
anything like design/HCI. It was 10 years ago, very accurately at
that, and I was in a developer position to design and program
auditorium control systems. These touch-screen things you all must
know and which never work as they should (Crestron, AMX, Cue and alike).

It was for a small retailer, though, where I was the sole responsible for the systems I made (they later on had others to scale up). Everybody thought it more of an engineering job, but it was really the whole package. It was also very much on shoe-string budget at times.

I did that to fund my studies, and it was fun while it lasted (Toyota Motors, Accenture, Finnish Defence Forces, etc.). There certainly was a lot to be hoped for too, especially when it came to established processing (none), but I think what was most beneficial was that it was so chaotic at times. You were able, and had to, experiment on your own and got to see various approaches and outcomes, some of which worked better than others. Additionally you got direct customer feedback from the actual users of the system and had to iterate and fix your things within the technical boundaries that were there. It also taught to speak and co-operate with others who built the wirings and designed electronics to support non-standard stuff.

Oh, those were the times indeed. :)


My first UX job was doing usability work on Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 1.0 back in 1994.

Looking backwards I wish I could have given myself the following advice:

1) Pick your manager. Early in my career I made choices that put the role and the project ahead of who I'd be working for. It took years for me to figure out I was happier, more effective, and grew more only when my boss was a good manager. A good manager will hire good people, will set clear goals, will teach you what they know, and will set you up to be happy (e.g. kick ass). A mediocre or bad manager, even on an amazing project will make you and everyone else miserable. I'd think hard about this in my interview loops, and even if given an offer I'd ask to speak to 2 of my potential manager's reports, plus use my network, to get as much of a sense of my new
manager as possible. I might ask for an extra phone conversation with my possible new boss (and if refused, I'd be very very worried. If I can't get their attention now, before I sign, I doubt I'll get it later). If given two different offers, I'd weigh the two bosses heavily in the equation.

2) Pick the company not the project. Projects get killed more often than companies do. Taking a non-sexy job at a great company gets you inside, gives you a safe start, and after 6 or 12 months you can find your way to the next cool sexy thing. But if you sign on to a great project at a lousy company, and the project is canceled, you're screwed.

3) Look to learn. It can be tempting to pick jobs where you are the only UX person. It seems more powerful and influential, which might be true. But you have no one to learn from or grow under about your trade. In interview loops ask yourself "what can I learn from these people?" If your career is just getting started, what you learn in the next couple of years might define the next 10. In all cases look to find a mentor in the industry, someone who can give you outside feedback and pointers who is not a co-worker. A good mentor's perspective increases how much you learn from every situation you
find yourself in.

4) Stay in touch with your fellow graduates. The network you've formed in school is tremendously valuable. It's hard to see it when you graduate, but those are industry contact points that are harder to create later. Facebook can be handy for this: make a "graudates of U of M HCI" group or something. Do what you can to stay in touch periodically, meet up conferences, etc. It might take a few years but I guarantee this network will give you advantages in the future.


To the job-seeking persons, especially new grads:

You might enjoy my column "How not to get a job in usability"

(and it might resonate with a few hiring managers as well)


When I finished grad school, I chose to work on a commercial software
product as both designer and researcher. I was hesitant about the
company but really thought the application was a good fit and I'd
get a chance to do a little bit of everything. But it really is like
Scott says - you should pick the company, not the project. While I
loved the product I worked on, and definitely had good managers and
colleagues, the company wasn't strong or supportive and very soon
the development team for my application was sent overseas.

Look for a company with potential for growth and that demonstrates
respect for employees with educational/training support, a team
atmosphere, and a pleasant working environment... and if possible,
that offers a chance to work on a variety of project types.

Class of '08 here, so while I don't have loads of experience to draw from, I can speak about some of the things I've noticed going on in the field right now, in terms of finding work.

I second Scott's suggestion to "Pick the company, not the project." My first job (actually an internship) was at a really great company that is very well-respected in the interaction design field. It was only for a few months, but it's since brought me many great job opportunities because it looks great on my resume.

I'm currently working at another high-profile agency where, just as Scott said, projects get killed all the time. But the company and client list looks great on my resume. My most exciting projects are outside of the office - in this economy, many people now need more for their web strategy than just a website, so I've been doing my most creative work "on the side" for friends and family. The benefit to this is I get to dictate what I do for them and how to do it, and I often get to experiment with new types of interaction and engagement. So I'm using the company I work for to build a good list of companies and clients on my resume, while using my "side projects" to demonstrate my abilities.

My other piece of advice to you and to anyone else out there who just starts working: don't let anyone pay you dirt just because you're a recent grad. My reasoning is that, since I just spent 4 years and about a quarter of a million dollars obtaining a professional degree, I deserve a fair salary commensurate with the experience of a mid-level designer.

Just FYI: "Entry level" is generally understood to be "immediately post-degree" and a couple years after that and your education is understood to include applicable experience. Asking for the compensation of a mid-level designer is a bit pushy and unlikely, generally, to meet with success. That you have internships and so forth in the field will usually push you to the high-end of that range, but isn't generally something to rely on.

That being said — if you've managed to pull it off, Good For You! But it isn't something most new graduates are going to be able to do. Bargaining hard for the best possible salary is a good thing. Bargaining from a false understanding of your own position is generally dangerous.

Posted by kkowatch on March 11, 2009 at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

IAESTE Programs to Germany and Japan

IAESTE United States
Register now for Short-Term Programs to Germany and Japan

IAESTE United States is currently offering two new short-term programs to Germany and Japan this May. These programs, which are open to students, young professionals, university faculty/staff, and other interested parties, provide participants an opportunity to gain international experience and an understanding of the intersection of science, technology, and global citizenship through a blend of industry and university site visits, professional development sessions, and cultural immersion opportunities.

Information about each program, including links to the full agenda and to the application form, can be found below. If you or your colleagues have any questions about our MayMersion programs or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me at or via phone at (443) 539-0533.

Best regards,

Mike Jackson
University Relations Manager
IAESTE United States

MayMersion! Kaihatsu
Registration Date:
Monday Feb 23, 2009!

Trip Dates:
May 17-28, 2009

Cost: $4,500

Meaning "development" in Japanese, the Kaihatsu program will allow participants to observe Japanese research and development methodologies and expose participants to Japanese culture and business practices. The program will explore Japan's role as a Research and Development leader through site visits, seminars and cultural activities.

The group will spend six nights in Tokyo and four nights in Osaka, with trips to Kyoto and the Hakone hot springs at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

MayMersion! Germany
Engineering the Global Engineer
Registration Date: February 23, 2009

Trip Dates:
May 18-27, 2009

Cost: $2,500

A combination of site visits, workshops, and shadowing will allow the group to investigate the competencies required to be an Engineer in the global marketplace. Participants will leave with a plan for becoming the Engineer of 2020 and memories of an unforgettable tour of Germany with a new domestic and international network.

Students will travel to Frankfurt, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Munich during this 10-day exploration of German engineering, corporate culture, and academic structure. IAESTE Germany has student representatives in each city willing to showcase the diverse competencies required to be a Global Engineer, and they will show us Germany from a local perspective!

IAESTE United States
10400 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 250
Columbia, MD 21044


Posted by kkowatch on February 20, 2009 at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

Fellowship Program in Hong Kong

Check out this great new opportunity for *graduate students & recent PhD recipients* in the various fields mentioned. David Horner (retired Director of MSU's International Center) would be happy to answer any questions--his contact information in East Lansing is given below--Bill Nolting, U-M International Center

A new fellowship program, sponsored by Dow Chemical Hong Kong, is available to U.S. graduate students or recent Ph.D. recipients from Michigan universities who are studying in the following areas: Environment, Energy, Sustainability, Education, Science or Technology. Please note that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents (Green Card holders) are eligible.

It provides for research to be undertaken at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), a beautiful, relatively new, English-language university in Hong Kong. Preference will be given to proposals that show a link between the proposed research project and China.

The program is modeled along the lines of a Fulbright Grant which provides approximately $17K stipend, $5K travel, and $13K living allowance, plus health insurance.

The Hong Kong America Center (HKAC), where David Horner spent his Fulbright year (2003-04), is the administrator for the program. Inquiries should be sent to either me ( 517-432-7989, Dr. Glenn Shive ( or Dr. David Zweig ( at HKUST.

For full information and the application form, please see:

If you have questions, please contact:
David Horner,, Tel. 517-432-7989.

Posted by kkowatch on February 18, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

Best Jobs in 2009 - SI is Right in Line

US News and World Report released their pick for the Best Careers in 2009. Selection was based on criteria such as job outlook, average job satisfaction, difficulty of the required training, prestige and pay.

Browse graduate programs for jobs and descriptions that were included in the 2009 list:

Management Consultant

As pressures to control costs continue, ever more companies are looking worldwide for both human resources and for their supply chain. Sourcing advisory services is among the fastest growing niches in management consulting. Also look for recession-resistant areas such as healthcare and information technology.

Government Manager

Eighty percent of government employees are managerial, compared with only 25 percent in the private sector. Management opportunities are abound in everything from human resources to finance, research to public relations, and technology to art, with jobs throughout the U.S. and the world.

Higher Education Administrator

There are lots of management jobs on campus, from student affairs to academic affairs, admission to alumni affairs, physical plant to student health service.

Library Information Scientist
Librarians have become high-tech information sleuths, helping patrons plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records. They work for colleges, law firms, hospitals, prisons, corporations, legislatures, the military, and nonprofit agencies.

Usability / User Experience Specialist
Usability Specialists help ensure that products, especially technical ones, are easy and pleasurable to use. They may work, for example, on voting machines, the next generation iPhone, a medical imaging machine, an athletic shoe production line, or a shopping website.

Posted by kkowatch on February 11, 2009 at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

Looking to MSU for Job Opportunities

Many SI students consider UM as a potential place for employment during their tenure in grad school. But how many of you consider another well-know university just an hour away? Washtenaw County may have the highest level of employment in the state of Michigan right now, but it looks as if Michigan State University is making great efforts to bring jobs to Ingham County also.

You may have heard about MSU in the news a lot lately. Just today I heard the following article -- and a few weeks ago, MSU announced that would be the future site of an advanced research center for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (MSU selected as site for $550 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams):

IBM to locate global computer programming center at Michigan State University

Published: Jan. 13, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Big Blue has found a fertile spot to grow in the land of green and white, with IBM’s decision to locate an application development center on the campus of Michigan State University.

The first of its kind for the company in the United States, the IBM facility is the product of an agreement to expand MSU’s recruiting, research and educational partnerships with the information technology giant. IBM already is a top employer of MSU graduates.

The IBM Global Delivery Center for Application Services will be housed on the second floor of the former MSU Federal Credit Union headquarters on the south end of campus. A full-service MSUFCU branch on the first floor will continue to operate there.

IBM expects to start operations in the first quarter of 2009, with 100 workers projected to be on board by June. State of Michigan estimates predict up to 1,500 new direct and indirect jobs over the next five years.

“Michigan State University shares the bold vision for the role technology plays in building a diverse 21st- century economy,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “Our partnership with IBM will involve a multidisciplinary approach that leverages the intellectual assets of several colleges, including business, engineering, natural science and social science.

“MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact,” she said. “Like IBM, MSU has a long tradition of and commitment to international engagement. Our understanding of the global environment makes us the ideal partner for this project.”

The university is a national leader in study abroad, international student enrollment and alumni Peace Corps participation. Last year MSU opened a campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. International expertise also is of importance to IBM, which operates application development centers overseas.

“A hallmark of our work is the ability to facilitate cross-discipline exchanges among faculty, students, corporations and government agencies at home and abroad – these are great assets to bring to the partnership,” explained Jeffrey Riedinger, dean of International Studies and Programs. “Specifically, IBM’s centers in India and Brazil will enhance MSU’s connections and exchanges for faculty and students.”

The IBM campus facility will focus on upgrading software for IBM systems used by state government and by corporations around the state. The Armonk, N.Y.-based company (NYSE: IBM), with 2007 revenues of $98.8 billion, serves more than a dozen large corporate, governmental and institutional accounts around the state. The facility also is expected to support IBM customers around the country.

“This project demonstrates Michigan’s pledge to use technology to improve agency services, as well as a commitment to create high skilled job opportunities for its citizens,” said Charles L. Prow, Managing Partner Government, IBM Global Business Services.

IBM already partners with MSU on supply chain management and executive development programs at the Eli Broad College of Business, and in recruiting computer science students from the College of Engineering. The College of Social Science has offered to coordinate development of a program in service-science management, based on Dean Marietta Baba’s own study at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in California.

“They see talent, they see the international connections, they see most importantly the willingness to work with them,” said Satish Udpa, dean of the College of Engineering. “They are a matrix organization, we are a matrix organization and there are elements that click.”

Support from the city of East Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), MSUFCU and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. was a key factor in IBM’s decision to locate the center in Michigan.

The application development center will occupy the 8,400-square-foot second floor of the former headquarters of the MSUFCU, which last year moved into its new facility on West Road in East Lansing. Additional expansion space for IBM is available in the building’s basement, credit union officials said.

Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.

Posted by kkowatch on January 14, 2009 at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

Online Interviews: The Future of the Library Field

On the Chronicle of Higher Education's website, Young Librarians Discuss the Future of Their Profession:

Joe Sanchez, U. of Texas at Austin
Libraries in virtual worlds will join physical libraries.

Susan Gibbons, U. of Rochester
Library schools need to update their curricula.

Nick Baker, Williams College
Companies like Google will bring "new blood" to libraries.

Casey Bisson, Plymouth State U.
Libraries need to be more than community centers.

Jessamyn C. West,
Librarians are not very "change oriented" as a culture.

Sarah Kostelecky, Institute of American Indian Arts
Diversity is important to the library profession.

Char Booth, Ohio U.
There will always be a need for librarians.

Brian Mathews, Georgia Institute of Technology
There's too much "bandwagon jumping" with new technology.

Posted by kkowatch on December 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Local Updates from Ann Arbor SPARK -- including MiIntern!

Times are tough, no doubt. However, there are some bright spots out there! Be sure to have your graduates keep watch of small, emerging tech-based companies. The best way to learn more about them is to check out the Career Services section on the SPARK website at Also, check out the variety of student resources we inserted below!

Other Helpful Student Resources:

(1) Coming Soon, "Manufacturing Jobs Portal" is a new industry-specific jobs portal that connects job seekers with manufacturers who are looking for the skilled workers they need to be competitive in the global marketplace. Soon, you will be able to search for jobs online and post your resume! Check them out at:

(2)Internships in Michigan!
What is Miintern? Miintern is a one-stop online solution to connect student interns to jobs. The site is powered by the Michigan Talent Bank and offers valuable tips for students, employers and educators. There are also Web resources and various internship sites that are linked to the portal at

This search engine allows students to review more than 400 internship opportunities by employer/organization name or location.

The Miintern site includes: An Internship Tool Kit with information on getting the important first job, resume and cover letter writing, and job interviewing; Tips for students on applying and securing an internship in a competitive market; and Tips for educators on writing agreements with faculty and students.

Why an Internship?
It's the best way to stand out in a competitive job market.
It's the next best thing to a job offer.
It applies classroom learning to authentic work experience
It allows exploration of many career options, interests and abilities.
It develops and enhances professional skills.
It increases self-confidence.
It develops job search skills.
It provides networking opportunities with professionals.
It helps build a strong resume.
It shows interest and commitment to a specific field.
It helps earn academic credits
It can help pay for educational expenses.
It develops leadership skills and builds character.
Learn more at

(3) Career Portal for Job Seekers - Search for Jobs and Post Resumes
Job seekers can search more than 15,000 new job openings monthly and post resumes so that more than 40,000 employers can find them.

(4) Learn about Jobs and Career Fairs
Click here for more information.

(5) Temporary Employment Agencies - A Place to Start!

(6) Exploring Career Preferences
Click here for more information.

(7) Save the Date
March 13, 2009
The Michigan Collegiate Job Fair (MCJF)
The MCJF is a state-wide job fair held in spring and fall each year. It is a cost-effective means both for companies who want to recruit qualified graduates for primarily degreed, entry-level positions, and for job seekers who want to broaden their job search and network with hiring employers. Throughout Michigan, no other job fair has attracted as many schools, graduates and companies at one time, in one day as demonstrated in MCJF's history.

(8)SPARK's College Connections Career Portal
This is a listing of events and companies that are specifically geared for college students that would like to stay in Michigan after graduation.
Events: Check out local events that are geared towards college students.
Companies: Check out our ever-growing list of companies located in Michigan that regularly hire college graduates into entry level, professional positions. We list information about the company, including links to the web site where they have additional information about their training programs or specific job postings.
General Resources: This is a collection of links to job posting sites and other information that could be a good resource during your job search process.

Best regards,
Amy Cell and Mary Salley
Team Talent
Ann Arbor SPARK
Questions / Comments to:

Posted by kkowatch on December 11, 2008 at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Twitter... As the Next Facebook?

More and more, I'm hearing more about Twitter. Personally, I'm not familiar with the application, but I wanted to share the below article with you about the resource and invite readers to share their own experiences.

Why Twitter Matters
Can the fledgling microblogging service become a social media powerhouse to rival giants like Facebook—or will it be gobbled up?

by Stephen Baker

It's easy to laugh at nonsense on Twitter, the microblogging rage. "My nose is leaking," writes someone called Zapples, "so imma go to sleep now.…" But I've heard lots of similar drivel (and even produced some myself) on the phone—an important technology if there ever was one.

The key question today isn't what's dumb on Twitter, but instead how a service with bite-size messages topping out at 140 characters can be smart, useful, maybe even necessary. Here's why I'm looking. In the last few months, the traffic on Twitter has exploded, growing far beyond its circles of bleeding-edge tech enthusiasts and hard-core social networkers.

Businesses such as H&R Block (HRB) and Zappos are now using Twitter to respond to customer queries. Market researchers look to it to scope out minute-by-minute trends. Media groups are focusing on Twitterers as first-to-the-scene reporters. (They were on top of the May 12 China earthquake within minutes.) Loads of new applications and services are growing around the Twitter platform, leading some to suggest that the microblogging service could become a powerhouse in social media.
Popularity Brings Outages and Funding

Twitter has come a long way since its grand debut at the South by Southwest tech conference (BusinessWeek, 4/02/07) only 14 months ago. It quickly landed $5.4 million in venture funding. New crowds learned to communicate in haiku-length blog posts, even throwing in Web links with abbreviated addresses. They developed new vocabulary, with new verbs, including the all-important "to tweet."

But with Twitter's soaring popularity comes one big problem: All-too-frequent outages in a service that seems to be outgrowing its own technology. In the last month, the company has replaced key members of its tech staff, including lead architect, Blaine Cook..

To ramp up, San Francisco-based Twitter appears to be positioning itself for another round. A Cnet (CNET) report in April said the company is raising $15 million to $20 million. Twitter won't comment on funding, but Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, an investor in the first round, doesn't deny the rumors. "Where there's smoke, there's fire," he says.
What the Future Holds

So, I set out to delve into Twitter. And on May 8-9, I looked to Twitter's own community for help, asking the following questions:

• Is Twitter a fad, a feature, or a growing giant?

• How are businesses using Twitter?

• What is Twitter worth?

• A fourth question, implicit in the whole exercise: Should we all be Twittering?

Responses poured in, more than 250 of them, some pure opinion, others furnishing facts and links to blog posts and articles. You can read many of them on Twitter search engine Summize by looking for #bwstory.
Social Habit

Much of the Twittering crowd argues that Twitter will continue to grow in importance, perhaps rivaling other social media powers such as Facebook. "I have hundreds of friends on FB, but have done 10x the networking, connecting & communicating on Twitter," tweets Christian Anderson.

Biz Stone, a Twitter co-founder, tells me on the phone that the plan is for Twitter to grow by a factor of 10, or even 100. "It can become a communication utility," he says, "something people use every day."

How could tiny Twitter ever become such a titan? It's not the core technology, which is simple, but instead the community. Twitterers find and follow the people they care about on the service. Late in April, following one of Twitter's outages, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington wrote: "I realized that in the last two months a subtle shift occurred: I now need Twitter more than Twitter needs me." Arrington, who has nearly 17,000 people following his Twitterstream, continued: "It is now an important part of my work and social life, as I carry on bite-sized conversations with thousands of people around the world throughout the day. It's a huge marketing tool, and information tool. But it is also a social habit that's hard to kick."


It may seem to Arrington that everyone he cares about is Twittering. But despite impressive growth, Twitter's universe is small. Estimates for the Twittering masses range between half a million and one million active users. Even if this undercounts the number of those who post their tweets through cell phones or other sites, Twitter is still pint-size compared to Facebook, with its 70 million users. And even on Twitter, plenty of people predict that the crowd will abandon the service en masse when something more alluring turns up. "Too flakey, both technology wise and audience—too fickle," tweets one.

Still, there are a few reasons why Twitter might endure. First, it's simple and easy to use. What's more, Twitter is weaving itself into larger networks. Most recently a link with News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace will enable users to shuttle data between those sites, eBay (EBAY), and Yahoo! (YHOO).

Also, like Facebook, Twitter has a large and vigorous developer community. "It's already a platform, a classic textbook definition," tweets Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research. David Troy, for example, founder of Roundhouse Technologies in Baltimore, recently launched a geography application called Twittervision, where you can click on a country—say China—and see the tweets as they appear. "We have more local stuff coming," he says. Another application, called Twistori, shows a stream of Twitters showing what people are wishing, feeling, thinking.
Promotional Tweets?

Businesses, of course, are more interested in what Twitterers are buying. Dataminers like Seattle's Visible Technologies are helping companies such as Hormel Foods (HRL) and Panasonic pore through millions of tweets, finding customers talking about their products. Dell (DELL), a Visible customer, scouts out the tweets and dispatches its Twittering workers to jump into the conversations. At a conference last week, the company claimed to have boosted sales through these efforts by $500,000 in recent months.

Lots of other companies are starting to use Twitter for quick customer service. To see whether they were really on the line, we held a race. We sent a tweet. Seven had responded within an hour, led by H&R Block.
The Search for Viability

One of the last questions we asked: If you could invest in Twitter, would you? It's a key question. To get the funding it needs for its tech upgrade, and perhaps an eventual stock offering, Twitter needs to make a viable business case. If it falls short, Twitter is more likely to wind up as an application in a larger Web company, such as Google (GOOG). The company has launched an advertising program on its site in Japan, but it's "largely experimental," Stone says.

Twitterers, of course, have all sorts of ideas about how to monetize the system. Some suggest subscriptions, or perhaps using promotional tweets every once in a while tied to the words in tweets. Stone avoids details. The goal now, he says, is to raise money, nail down the technology, and grow Twitter until it's enormous. Money comes later. But he and the others know that if they wait too long, Twitter risks disappearing into the belly of a competitor or succumbing to copycats. And that's provided that those of us who Twitter so prolifically now are still hooked on 140-character communications.

Check out the slide show to learn more about the Twitter story.

Baker is a senior writer for BusinessWeek in New York.

Posted by kkowatch on November 17, 2008 at 04:21 PM | Comments (1)

Job Outlook looks Stable -- NACE Report

Our staff recently received an employment report from NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers), a leading professional organization for career services professionals and industry recruiters. We wanted to share with you the information that was provided in this brief report. From this report, you may want to be targeting government organizations for your next job or internship. (Note that the tables don't transform into the blog template well, so you may want to view the tables on the NACEWeb website - link below).

College Hiring Flat for Class of 2009
Source NACEWeb

Current projected hiring for the Class of 2009 shows very little growth over the hiring levels for the Class of 2008, but no expected decline.

This projection is based on a recent poll of Job Outlook participants who were asked to re-evaluate the hiring projections they provided in August in light of recent developments that suggest the general economy may be facing a significant downturn.

Employers who participated in both the August and October polls (N = 146) are expecting to decrease their original hiring levels by 1.6 percent. Nevertheless, when compared with the number of actual hires from these firms for the Class of 2008, the expectations for the Class of 2009 are still 1.3 percent ahead of last year’s actuals.

Figure 1: Hiring projection trends
Mean Median Total
08-09 Projected Hires (October poll) 141 30 19,797
08-09 Projected Hires (August poll) 143 35 20,117
07-08 Actual Hires 139 30 19,542

In the August poll, approximately one-third of respondents said they were re-assessing their projection of college hires downward. Now, among respondents to the current poll, 52 percent of respondents currently project that they will be hiring fewer graduates during the 2009 recruiting season than they hired from the Class of 2008; 34 percent still anticipate hiring more graduates, and 14 percent expect to hire the same as they hired in 2008.

Figure 2: Change in college hiring expectations
2008 vs. 2009, by reporting firms
Number of
Respondents Percent of Respondents
Change 08-09
Decrease 73 52.1%
No Change 19 13.6%
Increase 48 34.3%
Total 140 100.0%

The decreased expectation for college hiring that occurred between August and October was broadly felt across industries. Only government as a sector saw a significant increase in hiring expectations, while manufacturing and professional services remain essentially flat during the period of economic turmoil. All other industry categories decreased their hiring expectations for the Class of 2009. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3: Percent change in hiring expectations, August to October, by industry
Industry Percent Change
Agriculture -14.2%
Construction -19.6%
Manufacturing 0.3%
Distribution & Utilities -17.6%
Trade -7.4%
Finance & Insurance -6.2%
Business Services -3.1%
Professional Services 1.7%
Government 19.8%

Updates: NACE will continue to monitor the job outlook for the Class of 2009. The Salary Survey Winter report, scheduled for distribution in late January, will provide a first look at demand for new college graduates by specific discipline.

Data in this special report reflect responses from 146 organizations that had responded to NACE’s Job Outlook Fall Preview Survey in August. At that time, respondents overall reported plans to hire 6 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2009 than they had actually hired from the Class of 2008. The current poll, conducted October 6 through October 17, 2008, updates those hiring projections.

Posted by kkowatch on October 30, 2008 at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

Librarian One of the & Best Nonpolitical Jobs for Political Junkies

Please note the mention of AARP librarians in this article from US News & World Report:

7 Best Nonpolitical Jobs for Political Junkies
If you want to sate your political appetite with a full-time job, here are some cool ideas
By Liz Wolgemuth
Posted October 23, 2008

Ah, election season. There's nothing like a good battle between the Democrats and the Republicans (and Ralph Nader and Ron Paul) to whet the appetite of a political junkie. But if you're looking for something less temporal—the kind of work that will let you feed your addiction year-round—you don't have to become a legislator. Consider one of these (mostly) nonpolitical jobs where you may find a way to keep the spirit of the election alive every day.

Librarian: Not just any librarian—a special librarian. Special librarians work for companies, government agencies, nonprofits, universities, or museums, rather than for the general public. There are plenty of opportunities for people to focus on specialties. Janice Lachance, chief executive of the Special Libraries Association, says "it's absolutely a perfect fit" for people who are politically inclined, as leaders at nongovernmental organizations, think tanks, or government agencies rely on well-sourced, "top level information." Librarians can follow specific passions for policy or politics into jobs at places like AARP, which employs 13 association members. Most have a master's in library or information science, but the jobs pay: A 2008 association survey found the average salary of its members was $71,812.

Lobbyist: The word is practically an obscenity during election cycles, but the job and qualifications of a "lobbyist" are largely a mystery to Americans. While many think of lobbyists as Washington fat cats with standing reservations at the Capital Grille and closets full of suede loafers—that's only half the story. Lobbyists advocate for issues and petition government on behalf of organizations—farm bureaus and oil companies alike. They need to understand policy, and they need to know the ins and outs of politics. Most are college grads, and many have advanced degrees in law, communications, education, public relations, or journalism, according to the American League of Lobbyists. How to get in? A congressional staff position is one of the best ways to learn the legislative process.

Tour guide: Believe it or not, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this occupation is growing much faster than average. It's a good pick for retirees and students, but full-timers and part-timers alike make political history or current events come alive as tour guides. "Politics is a sport in DC," says Adam Plescia, 35, who works as a tour guide in Washington while also writing his dissertation. Plescia stays up on political news and events with a regular diet of the Washington Post, New York Times, New Yorker, and NPR. The tours aren't, however, for sharing his political opinions. Instead, he gets to quiz and to teach. He takes visitors to the front of the Treasury building and asks, "Who's the secretary of the Treasury?" The good news: "More people know now," Plescia says. "Before the [financial] crisis, the majority of the people on the tour wouldn't know his name."

Radio announcer: Two words: Rush Limbaugh. The longtime radio announcer has made a major mark on the American conservative political scene through his top-rated radio show. This is a highly competitive industry with a median hourly wage of less than $12, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There may, however, be better opportunities for hosts or disk jockeys with specialized knowledge of subjects like politics. But if, like Limbaugh, you prove successful in smaller markets, you can test your mettle and opinionating on a much larger audience.

Pollster: This is a good fit for political junkies with a love of statistics, as well as a solid understanding of the larger political picture. Tom Jensen, communications director at Public Policy Polling, says polling firms look for people who are especially knowledgeable about politics, particularly those who understand the way voters think about elections. "It's a great job for someone who's very knowledgeable about politics but can also detach themselves from the process enough to keep a perspective about things and not get too swept up in the emotions of an election," Jensen says. Advanced degrees are pretty common.

Translator/interpreter: This probably isn't a great path if you have strong opinions, but it's got plenty of growth potential if you merely have a serious interest in being part of the political process. The Labor Department expects job opportunities to grow by 24 percent between 2006 and 2016. Thanks to globalization and increased security threats, there's been a greater need for translators (who work with written words) and interpreters (who work with spoken words), according to the American Translators Association. While many translators work for themselves, those who are employed by the government make an average of nearly $60,000 a year, the association reports.

Reporter: Some journalists today still labor under a kind of Woodward and Bernstein nostalgia, but many just love politics. Reporters at small-town newspapers continue to uncover local political transgressions, and major metro papers vie with bloggers for a piece of the national political pie. Beat reporters may also work long and hard enough to earn the right to state their pithy opinions as columnists, in blogs, or as TV pundits. In one example, New York Times columnist David Brooks started out working the cops beat for City News Service in Chicago and held various roles at the Wall Street Journal, even spending five months as its movie critic.

Posted by kkowatch on October 29, 2008 at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

Good News for Ann Arbor Info Tech Businesses

Recently, a copy of the Ann Arbor Business Review got passed along to me. A front-page article, "Information Technology Remains Strong" was suggested to me as a great blog topic to share with our readers. I definitely suggest that you check out this article, which shares that five local IT companies will be adding nearly 1,000 jobs in the next ten years in the Ann Arbor area.

In 2008, five companies have been identified as top market expanders. If you are planning on staying in the Ann Arbor area after graduation or want to do an internship around here, these companies might be a good place to start looking:

ForeSee Results - 275 new jobs
MyBuys - 250 new jobs
Barracuda Networks - 185 new jobs
GDI Infotech - 121 new jobs
ICON Creative Technologies - 63 new jobs
Arbor Networks - 56 new jobs

A total of 950 new jobs!

A few choice quotes...

"The region's biotechnology sector and alternative energy potential have dominated the spotlight in economic development circles, but the IT sector is rapidly expanding, leveraging connections to the University of Michigan and drawing on a pool of talent that they say has been underused. "

"By all accounts, Google's decision nearly three years ago to hire 1,000 workers in a new Ann Arbor operation intensified the national focus on this region's IT strength.

Google co-founder Larry Page's local ties - he's a former U-M student - played an instrumental role in bringing the company here. Google's office on Division Street in downtown Ann Arbor is largely a sales operation, but the Google brand brought national credibility.

Since then, Californian firms like Barracuda and MyBuys have announced plans to expand their companies here. The chief executives of Barracuda and MyBuys are U-M graduates."

Five Ann Arbor IT companies to add nearly 1,000 jobs in 10 years
by Nathan Bomey | Ann Arbor Business Review
Thursday October 09, 2008, 7:00 AM

After a series of expansion announcements this year, Ann Arbor's information technology sector has reasserted its role as the region's top job growth engine.

Five IT companies with existing local offices and one outside firm this year have revealed plans to add nearly 1,000 jobs over the next few years. Together, that would equal almost double the number of employees that Google has today at its AdWords headquarters in Ann Arbor.

"It's probably the strongest of the technology sectors in Ann Arbor, and sometimes we lose sight of that," said Michael Finney, CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, Washtenaw County's economic development organization.

The region's biotechnology sector and alternative energy potential have dominated the spotlight in economic development circles, but the IT sector is rapidly expanding, leveraging connections to the University of Michigan and drawing on a pool of talent that they say has been underused.

"The environment is really strong," said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee Results, which announced plans this summer to add 275 jobs in the next several years. "The challenge in technology on the West Coast is, while there is a great set of resources and talent, there's not the loyalty that you can build here. I think that's an advantage this area has over the West Coast."

Among the region's biggest IT expansions this year:

•Barracuda Networks expects to add 185 employees over the next five years to establish a research-and-development center at 201 Depot St. (See related story, Page 2), where the company will develop IT security solutions.

•ForeSee, which has more than 120 employees in Pittsfield Township, considered out-of-state locations but chose to invest $6.6 million to stay here. The company's online customer satisfaction measurement technology has attracted major corporate clients, including retail and financial companies.

•Redwood City, Calif.-based MyBuys Inc. said the Ann Arbor region's talent pool, cheap housing and quality of life were draws. The company, offers personalized product recommendation software services, is adding 250 workers.

•GDI Infotech, whose IT consultants help companies streamline software and databases, is adding 121 jobs to this area by consolidating existing operations and expanding.

For the most part, the growing IT companies don't compete with each other. Niche software firms, online services companies and consulting organizations are among the sub-sectors of the local IT industry.

Google's influence shows

By all accounts, Google's decision nearly three years ago to hire 1,000 workers in a new Ann Arbor operation intensified the national focus on this region's IT strength.

Google co-founder Larry Page's local ties - he's a former U-M student - played an instrumental role in bringing the company here. Google's office on Division Street in downtown Ann Arbor is largely a sales operation, but the Google brand brought national credibility.

Since then, Californian firms like Barracuda and MyBuys have announced plans to expand their companies here. The chief executives of Barracuda and MyBuys are U-M graduates.

Sean Heiney, director of new product initiatives for Barracuda, said his company realized there was a surplus of U-M graduates looking for jobs in the area - students who often leave for IT jobs in other economies.

"We saw that there is a good amount of talent coming out of the Michigan area while we were sitting in California," Heiney said. "We knew there was a need for great technology jobs because there was a lot of great graduates coming out of the universities that didn't want to leave the state."

Bhushan Kulkarni, CEO of GDI Infotech, said the region offers intangible quality-of-life features.

"Whatever the news and the bad press that's going on, Ann Arbor is still a destination of choice for growing families," he said.

Kulkarni acknowledged that the region sometimes struggles to deliver job opportunities for spouses of talented IT workers considering moving here. It's a similar complaint espoused by local venture capitalists, who say it's difficult to recruit executives concerned about job opportunities after their first one expires.

"We don't have a clear answer for that other than helping to introduce them to our connections," Kulkarni said.

Among the challenges threatening to derail the growth of Ann Arbor's IT sector is the pummeling of the global financial system and the slumping national economy.

But Doug Van Houweling, CEO of Ann Arbor-based not-for-profit Internet2, said he wasn't concerned that the local IT sector would fall prey to the declining economy.

"Most of the companies that are growing in this environment are growing with the help of more conservative financial models, and in the current situation they'll become even more conservative," he said. "I think that things happen a little less rapidly here in the Midwest. But I think they happen in a somewhat more stable fashion."

Contact Nathan Bomey at (734) 302-1725 or

Posted by kkowatch on October 27, 2008 at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

Wondering about Library Salaries? Check out the 2008 Library Salary Report

UM-SI leads the annual salary survey generated by!

The Big News from the 2008 Library Salary & Job Survey
Solid overall gains complemented by stellar growth in some sectors
Rebecca Miller -- Library Journal, 10/14/2008 8:05:00 AM

(Go to the link above to view accompanying charts and graphics)

LJ's annual Placements & Salaries Survey, written by Stephanie Maatta, examines how each graduating class lands in the library and information science marketplace, with an eye toward identifying job trends and shifts in pay. Overall, the class of 2007 saw starting salaries 3.1% higher than the previous year's graduates, hitting an average starting salary of $42,361.

The highs for the 2007 graduates, just released, include leaps for minority grads in the Southeast, stronger growth than average for academics in the Northeast, and extraordinary salaries garnered by University of Michigan graduates and those in the private sector. The lows include more temp positions, a longer job search, a dip in positions for children's librarians in public libraries, and a continued gender gap.

Maatta explores the gender gap in detail, tapping the factors that enable men to earn more in a field dominated by women, including job choices, regional issues, and the impact of first careers. Exceptions, however, include government libraries, where women out earn men by 22%.

For the first time, Maatta examines how the so-called I-schools (information schools) compare to the so-called L-schools (llibrary schools), finding that a healthy majority of grads in both consider their roles to be "library" ones, though those who identify their jobs as "information" earned almost 20% more in average starting salaries. Among the I-school's, the University of Michigan placed graduates the most successfully, in terms of salary, winning an average salary of $55,869. A look at the top ten schools by average salary their graduates earn, however, shows that there is a good mix of both L and I on the uppper end of the payroll.

Keep reading to see all of this and more, including a look at where the jobs are, a minority report, and a chance to meet LJ's grad of the year, Dalena Hunter.

Despite a difficult economy and tightening budgets, both jobs and salaries rose for 2007 grads. Echoing the previous year's growth, reported annual salaries increased approximately 3.1%, from $41,014 in 2006 to $42,361. The picture was most positive for graduates in the Southeast, whose average annual starting salary surged past the $40,000 barrier that graduates there have been struggling to reach, increasing to $41,579, a significant gain of 8.2%. Minority graduates who found jobs in the Southeast also reported a reversal of fortunes, with average annual starting salaries up by 16.2% to $46,093, after falling to $39,674 in 2006.

In other highlights, academic libraries in the Northeast contributed to the improved job scene, with 11.8% more graduates hired and salaries up approximately 5.5% to $41,340. School library media specialists experienced higher placement rates in almost all regions of the United States and at worst held steady from the previous year, with commensurate salaries approximately 5.6% higher than in 2006.

Average Starting Salary for Librarians
There are many more positive aspects to note, with minorities and men faring even better than the 3.1% average overall rise in salaries, at 5.5% and 4.4% growth, respectively. The tremendous jump in salaries for new hires in the Southeast helped propel the overall average upward, with an additional boost from the extraordinarily high salaries garnered by the graduates of the University of Michigan (averaging $55,869, almost 32% above the rest). With the exception of the combined Canadian and international reporting, regional salaries across the board topped the $40,000 level, compared to 2006, when salaries in the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest remained in the high $30,000s. Regionally, salary growth in the Northeast and in the Southwest was slightly lower than the average but nonetheless up from previous years. One real surprise was substantial growth in the number of graduates accepting professional positions as archivists. Compared with other types of jobs, archival placements comprise about 4.3% of the reported staffing. However, this was a 22% increase from the previous year. Archivists also experienced a 14.4% bump up in salary, to $40,286.

Nonetheless, 2007 was not without challenges. For a second year in a row, nonprofessional and temporary positions increased, hinting at the struggles many library systems face in maintaining high levels of service with fewer resources and personnel. The job search was a little longer and a little harder for many graduates, and reports indicate a continued rise in part-time positions.

Library Jobs for Graduates
Fewer responses from LIS graduates were received for 2007, though the response rate continues to fluctuate around 33%; over the last several survey periods it ranged from 30% to 40%. Of the approximate 5300 reported graduates, 1,768 responded. This has implications for measuring some placements, but overall percentages were consistent with previous years.

The LIS Class of 2007 experienced both tremendous opportunities and disappointments as they sought jobs in a slowing economic environment. Nationwide, library and information organizations suffered from loss of revenue in property taxes and state funding, corporate slowdowns, and reduced spending. For some, this meant lower salaries, longer job searches, and temporary posts while waiting for permanent employment. On the flip side, salaries in the Southeast surged upward, and placements in many types of agencies around the nation increased. The gender gap widened, but women experienced solid growth in salaries in the Southeast and the Southwest and significant in-roads in government libraries. All indications from the graduates and the programs responding are that the LIS profession continues to be viable, even healthy, and forward looking.

Where the Library Jobs Are
Public and academic libraries hire the most librarians but "other" agencies are on the rise.

In light of the LS vs. IS debate, a few unexpected trends among the individual schools' placements emerged along with several predictable ones. Graduates of University of Washington, an I-school, for example, reported 42.9% of their placements in public libraries when one might anticipate there would be higher placements in other types of agencies among I-school graduates. Despite high placements in libraries with traditionally lower salary ranges, Washington grads maintained one the highest average salaries among all of the programs. Southern Connecticut State University, an L-school, followed the same trend of 42.9% placements in public libraries with better than average starting salaries. Comparatively, University of Kentucky, an I-school, saw graduates reporting 53.6% placement in public libraries but garnering the lowest average salary levels among the programs. In these instances, location played a more a significant role in determining salary than did the type of library, while being from an I-school or an L-school had little impact.

2007 Library Job Placements
In a much more predictable pattern, the University of Michigan (UM), an I-school, dominated the “other? category, placing 56.3% of its graduates in agencies such as consulting, e-commerce, financial services, and interactive marketing. Many of these employers are private entities unaffected by public funding, thus allowing salaries to be highly competitive. Pratt, an L-school, and the University of Texas at Austin, an I-school, had the next highest percentages of placements in “other? agencies (28.6% and 26.7%, respectively). On average, the LIS graduates comprised 16.7% of the overall reported placements in “other? institutions, with UM making up 19.5% of the reported total.
Graduates of UCLA, Syracuse, and Oklahoma reported the highest percentage of positions in academic libraries, ranging from 50% to 75% of the reported placements. Alabama, Denver, and Illinois also had above average placements in academic libraries. SUNY-Buffalo, University of North Texas, and Texas Woman's University had the strongest showing among the LIS programs in school library media centers, averaging 33.5% of the media specialist positions. The graduating class reported the fewest placements in special libraries, at 8.1% of the jobs; however, St. John's University, Louisiana State, and Simmons grads were well above this average, with Simmons snagging 17.5% of the total positions in special libraries.

Public Libraries Drive Job Growth
Public libraries continue to be a popular choice for employment, averaging 28% of the overall reported placements. This figure has held steady over the last several years, consistently hovering around 27% to 29%. Increased hires were reported in the Midwest (up approximately 12%); in the Southwest, graduates reported 12.2% more public library hires. Unfortunately, public library salaries in the Midwest and Southwest did not follow suit, dipping an average of 3.0% below 2006 averages.

An area of concern is children's services. Placements decreased, and salaries were flat for 2007. One possible explanation may be a redefining of the title to encompass both children's and youth services (teen and/or YA librarians), as there was a 3.6% increase in the number of grads reporting their job as youth services rather than children's. However, average starting salaries for youth services librarians decreased 3.53%, to $35,929. The other possibility for decreased numbers is the overall economic impact on library funding and the number of public libraries, which employ the majority of children's and youth services librarians, suffering layoffs and reductions in services.

School Library Snapshot
School media centers yield some of the best growth in terms of library salary and placements.

School library media centers showed some of the best growth among all types of library and information science agencies in 2007. Placements in the Midwest, Southwest, and West increased substantially, averaging 26.8% growth across the three regions. At the same time, the overall average starting salary for new school library media specialists took a giant step up to $44,935 (an impressive 5.6% increase from $42,420 in 2006). This improvement was spurred by a 9.9% growth in salaries in the Southwest and 20% in the West. Some caution needs to be applied to the salary growth for school library media specialists, however, as many grads explain that their salaries are based on a standard teacher's pay scale for their states. As teachers move from the classroom to the media center, salary and compensation levels follow them; this means that the level they earned in the classroom will be their base for the media center positions and doesn't always indicate a pay increase with the achievement of the master's degree.

A Changing Academic Library Job Environment
Non-tenure placements and short-term roles dominate.
Library Salaries: Tenure Matters.

In light of recent professional discussions about tenure status for academic librarians, it seemed timely to explore graduate experiences in academic settings. Of the 416 graduates who accepted positions in academic libraries, 336 responded to inquiries regarding their faculty status and appointment. Surprisingly 81.2% were hired for nontenured positions, and only 3.2% of the new hires had nine-month (or academic year) appointments. (A question that was not explored but may address the tenure/nontenure conundrum is the number of academic librarians in community or junior colleges compared with those at tiered research institutions.)

The more interesting responses were from the academic librarians who described their appointments as “other.? This group comprised 21.9% of the responses to questions about the length of their service term (nine-month vs. 12-month). The appointments were described in a variety of ways, including grant-funded short-term, adjunct, semester by semester, and library fellows programs. One perhaps not unexpected finding was that the new academic librarians with tenure-earning status (18.8% of respondents) garnered starting salaries that were 8.8% higher than those of the nontenure-earning professionals and 6.7% higher than those of all new academic librarians ($43,634 compared to $40,090 and $40,911, respectively).

Inside the Library Gender Gap
An exploration of why women rule libraries, except when it comes to pay.

Recent issues of the annual placements and salaries survey have given cursory exploration of salary parity between the genders as well as minority comparisons. There is no doubt that the gaps continue to exist and even widen. Women experienced another year of salary growth in 2007, but for another year's running they lagged approximately 7.7% behind men. The question that begs to be answered is, “What factors are driving the differences??

The Gender Gap in Library Salaries

Proportionately, women continue to comprise 80% of the new members of the LIS workforce. However, smaller proportions of women found positions in academic libraries (72.9%), government libraries (68.9%), and other agencies and organizations (67.4%) while dominating the school library media positions (93.9%). Average starting salaries for women in public libraries and special libraries fell while men experienced significant gains (as much as 9.1% compared to a loss of 8.4% for women) in the same type of agencies. Regionally, women who accepted school library media positions in the Southeast and the Southwest fared better than their male counterparts (slightly more than 4% and higher). The same situation occurred in special libraries in the Northeast and the Southeast, with women earning 3.7% and 4.6% more, respectively. Government libraries was the one agency where women dominated the salary game with average starting pay 22% higher than men, earning $46,540 compared to $38,138.

Historically school library media centers and “other? organizations generate higher average starting salaries. In both of these types of agencies, women experienced a comfortable salary growth, averaging just over 5% in each. School library media specialists are members of the teaching faculty and in most states are required to obtain formal teaching credentials. Much like the overall education profession, school library media positions are dominated by women (94% of the placements), and they have been subject to the same glass ceiling that many other female-dominated professions experience. Starting salaries for women in school media centers continue to fall below the levels men obtain. The rate of growth in salaries also reveals a gap, with a 12.2% differential between women and men ($44,602 compared to an average starting salary of $50,038).

Even though they continue to lag behind men with regard to starting salaries for “other? agencies, women gained 5.1% in their starting salaries (from $47,163 in 2006). The best salary growth for women in “other “organizations was in the Midwest, with better than 17% upward movement. The percentage of women finding jobs in other agencies grew from 64% of the placements in 2006 to 66% of the placements in 2007. These positions included jobs in nonprofits, museums, Fortune 500 companies, and medical facilities.

Region seems to play a role in salary equity for women. In 2007, more women (approximately 30%) accepted positions in the Midwest than across the rest of the U.S. regions and Canada. In 2006 and again in 2007 average starting salaries were among the lowest in the Midwest, and women there followed the same pattern, taking among the lowest paid spots accepted ($38,638 in 2006; $39,844 in 2007), though there was a trend toward modest growth from year to year. On a positive note: following the general rise in salaries in the Southeast, women gained just over 8% in average starting salary, narrowing the gender gap in the Southeast to 4.9%.

First careers resonate
Background and experience are yet another piece in the gender puzzle. Interesting trends emerge from those who reported LIS as a second career (and in some cases “too many careers to name?). Women responding to the survey typically reported first careers in education, human services, nonprofit agencies, and the arts, while men reported jobs in law, medicine, science, and engineering. Starting salaries for women with prior professional experience were approximately 3.4% higher than the average starting salary for all women ($43,154 compared to $41,731); for men, the difference was more substantial, with $47,877 for those reporting previous careers to $45,192 for all men. This suggests that the glass ceiling migrates to the LIS professions along with career changers, though prior professional experience can help in general.

The Minority Report: Library Roles
Salary growth still lags behind overall average for minorities, except in the Southeast.

Salaries for minorities in librariesThe other gap that exists is one of diversity. That said, graduates claiming ethnic and racial minority status fared better in the marketplace than did women in general. In 2007, approximately 11.8% of the graduating class claimed minority status. This has been consistent across the last several reporting periods, ranging from 12% in 2005 to 10.7% in 2006. Along with the ALA Spectrum Scholarship program, several of the LIS schools have received IMLS grants and other funding to recruit actively and retain minority students, and the profession is seeing the fruits of these efforts.

From 2006 to 2007, average starting salaries for minority graduates popped by 5.1%, growing from $40,750 to $42,831 and exceeding the 2005 high of $42,233. Contributing to the surge was an unprecedented 10.9% rise in salaries for minorities in the Southeast. This echoes the other signs of health in the Southeast. Unfortunately, a gender gap exists for minority graduates as well, with men earning 3.8% higher starting salaries than women ($44,828 compared to $43,656 in 2007). Much like the other positive trends for school library media centers, minority salaries sizzled for media specialists, with a 12.9% increase to $47,248.

While the proportion of minority placements remained steady in most library and information agency types between 2006 and 2007, an increasing number of graduates accepted positions in “other? agencies, and received higher salaries accordingly. In 2006, just over 11% of the minority graduates found jobs in such organizations, including nonprofits, private industry, and other nontraditional positions; in 2007, the placement rate grew to 16.8%. Average starting compensation in nonlibrary jobs for minority grads grew from $45,203 to $47,963, though it still stumbled behind the overall salary ($51,349) for all new graduates in “other? organizations.

Beyond the Library: Public vs. Private Sector Jobs
Cool jobs outside libraries brought both the high and low salaries.

Over the past several years a greater and more diverse representation of job assignments and types of organizations has lured LIS graduates, especially in the area of information science. Schools and graduates are reporting many intriguing job titles and responsibilities, such as user experience design and interface, information preservation, social computing and networking, and e-commerce. The opportunities are boundless—though not always easy to find. Graduates also note employment in museums, archives, and public programming (NPR, PBS, etc.). Many of these jobs can be broken into three designations: nonprofits, private industry, and the ubiquitous “other.?

Non-Library Public vs Private Sector Jobs
In order to understand the distribution of the new job types better, we asked graduates to identify and describe “other? designations. Of the 297 graduates who responded, approximately 13.1% accepted positions in nonprofit agencies, 57.9% were in “other? agencies or outside of the LIS professions, and 29% described their employers as private industry. The salary implications were far reaching, both for the graduates claiming “other? status and compared to the rest of their graduating class. On average, graduates choosing “other? organizations reached salary levels approximately 21.2% higher than their counterparts ($51,349 compared to $42,361). But within the other category, salaries swung wildly, with the salaries of those describing positions in the nonprofit sector significantly lower than those in private industry ($43,519 vs. $60,677—a 39.4% difference).

Salary differentials also highlighted the gender gap, though, interestingly, salaries were basically equal in private industry, with women earning an average of $61,100 and men an average of $61,068. The salary disparity was greatest for women in the nonprofit sector, with a 34% gap between them and their male counterparts (an average of $39,975 compared to $53,643). Some of this may be owing to the small pool of men, thus a much smaller range of salaries. It also appears that many of the women accepted clerical-type positions while the men focused on IT jobs in the nonprofits. However, the “other? organizations, including university units outside of the library or IT departments, hospitals, and other educational institutions, experienced a similar, though lesser, gap of almost 16% between salaries for women and men.

Two factors stood out in private industry in particular and the “other? category as a whole. First, the regional distribution of jobs in private industry had the highest placements in the West (approximately 26.7% of the placements), especially in California, which historically garners the highest salaries. Graduates accepting positions in other organizations in the West reported an average starting salary of $59,428 (15.7% higher than other grads reporting similar jobs). Secondly, the information school/library school dichotomy played out again, with UM placing 41% of the grads in private industry, and the combined I-schools placing 37.7% of the grads in “other? organizations overall. As noted, Michigan graduates are at the pinnacle of the LIS salary scale, with an average annual starting salary of $55,869. Six of the other iSchool Caucus members top the list of above-average salaries as well.

Inside the Library Job Search
The journey from LIS student to library professional is long but ultimately rewarding.

For some, the transition from graduate student to employed professional was seamless. Of the 1,546 graduates reporting employment, a full 41% remained with their current employer (compared to 36.9% in 2006 and 37% in 2005) while completing the master's degree; of these grads, 77.3% were placed in professional positions. For some, this meant a promotion from support staff and library technical assistant to professional staff. For others, there was no change in professional status but simply the addition of an “official? credential for the job they were already doing.

Graduates who found library jobs before graduation

Encouragingly, nearly 42% of all graduates found employment prior to graduation, which is slightly less than the previous year (46%) but well above the historical trends, ranging from 30% in 2003 to 25.2% in 2005. As in the past, grads began the job search well in advance of graduation day to ensure a smooth transition and no loss of income. A number of recent grads pointed to volunteer activities in libraries and other information agencies, previous experience, and fieldwork or internships as real boosts to landing positions.

The job search was an exercise in frustration for many graduates. It meant taking temporary work while seeking “better, more appropriate professional positions.? In a disturbing pattern, temporary placements increased again in 2007, with approximately 12.5% grads placed in temporary jobs (up from just over 10% in 2006 and 8.5% in 2005). While temporary status frequently implies that the job will cease at the end of a contractual period and without guarantees for the future, many graduates were quick to suggest that “temporary? is not always a bad thing. Temporary positions help them gain valuable work experience while continuing to search for permanent placements in areas and job types more suited to their needs.

Graduates with part-time positions held steady for a second year at approximately 16.2%. The majority of part-time positions were located in the Northeast (42.1%), followed by the Midwest (24%). The Southeast had the least amount of reported part-time positions (7.3%). Public libraries and academic libraries continue to employ the highest levels of part-timers, with 40% and 23% of the part-time pool, respectively, comparable to 2006 levels. Part-time positions in both of these types of agencies may be another indication of the impact of a soft economy and lower operating budgets. An intriguing side note regarding those graduates who said they had two or more part-time jobs, most frequently holding one in a public library along with one in an academic library. While one might assume the nonprofessional positions would be more likely to be part-time, positions in reference and information services saw the highest level of part-time staffing at 30% of the reported positions.

A long haul for some
More than a few graduates shared their stories of many, many interviews but very few real job offers. The overall length of time from graduation to landing a professional position increased from four-and-a-half months in 2006 to just shy of five months in 2007, and some were still looking over a year after graduation. The most frequent advice graduates offered to their future colleagues included “Network, network, network, early in your program,? “Find good mentors,? and “Get as much experience as you can during your program to prepare yourself for the realities of the workplace.?

School efforts
The LIS programs had a slightly different perspective, with more than 60% of the participating schools saying that they felt it was no harder placing graduates in 2007 than it had been the year before. In general, the LIS programs provided a broad range of access to job announcements and placement services, through electronic mail lists, bulletin boards, professional organizations and student chapters, and the schools' own web sites. However, only approximately 30% of the reporting institutions offer a formal placement and/or career service for their graduates.

Several of the LIS programs created a variety of mentoring programs for incoming and current students as well as recent graduates. Drexel University launched a new Alumni Mentoring Program in which alumni of the iSchool programs serve as mentors for prospective students, current students, and other alumni. In a similar effort, Drexel also launched a Graduate Peer Mentoring Program to connect successful graduate students with new and continuing students. The University of Alabama features a Mentoring Day to assist its students with job placement. The University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington, University of Rhode Island, and Simmons each have either career mentoring, faculty mentoring, and/or peer-to-peer mentoring programs to help ensure the success of their graduates.

Catalogers Lag, but See Upward Trend in Libraries
An industry standby struggles to get on par with average salaries, but sees growth.

Salaries for Catalogers in LibrariesOther opportunities for achievement were reported by grads obtaining positions in cataloging and classification. Unlike past trends, salaries for catalogers made an upward turn, increasing by just over 10.2% to $39,670, though still remaining below the $40K benchmark. One noteworthy point is that it appears more grads are being placed in cataloging supervisory positions; this may be a trend worth watching, and one that may be contributing to improvements in catalogers’ salaries.

Library Archivist Positions and Pay Rise
This speciality sees faster growth and higher pay hikes than most areas of librarianship.

Library archivists placements and salariesOne real surprise was substantial growth in the number of graduates accepting professional positions as archivists. Compared to other types of jobs, archival placements comprise about 4.3% of the reported staffing. However, this was a 22% increase from the previous year. The archivists also experienced a 14.4% bump up in salary to $40,286. Archival positions were reported in all types of libraries, especially academic libraries with special collection departments and museum and cultural heritage agencies. The majority of the archival jobs were located in the Northeast (almost 40%). Interestingly this seems to correspond somewhat to the increased placements in academic libraries in the Northeast, which experienced 11.83% more placements than 2006. Among the job duties, graduates described their positions in rare manuscript cataloging, records management, and preservation and digitization.

They also perform research and reference services, instruction, and public programming. Many also suggested that archives positions were neither information science nor library science, but encompassed both. The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee shared the broad array of agencies that actively sought archivists from their 2007 graduate pool, including Federal Trade Commission, Amnesty International, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, PELLA Corporation, National Press Club, Everglades National Park, NASA Headquarters History Office, Nationwide Insurance Library and Archives, International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum, Diocese of Springfield Illinois, Greenwich Village for Historic Preservation, NOVO, and U.S. House of Representatives.

How the Library Schools Measure Up
The I-school vs. the L-school debate rages, but which helps grads find the best jobs at the best salaries?

This year's survey provided real opportunities to examine the debate between library science and information science in more detail. In 2006 and again in 2007, graduates were asked to define whether their jobs were information science (IS), library science (LS), or other. Of the 1,347 graduates who responded to the question, 75.8% stated that their jobs were definitely LS, 9.2% claimed IS (down slightly from 2006), and the remaining 15% described their positions as falling into other professional areas, most frequently as grant-supported positions, corporate affiliation, or education (classroom teachers and higher education). The “other? category was also used for many of the reported archival positions.

Top 10 Schools By Library Salary
The LS vs. IS question represents more than philosophical underpinnings and types of jobs (user experience interface designer vs. reference/information specialist, for example). For some it shows a significant difference in salary. A straight dollar-to-dollar comparison suggests that graduates describing their jobs as IS earned almost 20% more on average for their starting salaries than other graduates ($48,354 compared to $40,308). Five of the iSchools Caucus members reported average starting salaries significantly above the overall averages (ranging from 9.6% higher to a whopping 31.9% higher). Interestingly, though higher overall, the IS salaries remained flat between 2006 and 2007 while the salaries for LS jobs improved by 1.8%.

On the other hand, designation as an I-school and membership in the iSchools Caucus seem to have less impact on how the graduates defined themselves. The IS graduates who clearly identified themselves with information science made up only 28% of the IS pool.

The combination of regionality and IS designation also played a role in salary achievements. Graduates who accepted jobs on the West Coast historically attained higher salaries than others. In 2007, the pay difference was 19.7% (or $8,375) for all graduates. Salary differences were even more apparent when regional placement was compared among the IS graduates. Graduates identifying IS positions on the West Coast earned 36.3% higher salaries than the entire pool of IS grads. The graduates who defined their jobs as IS-related in the Midwest, where overall salaries were among the lowest in 2007, negotiated the lowest salaries for positions.

Posted by kkowatch on October 22, 2008 at 02:28 PM | Comments (1)

Job Hunting Is, and Isn’t, What It Used to Be

Great article from the New York Times on how job hunting has and hasn't changed....

Note the highlighting of the use of social and professional networking sites as a resource for job applications in lieu of the large job boards such as about half way down the article.

Job Hunting Is, and Isn’t, What It Used to Be
Published: September 26, 2008

WHEN I think back to my job-hunting days, my methods seem as quaint as comparing a Victrola to an iPod.

First, there was no Internet. I perused trade journals for job possibilities. I painstakingly typed my résumé on a typewriter (electric) and had to retype — and retype and retype — when I made a mistake. I cut and pasted my newspaper clips, which I needed to send along with the résumé, onto letter-size paper, which was like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing.

Then, because self-service copying was in its infancy, I had copies of my clips made. Then, I stuffed them into manila envelopes and took them to the post office to mail.

I followed up with telephone calls, because, of course, there was no e-mail. In fact, voice mail also barely existed. (I’m not that ancient. We’re talking less than three decades ago.) So either I never got past the switchboard or I was shunted off to a bored secretary, who I’m sure never bothered writing down my message.

With all the innovations since then, what hasn’t changed is how frustrating it can be to get the right job. Or even a personal response to a résumé.

And while many of the tools available through the Internet can help searches, they can also become obstacles to actually finding employment.

“Online sites tend to overwhelm people,? said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a firm that helps place people in jobs and does business consulting. “The key for most people to realize is that you can’t conduct your search from your computer. You have to get in front of prospective bosses to get an offer.?

It is too easy, Mr. Challenger said, to spend hours trolling job sites instead of doing the harder work of calling and meeting people.

“You have to do a performance check on yourself,? he said. “I’ve spent so much time on the computer, and how many times did I get to the person I’d be working for, not just H.R. or a recruiter??

But it’s no wonder that people become addicted to the online searches. The Conference Board, a business research organization, estimated that 4,833,700 job vacancies were posted online last month.

The big three sites are, and Yahoo Craigslist is also a popular option, as are those like and, which aggregate big and small jobs sites.

Niche sites are also growing. Doctors can check out; those seeking nonprofit work can go to is popular for job seekers looking for executive positions that pay more than $100,000 a year.

And I made a note of Because you never know.

Most of these sites are free for those looking for work. It’s the employers who pay to post the positions. But the cost of using a site like TheLadders ranges from nothing for limited access to as much as $180 for a year of unlimited job hunting and a weekly newsletter.

But the trouble with many of these sites, especially the bigger ones, job hunters say, is that they have become an indiscriminate morass.

Prescott Perez-Fox, of Brooklyn, who describes himself as “underemployed? as a graphic designer since finishing graduate school three years ago, said that he assumes when he applies for a job online that “I’ll be up against at least 100 other candidates.?

With mainstream sites like and, “the numbers can be in the thousands,? he said, adding: “It took me a long time to realize that I would never find a job from a job board, especially a larger, mainstream site. I still apply for jobs at the rate of about three per week, but my expectations are almost nil.?

In addition, many job seekers have applied for what they thought was the perfect post, only to end up on the receiving end of a bait and switch.

Jessica McKenzie of Salt Lake City, for example, said she perused all the big and small job boards when looking for a job in public relations. She applied for one post that seemed like a good possibility, and even went for two interviews.

“The second interview turned out to be a ride along with a door-to-door salesman of discount coupons to places like amusement parks and ballgames,? she said.

The job sites do try to monitor such misleading ads. Ms. McKenzie said that when she reported her experience to CareerBuilder, where she found the post, it responded.

Because of these concerns, many job hunters are abandoning the job sites, or using them much less frequently, in favor of what are called social networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook.

In fact, Michelle Robinovitz, who has been a recruiter for 15 years and now is director of recruiting for an accounting firm in Atlanta, said she had stopped using job sites altogether and relied almost completely on LinkedIn.

“I feel like they’re a waste of time and money,? she said of job search sites. “I’ve seen a decline over the past two years of qualified candidates. It used to be that we would get 300 résumés. Now you are lucky to get one. I think qualified people are much more savvy.?

Ms. Robinovitz said her firm paid $200 a month to directly e-mail up to 50 people on LinkedIn. Often, it’s not the people she contacts who want the job, but rather friends of those contacts who end up getting the job.

For those (yes, like me) who don’t know how to make the best use of such social networking sites, several books out there can lead you by the hand.

But a word of warning, especially as sites like Facebook become more popular tools for recruiters: get anything that looks bad off your page. That photo of you drunk at a Halloween party, those musings about how much you hate your boss — not a good impression.

The Society for Human Resource Management, a trade organization, recently compiled responses from 571 of their members about how they use the Internet to fill jobs.

It found that recruiters use social networking sites 23 percent more now than they did in 2006 to fill vacancies, verify résumés and screen applicants. Even more interesting, negative information on an applicant’s profile, like “personal views or values contradictory to the hiring organization or excessive alcohol abuse,? have a greater impact on hiring decisions than positive information, the survey found.

When looking for a job, especially in these tougher economic times, the trick is to cast as wide a net as possible. Don’t ignore the online job sites, experts say, but use them sparingly. Also check alumni and professional associations.

Mr. Challenger suggests limiting yourself to surfing such sites only after dinner. Use the daytime to get out and meet people as much as possible.

Also learn how to use the system. Many companies don’t even glance at all the résumés they receive, but have programs that search for keywords to weed out the ones they don’t want.

Tom Musbach, managing editor of Yahoo HotJobs, advises using phrases that appear in the job posting.

“For example, if you apply for a job that says you should have ‘strong media relationship skills,’ use that phrase in your résumé and cover letter,? he said. “That may get the résumé to the top in a keyword search.?

It’s not enough, however, to just parrot words back, he said. Make sure your résumé doesn’t simply list job descriptions, but focuses in on what you’ve achieved.

Also check out sites intended to make you more knowledgeable about the culture and pay of the career you’re seeking., for example, allows people to anonymously share reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs and employers.

So, I guess the lesson is that job hunting has been transformed to some extent. You can do a lot more of it at home in your pajamas. But some things never change. When push comes to shove, you still have to put on a suit and go out and meet people.

Posted by kkowatch on October 01, 2008 at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

Are You Checking Out the Internships on iTrack?

I've taken a hiatus from actually writing blog entries, but I'm back! Its surely a "Monday" for me today -- but that doesn't mean that the rest of the week can't be outstanding. ;)

This message is mostly for first year students at SI, but the advice to be given could be for second years also who are thinking about their full-time job search. I don't think a lot of first year students are looking at Internships on iTrack yet, but they should be. You don't need to be applying for internships yet (except those ones with really early deadlines), but there are many internships that are getting posted that are for positions outside of Ann Arbor or even Michigan that are current internships. Don't ignore those positions! Read the descriptions and if you think, "That's the type of internship that I would like to do next summer!", scroll down to the bottom of the job posting and add the internship/organization to your Favorites (click on the + Add to Favorites button). Check the date on when the posting is going to expire; if it’s soon, you'll want to make a copy of it and save it in your files (or at least the Job ID number). You can always retrieve the position from the "Archived Employer Contacts And Jobs/Internships" tab on iTrack under Jobs --> iTrack Jobs.

Basically, what I'm saying is that positions that are posted now are going to be available in the summer also. So if the position is right for you right now, but the timing isn't, make note for later. Or even better, contact the contact now and let them know that you are really interested in the position, but are interested for summer (or another term) and inquire about when they will be accepting applications for that time period.

Back to the second year students. These same rules apply for full-time job searching. If there's a position at an organization that are interested in now, let the contact know! Is unlikely that they'll hold the position for you until April or May (especially this early in the year), but they may know about another position that will be opening up in a few months that is similar or even better suited for you. It never ever hurts to ask -- and it helps to develop rapport and get the organization familiarized with your name and qualifications. This is especially a good tactic if you are targeting a specific geographic area or institution.

Posted by kkowatch on September 29, 2008 at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Listserve Disussion of Recruiters and Resumes

Have you ever wondered what happens when your resume and cover letter are received by the prospective employer? Like who sees it, how do they read it, what do they do with it, and how do applicants get winnowed down?

Those mysteries and more will be unveiled in a special panel discussion to be held on the Work For Us listserv, Monday October 27 through Friday October 31. (Info on Work for Us is below.) If you are in humanities, education or social science, or for that matter any discipline, this discussion will give you top quality information about what happens in Human Resource departments of corporations and government agencies when they receive your application materials.

Joining us will be four real live Human Resource professionals from a variety of different organizations, including one from federal government. They will introduce themselves on Monday October 27, then answer questions all week till Friday October 31.

If you would like to participate, subscribe to Work For Us listserv before October 27. Information and subscription instructions are below. It's easy; the whole thing happens on email so there are no chatrooms to visit, no phone calls to make. No long-term commitment is required; you may subscribe just for this discussion if you want, then unsubscribe after it's over. And it's free.

Hoping you will join us,

Paula Foster Chambers, Ph.D.
Work For Us list manager

For more information about this list, and for a complete archive of all previous Guest Speaker Discussions, please visit the Work For Us website:


"Work For Us" (aka WRK4US) was founded in 1999 by Paula Foster Chambers as a safe place for the free and supportive discussion of nonacademic and careers for people with graduate degrees in humanities, education and the social sciences. Since then, WRK4US has grown to over 1,600 subscribers from all over North America and has received national media attention (Chronicle of Higher Education, US News and World Report).

A unique feature of Work For Us is the Guest Speaker Discussions, in which humanities, education or social science PhDs who have succeeded outside the academy come onto the list for a week, share their stories, and answer questions from the group.

To subscribe to Work For Us, visit and follow the prompts.

If you have any technical difficulty, email

Posted by kkowatch on September 26, 2008 at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

PMF - Governement 2 Year Internship Program Info Session

In the past, at least one SI student each year has gone on to take a position as a PMF Intern. If you are interested in working with the federal government, this is a great fast-track route to a career.


Are you interested in a career with the Federal government? If so, you may want to consider the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program. PMF is a leadership development program designed to attract to Federal service outstanding graduate students from a wide variety of academic disciplines at both the master’s and doctoral levels. PMF seeks students who have an interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. This rigorous two-year program includes 80 hours of training each year, challenging job rotations, accelerated promotions, and opportunities to network between Federal agencies.

Students are eligible to apply for the PMF class of 2008 if they meet the degree requirements for a graduate degree (master’s, law or doctorate) between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2009. Students may apply online beginning October 1 through October 15, 2008. Applicants must also connect with your school’s nominating coordinator to compete for your school’s nomination in the progam. For more information on the nomination process, contact Tom Lehker at The Career Center via email ( or at 734-764-7460.

If you’re interested in learning more about the PMF program, plan to attend:

Presidential Management Fellows Program
Information Session
Wednesday, September 24
12:00-1:30 p.m.
The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

Posted by kkowatch on September 15, 2008 at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

Interested in Abroad Opportunities?

Keep up-to-date with the most current work, study, and/or travel abroad events through Facebook with the University of Michigan International Center’s Education Abroad and Peace Corps Facebook page.

We will use this group as a forum to publicize events and inform the UM community about the latest resources for education and opportunities abroad. The event information listed on the Facebook page will not replace the weekly emails; rather, it will serve as a reminder tool and will also spread word to people who might not be familiar with the International Center. If you are on Facebook, please visit our page and become a fan!

Simply search for "International Center Education Abroad" and you should find our page titled "International Center Education Abroad & Peace Corps Offices - U of Michigan." It will be listed under the Pages section. You may also click on the following link:

Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in being part of our volunteer peer advisor network. We’ve received an overwhelming response so far and are excited to be able to connect students with people who have had similar experiences in the past. If you haven’t yet joined the network and are interested, please send me an email at

Bill Nolting and Kelly Nelson
Education Abroad and Peace Corps Offices
University of Michigan International Center
603 E. Madison, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1370
Phone (734) 647-2299; E-mail

Posted by kkowatch on September 12, 2008 at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

Considering Law School After SI?

Considering law school? Plan to attend…

Applying to Law School:
Q and A for Graduate and Non-traditional Students
Monday, September 22
12:00-1:00 p.m.
The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
Maximize your chances for success by familiarizing yourself with the mechanics and timelines of the law school application process. Gather tips on how to avoid common mistakes made by career changers, and learn about the resources offered by The Career Center to support you through your application efforts.

Posted by kkowatch on September 12, 2008 at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

Want to Work or Intern Abroad? Check out the UM-ICP Series

Starting in September!
Panel Discussion Series and International Opportunities Fair

U-M's "International Career Pathways", features an International Opportunities Fair (Oct. 23) and a series of panel discussions in September and October, may be previewed online at:

Most of these sessions should be of interest to graduate/professional school students. The first session is next Tuesday, Sept. 16, on "International Employment Myths and Opportunities."

Those of you looking for an internship will want to come to the Thursday, Sept. 25 session on "Graduate Student Strategies for Finding International Internships" (and e-mail if you'd like to speak for this!).

Funding is always an issue. Fortunately there are many opportunities for U-M students--come to our Tuesday, Oct. 7 session on this. See our article & an online video of last year's session at:

If you want to build upon your international experience by working,
interning, volunteering or teaching abroad, or meet with international employers such as the U.S. State Department and many others, don't miss these events!

Posted by kkowatch on September 10, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)

Global Health Conference @ Yale

This Global Health Conference at Yale will likely be of interest to you, and we would appreciate it if you could please forward this announcement to anyone who may be interested in attending or presenting at the conference. You are encouraged to submit an abstract for a presentation related to medicine, public health, global health, international development, social entrepreneurship, among other topics. The abstract deadline is September 15, and abstracts must be submitted through the online system at

Register and/or submit an abstract. Abstract deadline is September 15. Registration rate increases monthly. Please forward widely.
Unite For Sight 6th Annual Global Health & Development Conference
Yale University
April 18-19, 2009
"Achieving Global Goals Through Innovation"
As Featured On CNN: The Unite For Sight Conference Is What CNN Calls "A Meeting of Minds"
When: April 18-19, 2009
Where: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
What: Join 2,500 conference participants for a stimulating international conference
NOW OPEN: Registration and Abstract Submission - Abstract deadline is September 15
Register For Conference REGISTER NOW TO SECURE LOWEST RATE. Rate escalates each month.
Interested in submitting an abstract? Anyone may submit an abstract. Abstract submitters range from students to professionals.
Who should attend? Anyone interested in international health, public health, international development, medicine, nonprofits, eye care, philanthropy, microfinance, social entrepreneurship, bioethics, economics, anthropology, health policy, advocacy, environmental health, service-learning, medical education, and public service.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPA, Former US Assistant Surgeon General, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown School of Medicine and Tufts University Medical Center; Senior Medical Advisor, amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research
Allan Rosenfield, MD, Dean Emeritus, Mailman School of Public Health; Professor of Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health; Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, Director of Earth Institute at Columbia University; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University; Special Advisor to Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon
Sonia Ehrlich Sachs, MD, MPH, Health Coordinator, Millennium Village Project
Harold Varmus, MD, President and Chief Executive, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Former Director of the NIH; Nobel Prize Recipient
Confirmed Leaders of Social Innovation Speakers
Gene Falk, Co-Founder, Executive Directors, mothers2mothers
"The HealthStore Foundation: Improving Access to Life-Saving Medicines through Micro-Franchising," Scott Hillstrom, Chairman of the Board, CEO and Co-Founder, HealthStore Foundation
"The Impact of the Food and Nutrition Crisis on the Global Health Agenda," Charles MacCormack, PhD, President and CEO, Save The Children
Joia Mukherjee, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Partners in Health; Director, Institute for Health and Social Justice; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Confirmed Featured Speakers
"Progress Towards Eliminating Blindness Due To Trachoma: Findings of Post-Intervention Impact Trachoma Prevalence Surveys in Seven Countries," Sam Abbenyi, MD, MSc, Director, Programs and Logistics, International Trachoma Initiative
"Unearthing Local Definitions of Child Protection and Well-Being," Alastair Ager, PhD, Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Jared Ament, MD, MPH, Clinical Research Fellow, Ophthalmology & Corneal Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School; Harvard School of Public Health
"Holistic Children's Services For Orphans Abroad," Jane Aronson, MD, Director, International Pediatric Health Services; Founder and Executive Officer, Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO); Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
"Workshop: How To Create An Organization To Do Community Work Abroad," Jane Aronson, MD, Director, International Pediatric Health Services; Founder and Executive Officer, Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO); Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Elizabeth Ashbourne, Results Secretariat, OPCS, World Bank
Thomas Baah, MD, MSc, Ophthalmologist, Our Lady of Grace Hospital, Ghana
Richard Baraniuk, PhD, Founder, Connexions; Victor E. Cameron Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Sheri Berenbach, MBA, Executive Director, Calvert Foundation
"An Innovative Program to Deliver Vision Care to Persons with Intellectual Disabilities – Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes," Paul Berman, OD, FAAO, Senior Global Clinical Advisor and Founder, Special Olympics Lions Clubs, International Opening Eyes
David Bloom, Chair, Department of Global Health and Population; Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
"Protecting Children in Disaster and War: Efforts to Professionalize the Field," Neil Boothby, EdD, Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, Director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
"Cuba: Care-Giver to the World," Peter Bourne, MA, MD, Visiting Scholar, Oxford University; Vice Chancellor Emeritus, St. George's University; Formerly Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Health Issues; Chair, Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC)
Elizabeth Bradley, PhD, Professor of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Administration; director, Health Management Program; Director, Global Health Initiatives, Yale School of Public Health
Harry Brown, MD, Founder, Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International
Richard Bucala, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine
Michael Chu, MBA, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
James Clarke, MD, Ophthalmologist and Medical Director, Crystal Eye Clinic, Ghana
Lisa Croucher, Assistant Director, Education and Training, Global Health Institute, Duke University
"The American Medical Model - Are We Right To Export It?" Emmanuel d'Harcourt, Senior Child Survival Technical Advisor, International Rescue Committee
Margaret Duah-Mensah, RN, ON, Ophthalmic Nurse, Crystal Eye Clinic, Ghana
Marva Eberhart, Teacher For Visually Impaired, Kansas City, Missouri School District; Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana
"Climate Instability: Health Problems and Health Solutions," Paul Epstein, MD, MPH, Associate Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School
Dabney Evans, MPH, Executive Director, Emory University Institute of Human Rights; Lecturer, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University
"The Role of Cultural Competency in International Health Care and Volunteerism," Valda Ford, MPH, MS, RN, CEO and Founder, Center For Human Diversity
"Improving Eye Care in Rural Hunan Province, China," Susan Forster, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Studies, Department of Ophthalmology, Yale School of Medicine; Chief, Ophthalmology, Yale University Health Services
James Fraser, MA, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dignitas International
Ulrick Gaillard, JD, CEO, The Batey Relief Alliance
Gannon Gillespie, Director of US Operations, Tostan
"Nutritional Management of Cataracts," Heskel Haddad, MD, Ophthalmologist; President, Optoed Corp, Inc.
Rebecca Hardin, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment and Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Susan Hayes, President and CEO, Interplast
Steve Hilton, President, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Debbie Humphries, MPH, PhD, Clinical Instructor, Division of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Program, Yale University School of Medicine
"Challenges and Potential of Genetic Manipulation of Insect Vectors of Disease," Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, PhD, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Malaria Research Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
"Eye Care Services in Liberia: The Post War Challenges," Kartee Karloweah, ON, RN, Ophthalmic Nurse, Crystal Eye Clinic, Ghana
"Atrocities and Social Entrepreneuriship," Zachary Kaufman, JD Candidate, Yale Law School; DPhil Candidate in International Relations, Oxford University
Kaveh Khoshnood, PhD, Assistant Professor in Public Health Practice, Division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health
Karen King, MA, Elementary School Teacher, Reed Intermediate School; Unite For Sight Volunteer in Accra, Ghana
Jamie Lachman, Clowns Without Borders
"Improved Instruments for Trachoma Surgery," Doug Lawrence, Vice President/General Manager, BD Medical - Ophthalmic Systems
Robert Lawrence, MD, Center for A Livable future Professor; Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy & International Health; Director, Center for a Livable Future, Department of Environmental Health Sciences; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Robert Malkin, PhD, Professor of Practice of Biomedical Engineering Director, Duke-Engineering World Health, Duke University
"A Vaccine To Prevent AIDS: When and How," John McGoldrick, JD, Senior Vice President, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
Michelle McMurry, Director, Health, Biomedical Science and Society Initiative, The Aspen Institute
Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, LLM, MPhil, Public Health Law Project Manager, Center for Health Policy, IGERT-International Development and Globalization Fellow, Columbia University
Carol McLaughlin, MD, MPH, Global Health, Center for High Impact Philanthropy, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania
Laura Murray-Kolb, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Mini Murthy, MD, MPH, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, Program Director Global Health, New York Medical College School of Public Health
"Global Health Education: The Penn Program As Example," Neal Nathanson, MD, Associate Dean, Global Health Programs, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
"Empowerment: The Key To Transforming Communities - Guatemalan Experiences," Cliff O'Callahan, MD, PhD, FAAP, Pediatric Faculty, Family Practice Group; Director of Nurseries, Middlesex Hospital; Chair, AAP Section on International Child Heallth
"The International Efforts of The American Academy of Pediatrics," Cliff O'Callahan, MD, PhD, FAAP, Pediatric Faculty, Family Practice Group; Director of Nurseries, Middlesex Hospital; Chair, AAP Section on International Child Heallth
Edward O'Neil, Jr, MD, Omni Med
"The Pathophysiology of Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis and Macular Degeneration," Santa Ono, PhD, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Deputy Provost of Emory University; Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center
Robin Paetzold, MBA, Director, Global Programs, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
"Eye Care America: Providing Eye Care Needs For America's Uninsured by MDs," David J. Palmer, MD, Chair, Eye Care America-Senior Eye Care Program, American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation
Yannis Paulus, MD Candidate, Stanford University School of Medicine
"Malaria as an Obstacle to Economic Development: Fighting Malaria on the River of Life, the Value of Public Private Partnerships," Steven C. Phillips, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Global Issues and Projects, Exxon Mobil Corporation
Suzanne Rainey, Forum One Communications
Susan Reef, MD, CDC
"The Epidemiology of Human Rights," Lee Roberts, PhD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Steven Rothstein, President, Perkins School For The Blind
Lisa Russell, MPH, Filmmaker
Jinan Saaddine, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist, Vision Health Initiative Team Leader, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sarwat Salim, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Tennessee-Memphis
"Community Eye Health Program Can Improve The Quality of Life of Poor: An Action Research Study from Orissa, India," Sarang Samal, Kalinga Eye Hospital, Orissa, India
"Private Finance Models That Support Public Health Efficiency," Georgia Sambunaris, Senior Advisor to the Director, Office of Economic Growth, US Agency for International Development
Harshad Sanghvi, MD, Medical Director, JHPIEGO, Johns Hopkins University
Daniel D. Sedmak, MD, Director, Office of Global Health Education; Executive Vice Dean, College of Medicine; Executive Director, Center for Personalized Health care; Senior Associate Vice President, Office of Health Sciences, The Ohio State University
Tamilarasan Senthil, MBBS, Consulting Ophthalmologist, Uma Eye Clinic, India
"The Future of Glaucoma Surgery: Hope For The Developing World?" Bruce Shields, MD, Chair Emeritus, Yale Department of Ophthalmology
Kuldev Singh, MD, MPH, Professor of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine
Ajit Sinha, MBBS, Founder and Director, AB Eye Institute; Former President, All India Ophthalmological Society
Pooja Sinha, MBBS, Ophthalmologist, AB Eye Institute, Patna, India
"Success of Laproscopic Sterilisation in Controlling Population Growth in Eastern India: My Experience of 30 Years," Renu Sinha, MBBS, Former Head of the Obs and Gynea Department of Patna Medical College Hospital; Former President of Bihar Obs and Gynea Society
Satyajit Sinha, MBBS, Ophthalmologist, AB Eye Institute, Patna, India
Marie Skinnider, MD, Health Advisor, MSF Canada
"Overcoming Barriers to Implementation of Evidence Based Practices To Reduce Maternal Mortality in a Rural Nicaraguan Community," Janice K. Smith, MD, MPH, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Training in International Health at UTMB
Lanny Smith, MD, MPH, DTM&H, Professor of Medicine in the Residency Programs of Primary Care and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Assistant Director, Human Rights Clinic for Victims of Torture, Montefiore; Founder and President, Doctors for Global Health
Georgia Sambunaris, MA, Senior Financial Markets Specialist, USAID
Samuel So, MD, Lui Hac Minh Professor of Surgery; Director, Asian Liver Center; Director, Liver Cancer Program, Stanford University School of Medicine
"The Epidemiology of Human Rights," Lindsay Stark, Research Associate, Program on Forced Migration and Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Chris Stout, PsyD, Founding Director, Center for Global Initiatives; Clinical Professor, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago
James C. Tsai, MD, Robert R. Young Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine; Chief of Ophthalmology, Yale-New Haven Hospital
Philippe Van Denbossche, Executive Director, Raising Malawi
Anvar Velji, MD, Co-Founder and Treasurer, Global Health Education Consortium; Chief of Infectious Disease at Kaiser Permanente, South Sacramento; Clinical Professor, University of California at Davis
Seth Wanye, MD, Ophthalmologist, Eye Clinic of Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana
Tanya Whitehead, PhD, Research Associate Professor, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Dayan Woldemichael, MD, Chad Country Director, International Medical Corps
"Global Health Inequalities: Why They Matter?" David Zakus, BSc, MES, MSc, PhD, Director, Centre for International Health; Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences; Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
Debrework Zewdie, Director, Global HIV/AIDS Program of the World Bank Human Development Network World Bank

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Posted by kkowatch on September 09, 2008 at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

ARM: Be a Mentor or Mentee!

SAA's Records Management Roundtable seeks YOUR participation in SAA's Mentoring Program!

The Records Management Roundtable (RMRT) is working cooperatively with SAA's Membership Committee to partner experienced Records Managers with future leaders in the field. In order to fulfill the RMRT Steering Committee's goal of providing better professional development to its members, I am serving as a Mentoring Project Coordinator on behalf of the RMRT Membership Subcommittee. Please read on to learn how you can participate in this project's success!

A Records Management Mentor is:
- willing to offer suggestions for networking opportunities, pursuit of employment, and professional resources
- open to discussing theory and practice of the archival and RM field(s)
- interested in helping the future of RM strengthen and endure
- striving to refresh and further develop his or her own career
- eager to reap the personal and professional rewards available through the Mentoring role

A Records Management Mentee is someone who wants to explore RM as a profession or learn more about the field. Mentees may be students; archivists or other information professionals who want to learn how RM can enhance their careers; or those new to the field seeking guidance from experienced records managers.

The rest is up to you! The Mentor/Mentee partnership is what you make of it and can offer great benefits to both participants. This endeavor has already produced one successful match! If you would like to take part in this project, please provide the following information to help us develop suitable matches:

Name and contact information
Whether you want to be a Mentor or Mentee Brief synopsis of who you are and what you hope to offer or receive from the Mentoring relationship Areas of RM that interest you: academic, corporate, government, religious, museum, historical society, tribal, library, consulting, other (please specify) What you look for in a Mentor or Mentee: geographic or gender preferences, et cetera

Send this information to Katie Scanlan at and Mentor/Mentee partnerships will be recommended to you for further pursuit. The RMRT and SAA Membership Committee do not monitor or endorse Mentor/Mentee partnerships beyond this recommendation.

Thank you!

Katie Scanlan, J.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted by kkowatch on September 09, 2008 at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

Blog on What Employers are Looking for in a Great Hire

I like to feature other bloggers entries that are written about tips for the job search. Marc Andreessen, in his blog, BLOG.PMARCA.COM, features an interesting entry on what it takes to hire well. This entry can give you a heads-up on what it takes to match what employers are looking in a great employee that's going to stick-around and perform well. Enjoy!

How to hire the best people you've ever worked with
June 6, 2007

There are many aspects to hiring great people, and various people smarter than me have written extensively on the topic.

So I'm not going to try to be comprehensive.

But I am going to relay some lessons learned through hard experience on how to hire the best people you've ever worked with -- particularly for a startup.

I'm going to cover two key areas in this post:

Criteria: what to value when evaluating candidates.

And process: how to actually run the hiring process, and if necessary the aftermath of making a mistake.

Criteria first.

Lots of people will tell you to hire for intelligence.

Especially in this industry.

You will read, hire the smartest people out there and your company's success is all but guaranteed.

I think intelligence, per se, is highly overrated.

Specifically, I am unaware of any actual data that shows a correlation between raw intelligence, as measured by any of the standard metrics (educational achievement, intelligence tests, or skill at solving logic puzzles) and company success.

Now, clearly you don't want to hire dumb people, and clearly you'd like to work with smart people.

But let's get specific.

Most of the lore in our industry about the role of intelligence in company success comes from two stratospherically successful companies -- Microsoft, and now Google -- that are famous for hiring for intelligence.

Microsoft's metric for intelligence was the ability to solve logic puzzles.

(I don't know if the new, MBA-heavy Microsoft still does this, but I do know this is how Microsoft in its heyday worked.)

For example, a classic Microsoft interview question was: "Why is a manhole cover round?"

The right answer, of course, is, "Who cares? Are we in the manhole business?"

(Followed by twisting in your chair to look all around, getting up, and leaving.)

Google, on the other hand, uses the metric of educational achievement.

Have a PhD? Front of the line. Masters? Next. Bachelor's? Go to the end.

In apparent direct contraction to decades of experience in the computer industry that PhD's are the hardest people to motivate to ship commercially viable products -- with rare exception. (Hi, Tim! Hi, Diego!)

Now, on the one hand, you can't question the level of success of either company.

Maybe they're right.

But maybe, just maybe, their success had a lot to do with other factors -- say, huge markets, extreme aggressiveness, right time/right place, key distribution deals, and at least in one case, great products.

Because here's the problem: I'm not aware of another Microsoft that's been built by hiring based on logic puzzles. And I'm not aware of another Google that's been built by hiring PhD's.

So maybe there are other hiring criteria that are equally, or more, important.

Here's what I think those criteria are.

First, drive.

I define drive as self-motivation -- people who will walk right through brick walls, on their own power, without having to be asked, to achieve whatever goal is in front of them.

People with drive push and push and push and push and push until they succeed.

Winston Churchill after the evacuation of Dunkirk:

"We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

That's what you want.

Some people have it and some people don't.

Of the people who have it, with some of them it comes from guilt, often created by family pressure.

With others, it comes from a burning desire to make it big.

With others, it comes from being incredibly Type A.

Whatever... go with it.

Drive is independent of educational experience, grade point averages, and socioeconomic background.

(But Marc, isn't a 4.0 GPA a sure sign of drive? Well, it's a sign that the person is driven to succeed on predefined tests with clear criteria and a grader -- in an environment where the student's parents are often paying a lot of money for the privilege of having their child take the tests. That may or may not be the same thing as being driven to succeed in the real world.)

Drive is even independent of prior career success.

Driven people don't tend to stay long at places where they can't succeed, and just because they haven't succeeded in the wrong companies doesn't mean they won't succeed at your company -- if they're driven.

I think you can see drive in a candidate's eyes, and in a candidate's background.

For the background part, I like to see what someone has done.

Not been involved in, or been part of, or watched happen, or was hanging around when it happened.

I look for something you've done, either in a job or (often better yet) outside of a job.

The business you started and ran in high school.

The nonprofit you started and ran in college.

If you're a programmer: the open source project to which you've made major contributions.


If you can't find anything -- if a candidate has just followed the rules their whole lives, showed up for the right classes and the right tests and the right career opportunities without achieving something distinct and notable, relative to their starting point -- then they probably aren't driven.

And you're not going to change them.

Motivating people who are fundamentally unmotivated is not easy.

But motivating people who are self-motivated is wind at your back.

I like specifically looking for someone for which this job is their big chance to really succeed.

For this reason, I like hiring people who haven't done the specific job before, but are determined to ace it regardless.

I also like specifically looking for someone who comes from some kind of challenging background -- a difficult family situation, say, or someone who had to work his/her way through school -- who is nevertheless on par with his/her more fortunate peers in skills and knowledge.

Finally, beware in particular people who have been at highly successful companies.

People used to say, back when IBM owned the industry: never hire someone straight out of IBM. First, let them go somewhere else and fail. Then, once they've realized the real world is not like IBM, hire them and they'll be great.

And remember, an awful lot of people who have been at hugely successful companies were just along for the ride.

Career success is great to look for -- but it's critical to verify that the candidates out of hugely successful companies actually did what they claim in their roles at those companies. And that they really get it, that the real world is a lot tougher than being IBM in the 80's, or Microsoft in the 90's, or Google today.

Second criterion: curiosity.

Curiosity is a proxy for, do you love what you do?

Anyone who loves what they do is inherently intensely curious about their field, their profession, their craft.

They read about it, study it, talk to other people about it... immerse themselves in it, continuously.

And work like hell to stay current in it.

Not because they have to.

But because they love to.

Anyone who isn't curious doesn't love what they do.

And you should be hiring people who love what they do.

As an example, programmers.

Sit a programmer candidate for an Internet company down and ask them about the ten most interesting things happening in Internet software.

REST vs SOAP, the new Facebook API, whether Ruby on Rails is scalable, what do you think of Sun's new Java-based scripting language, Google's widgets API, Amazon S3, etc.

If the candidate loves their field, they'll have informed opinions on many of these topics.

That's what you want.

Now, you might say, Marc, that's great for a young kid who has a lot of spare time to stay current, but what about the guy who has a family and only has time for a day job and can't spend nights and weekends reading blogs and staying that current?

Well, when you run into a person like that who isn't current in their field, the other implication is that their day job isn't keeping them current.

If they've been in that job for a while, then ask yourself, is the kind of person you're looking for really going to have tolerated staying in a day job where their skills and knowledge get stale, for very long?


Remember -- because of the Internet, staying current in any field no longer costs any money.

In my experience, drive and curiosity seem to coincide pretty frequently.

The easiest way to be driven is to be in a field that you love, and you'll automatically be curious.

Third and final criterion: ethics.

Ethics are hard to test for.

But watch for any whiff of less than stellar ethics in any candidate's background or references.

And avoid, avoid, avoid.

Unethical people are unethical by nature, and the odds of a metaphorical jailhouse conversion are quite low.

Priests, rabbis, and ministers should give people a second chance on ethics -- not hiring managers at startups.

'Nuff said.

One way to test for an aspect of ethics -- honesty -- is to test for how someone reacts when they don't know something.

Pick a topic you know intimately and ask the candidate increasingly esoteric questions until they don't know the answer.

They'll either say they don't know, or they'll try to bullshit you.

Guess what. If they bullshit you during the hiring process, they'll bullshit you once they're onboard.

A candidate who is confident in his own capabilities and ethical -- the kind you want -- will say "I don't know" because they know that the rest of the interview will demonstrate their knowledge, and they know that you won't react well to being bullshitted -- because they wouldn't react well either.

Second topic: process -- how to run the hiring process.

First, have a written hiring process.

Whatever your hiring process is -- write it down, and make sure everyone has a copy of it, on paper.

It's continually shocking how many startups have a random hiring process, and as a result hire apparently randomly.

Second, do basic skills tests.

It's amazing how many people come in and interview for jobs where their resume says they're qualified, but ask them basic questions about how to do things in their domain, and they flail.

For example, test programmers on basic algorithms -- linked lists, binary searches.

Just in pseudocode -- it doesn't matter if they know the relevant Java library calls.

It does matter if they are unable to go up to the whiteboard and work their way through something that was covered in their first algorithms course.

A lot of people come in and interview for programming jobs who, at their core, can't program.

And it's such a breath of fresh air when you get someone who just goes, oh yeah, a linked list, sure, let me show you.

The same principle applies to other fields.

For a sales rep -- have them sell you on your product all the way to a closed deal.

For a marketing person -- have them whiteboard out a launch for your new product.

Third, plan out and write down interview questions ahead of time.

I'm assuming that you know the right interview questions for the role -- and frankly, if you don't, you probably shouldn't be the hiring manager for that position.

The problem I'm addressing is: most people don't know how to interview a candidate.

And even people who do know how, aren't necessarily good at coming up with questions on the fly.

So just make sure you have questions planned out and assigned to each interviewer ahead of time.

I do this myself -- always enter the room with a list of questions pre-planned -- because I don't want to count on coming up with them on the fly.

The best part is that you can then iteratively refine the questions with your team as you interview candidates for the position.

This is one of the best ways for an organization to become really good at hiring: by iterating the questions, you're refining what your criteria are -- and how you screen for those criteria.

Fourth, pay attention to the little things during the interview process.

You see little hints of things in the interview process that blow up to disasters of unimaginable proportions once the person is onboard.

Person never laughs? Probably hard to get along with.

Person constantly interrupts? Egomaniac, run for the hills.

Person claims to be good friends with someone you know but then doesn't know what the friend is currently doing? Bullshitter.

Person gives nonlinear answers to simple questions? Complete disorganized and undisciplined on the job.

Person drones on and on? Get ready for hell.

Fifth, pay attention to the little things during the reference calls.

(You are doing reference calls, right?)

Most people softball deficiencies in people they've worked with when they do reference calls.

"He's great, super-smart, blah blah blah, but..."

"Sometimes wasn't that motivated" -- the person is a slug, you're going to have to kick their rear every morning to get them to do anything.

"Could sometimes be a little hard to get along with" -- hugely unpleasant.

"Had an easier time working with men than women" -- raging sexist.

"Was sometimes a little moody" -- suffering from clinical depression, and unmedicated.

You get the picture.

Sixth, fix your mistakes fast... but not too fast.

If you are super-scrupulous about your hiring process, you'll still have maybe a 70% success rate of a new person really working out -- if you're lucky.

And that's for individual contributors.

If you're hiring executives, you'll probably only have a 50% success rate.

That's life.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is hiring poorly and doesn't realize it.

Most startups in my experience are undisciplined at fixing hiring mistakes -- i.e., firing people who aren't working out.

First, realize that while you're going to hate firing someone, you're going to feel way better after the fact than you can currently imagine.

Second, realize that the great people on your team will be happy that you've done it -- they knew the person wasn't working out, and they want to work with other great people, and so they'll be happy that you've done the right thing and kept the average high.

(The reason I say "not too fast" is because your great people are watching to see how you fire people, and if you do it too fast you'll be viewed as arbitrary and capricious -- but trust me, most startup managers do not have this problem, they have the opposite problem.)

Third, realize that you're usually doing the person you're firing a favor -- you're releasing them from a role where they aren't going to succeed or get promoted or be valued, and you're giving them the opportunity to find a better role in a different company where they very well might be an incredible star.

(And if they can't, were they really the kind of person you wanted to hire in the first place?)

One of the good things about our industry is that there are frequently lots of new jobs being created and so you're almost never pushing someone out onto the street -- so don't feel that you're dooming their families to the poorhouse, because you aren't.

You're not that important in their lives.

I can name a number of people I've fired or participated in firing who have gone on to be quite successful at other companies.

They won't necessarily talk to me anymore, though :-).

Finally, although this goes without saying: value the hell out of the great people you do have on your team. Given all of the above, they are incredibly special people.

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Posted by kkowatch on August 25, 2008 at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

Things Not to Do in Your Online Job Hunt

Great, fun article about job hunt blunders... sent from a SI Alumnus. Talks about some things never to do, and also highlights the rise of social networking sites like LinkedIn as a way to find career success in the coming years.

The Dumbest Online Job Hunt Blunders
From 'Sexpig' Applicant to YouTube Flasher, Job Hunters to Cringe Over

When Cara MacDonald placed an ad on Craigslist for an administrative assistant, the last thing she expected to get was a peep show. But that's exactly what she found when one of the job applicants sent a link to her personal Web site, complete with YouTube videos.

"Intrigued and admittedly nosy," MacDonald followed the link, horrified to find a clip of the woman dancing provocatively in a lacy lingerie top and super-short mini skirt.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

"Periodically, throughout those five minutes of disturbia, she flashes the camera, and it's 'I see London, I see France -- she's not wearing underpants!'" said MacDonald, a member services manager at, an executive job search site that caters to six-figure earners in Canada.

"I'm not sure I would even believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes. If only I could un-see it now."

Needless to say, the dancing queen wasn't contacted for an interview. After all, sex only sells if you want a job in the adult entertainment industry.

But posting suggestive videos of yourself on YouTube, filling your Facebook page with photos of your latest beer bong-a-thon, or blogging about how much you wish your current employer would implode, aren't the only ways to blow your chances of landing a new job. (Yes, Virginia, like it or not, hiring managers do Google you.)

Some digital deal breakers are less obvious. So, if you're thinking about using a personal site, an online resume, a job search site, or a social networking site to woo potential employers, listen up.

The Devil's in the Digital Details

In case no one's enlightened you, IM-speak like "would luv 2 work 4 u!" has no place in your cover letters, even those you e-mail or submit through a job search site like Monster. Same goes for smiley faces and any variation of the acronym "LOL."

But it's not just the text message set who make the mistake of letting down their digital guard while job hunting.

Nicole Cox, director of recruitment for Decision Toolbox, an online recruiting firm based in Irvine, Calif., found herself less than impressed with a candidate who entered his resume in the company's online database -- along with the username "Sexpig."

Continue reading at

Posted by kkowatch on August 01, 2008 at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

Libraries Are Hanging in There During Tough Economic Times

Last night, I was driving home and listening to NPR and they were discussing the rise in the use of public library services during these tough economic times. I thought this was great news to share with our readers! I can't say that I think that this will directly lead to an increase in hiring’s in this field (but it’s always possible), but I think that employment trends for work in public libraries will stay steady and if you already have a PL job, then I don't see it going anywhere. I certainly see a consistent number of public library positions still going out on the listservs.

This may not be as true for special libraries, but it depends on the level of public access. On the flip side, companies such home internet providers, and other online book sellers will see a direct decrease in revenue as people tighten their belts and switch to using the free services at public libraries such as newspapers, magazines, internet services, and, of course, books. On a more positive note, Joanna and I have continued to meet with and hear from many organizations – libraries and many others - in the Ann Arbor and SE Detroit area and they are looking to hire.

The whole text for this bit isn't available, but you can listen to it online on the NPR website. Link below.

Libraries Shine In Tough Economic Times
Listen Now [4 min 7 sec]

All Things Considered, July 29, 2008

With the economy slowing, many Americans are doing research in the public library. Boyd County, Ky., Library Director Debbie Cosper says public-use computers are always full and people are checking out books rather than buying them.

Posted by kkowatch on July 30, 2008 at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

SI's Own Entrepreneurs Featured in Ann Arbor News

Growing young entrepreneurs
RPM Ventures helps U-M students launch 3 businesses

by Tina Reed
Ann Arbor News
July 24, 2008

Apple's iPhone is much more than a cool gadget to Gaurav Bhatnagar, Hung Truong and Adam Torres.

This summer, the three graduate students at the University of Michigan School of Information have spent their time tinkering with computer code and mocking up sketches in an attempt to develop the next big geo-sensitive application for the iPhone.

Their business, Troubador Mobile Inc. - a rough configuration of their initials - is one of three student-launched business teams receiving venture capital help from Ann Arbor's RPM Ventures to launch business ideas this summer. The RPM-10 program, part of a partnership between the venture capital firm and the U-M engineering school's Center for Entreprenuership, gives students advice from the local business community, office space for 10 weeks and the money to get the idea off the ground.

The program is designed to get both undergraduate and graduate students thinking more about being entrepreneurs. It culminates in mid-August when the groups present their businesses to venture capitalists and the public.

"It's often entrepreneurs don't get good at this until the second, third, even fourth time they start a company,'' said Tony Grover, an RPM managing director. "It's only through people giving them the opportunity to try and figure this out that these guys get an opportunity to get better at this.''

The entrepreneurship program was modeled after similar ones around run around the country, said the center's director Thomas Zurbuchen. "For students, it is a continuation of the classroom,'' Zurbuchen said. And for RPM, "they get the first look at some potentially great companies.''

One of the other projects, Pacific Atlantic Entertainment Corp., is being built by undergrads in U-M's engineering and business schools as a campus Web service called Tradeversity to allow students to buy and sell books or find jobs.

Another project, CampusRoost Inc., is a group of three U-M engineering seniors who hope to create a one-stop Web shop for campus rentals.
They've helped about 25 incoming business students find leads on housing so far, said Jason Bornhorst, the group's chief executive officer.

"The biggest thing for all of us is, we go to work every day and we decide what we're going to do,'' Bornhorst sad. "And that's what determines our success.''

The hope from the businesses helping with the project - including Bank of Ann Arbor, Miller Canfield, McKinley real estate and Menlo Innovations software developing - is that the students will end up staying in Michigan and will build successful companies here in the future, Grover said.

"We take the long view,'' Grover said. "It might not help us today. But in five years, that's 15 student teams that might not otherwise have ever started their own business .... They're such talented people that we might've lost them to California, but this program could be the thing that keeps them here.''

For Troubador Mobile, the learn-by-doing process led its group members, who mostly have technology backgrounds, to figure out firsthand what customers want before they designed their product. They now regularly take their sketches out to passersby on the U-M Diag.

"Some of the things we thought were really cool were actually kind of creepy,'' Truong said. "But some of the things we though were kind of invasive, people were interested in.''

For example, Truong said, people weren't interested in an application that could tell users where their friends were at all times. They did like an application running in the background on the phone that could offer pop-up discounts from nearby restaurants.

The strength of the program is that it takes students without business backgrounds and teaches them the accounting, legal and market savvy elements that go into building a company, Torres said.

"For me, starting a company is such a mystifying process,'' Torres said. "I'm not the kind of person who thinks like an entrepreneur. I don't like to take financial risks. But this program seems to have brought out that entrepreneurial spirit in me."

Posted by kkowatch on July 25, 2008 at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

So You Weren't the Chosen Candidate...

Today, I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education written by a search committee member for a faculty position at a university giving the reasons that many candidates were not chosen to be hired. Often times, people are eliminated from being hired before they even open their mouth! Although the focus of this letter is on a faculty-position, the idea that a tailored and truthful job search is essential for success in your job search transcend the pursuit of any type of position. Enjoy!

The Rejection Letter I Wish I Could Send

If we had to make up a story for why you might be interested in our position, then interviewing you was too risky.


Dear Unsuccessful Applicants,

By now you are in receipt of the generic, photocopied letter indicating that our tenure-track position was filled by someone other than you. Unfortunately, our letter gives you not a smidgeon of information about why you were not that person; you are left to divine what went wrong.

Ideally, I would call each of you to explain what we found wanting in your cover letters and CV's, but I suspect my university would never approve of that plan. Still, I want to let you know why we placed your applications at the bottom of the pile.

Let me be the first to admit I am no expert on academic searches. My own job search was considered a success simply because out of 65 applications, I was rejected only 64 times. But now I am on the other side of the hiring table. So I can tell you why I didn't argue on your behalf during our lengthy search-committee meetings, and I hope that my remarks here will help some of you as a new job cycle gets under way.

No secret formula exists for securing a tenure-track job, but there certainly are things you can do to make it unlikely you'll ever get one. To my dismay, many of you did them.

Surprisingly, about half of you didn't seem to take our detailed position announcement seriously. I wrote the ad meticulously, not just because the publisher charged for each word, but because our department has particular teaching needs.

Several of you were simply unqualified for the position. A law degree is not a Ph.D., and a Ph.D. in another discipline is not equivalent to one in our field — notwithstanding one cover letter colloquially inviting us to "think outside the box" in making a hire.

A few of you had doctorates in literature, religious studies, or political science, but those degrees do not give you a professional competency to teach our classes, even in this interdisciplinary age. In another cover letter, one of you promised to enter a Ph.D. program upon being hired. Surely we are not anomalous in preferring that our colleagues begin their graduate degrees before starting employment here.

Our ad also noted that candidates had to have the Ph.D. in hand before the start of the next academic year. Some of you were very creative in omitting the fact that your dissertation was nowhere near completion; your references were not so creative.

Several of you were perceptive enough to recognize that our university's mission includes the serving of minority students. A few of you, however, spoke rather ineloquently about that fact in your cover letters. What, exactly, did you expect us to think when you said you were "comfortable having Asian students" in your classes, or that you regularly give "extra support" to African-Americans? I happen to be of minority descent, and I found the implications of your brief discussion of racial matters to be bewildering, at best.

At a small university like ours, teaching is primary. Therefore, it was not a good idea for one of you to mention your personal Web site on your CV, because when I visited it, I read the part where you described your aspiration to be an independent scholar free from the obligations of a university career. Like teaching?

As noted in our ad, we are a teaching-oriented institution with some expectation of research for all faculty members. In the end, we decided to consider only applications that listed at least one peer-reviewed article or book. That principle helped me reduce the pile. Some of you stumbled here.

Not all publications are scholarly publications. Several of you claimed articles in print but neglected to say where those articles had been published. With a little digging, some of those interesting-sounding titles turned out to be opinion essays in local newspapers or guest columns in newsletters.

Some of you had a section on your CV's titled "Publications," but you listed submissions that were only under review at prestigious journals. Since many of those journals have acceptance rates of only 3 to 5 percent, we simply could not assume that your submissions would necessarily result in publications.

While a diversity of interests surely counts for much in an application, it was not a good idea to emphasize, as one of you did, your side interest in anarchism. Academe is surprisingly full of regulations. I asked myself, "Would a self-styled anarchist show up for classes regularly, turn in grades, attend meetings promptly, exhibit customary civility, and fulfill other expected academic obligations?"

Many of you did not tell us why you were applying for our assistant-professor job. To those full professors who applied, we were complimented that you assumed we possessed the rhetorical powers to persuade the administration to change the search in medias res. If you truly were willing to start over here at the assistant-professor level, you should have explained that in your cover letter. Perhaps your family lives near here? Such an explanation might have persuaded us to interview you.

Then there were several deans who applied for our position. Perhaps you wanted to return to full-time teaching, or maybe you just saw our position as a stepping-stone to a deanship here? You didn't say.

Similarly, for those tenured professors at more prestigious universities and elite colleges who applied, we had to wonder why you would be interested in coming to teach at our institution. In the absence of a stated reason, it seemed to me that you were just fishing for an offer that you could use as leverage to get a raise at your home institution. Some indication of your motives would have led us to give your applications more consideration.

In short, if we had to make up a story for why you were interested in our position, then interviewing you was too risky. There were many other applicants who stated in concrete terms why they wanted to teach on our campus. Here's the moral of all this: Every cover letter should state precisely and persuasively why the applicant is seeking the job.

A few of you seemed quite excited about fonts in your applications. I must tell you that wildly underlining or bolding phrases, or occasionally changing the font size for keywords, does not betoken professionalism. When I encountered such cover letters, it was hard not to hear the intonation of a desperate sales rep trying a bit too hard to close a deal.

Additionally, we set aside a few applications with cover letters that came across as arrogant. One of you stated that you considered yourself to be one of the few instructors in the country qualified to teach in our discipline. We couldn't help wonder how you would feel about your colleagues if we were to hire you.

Our job ad carefully explained that we are a religiously affiliated institution. Omitting any recognition of that fact in your cover letter wasn't a deal-breaker, but I wondered how well you knew our institution. Some of you discussed our religious affiliation, but it came off sounding like you didn't mind that we were religious, or you were congratulating us that we happened to hold some beliefs that you happened to hold. Letters of that sort raised all sorts of red flags about whether you would be a good fit here.

I should state openly that I tried to find out as much as I could about you by consulting the modern oracle Google. Yes, I did find those pages about you. You're surprised? At a university like ours, we have to be careful about whom we bring into our community. And yes, I did see the photos. When I also found all of your rantings — political, religious, autobiographical, and otherwise — I wondered whether you would say such things in classes to our students.

Perhaps you are reading all of this, and even though you didn't commit any of the application sins I have mentioned above, you still received our bland rejection letter. If that is the case, take heart. Your application survived several rounds of paring, and you know how to prepare a strong package. In the end, we had a handful of well-qualified applicants with only one job opening.

When we hire again in the new academic year, I will send you an e-mail message encouraging you to apply again. In the best-case scenario, you'll be able to respond and then reject me, saying you've already secured a tenure-track position.


A Search Committee Member

Clement Vincent is the pseudonym of an assistant professor of philosophy at a university in the Midwest.

Posted by kkowatch on July 24, 2008 at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

The Rise of Health Informatics

For those readers that are exploring different information-related industries... health informatics is on the rise.

Baby Boomers Fuel Thriving Health Industry
Bright Economic Picture, but High Medical Costs Hurt Consumers


July 17, 2008 —

Americans accustomed in recent months to a daily dose of gloomy economic news may find a silver lining in the health care industry as aging baby boomers fuel demand for drugs, health services and medical supplies, boosting the companies that make them.

Employers and investors have fought for relief this year as housing prices fall, gasoline and food prices rise and credit and financial markets continue struggle for stability.

But health care, which today makes up 16 percent of gross national product, three times as much as in 1960, according to Kaiser Foundation, is one of a handful of sectors like mining, farming and natural resources to thus weather the economic storm.

While some experts fear rising costs for drugs and services could eventually mean bad news for individual Americans, small business and government spending, the thriving health care industry is welcome news for company profits and many investors.

Companies like Johnson & Johnson, the biotechnology company Genentech and Abbott Laboratories saw big second-quarter profit gains. And the sector has steadily created new jobs during the past year.

The quickening economic strides come as more Americans are slowing down and getting older, but also living longer.

The number of Americans over the age of 45 has jumped from 77 million in 1990 to about 112 million people in 2006, according to AARP, the organization that advocates the rights of older people.

And according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, the average American spends $7,000 annually on health care, much of that coming from growing millions of baby boomers approaching old age. "As baby boomers we have more access to health care," said Oscar Gonzalez, economist for John Hancock. "We are living longer, we use it more and we demand more from the system. You can have every kind of test from an MRI to replacement of hips and joints."

Drug Profits Soar

It's been a steady earnings season for many of the companies that make medical products.

Health care giant Johnson & Johnson posted an 8 percent jump in their second-quarter profits, with a boost coming from the new non-prescription allergy pill, Zyrtec, new Acuvue contact lenses for astigmatism and surgical products for treating obesity.

Sales of medical devices and diagnostics, led by joint replacements and diabetes and vision care items, jumped 12 percent.

"The penetration of drugs has increased, so more are available," said John Hancock's Gonzalez. "How can you blame us when they do us good? Why not take them?"

Genentech, the biotech firm, saw second quarter profits rise 5 percent due to strength from its blockbuster cancer drugs. The company added breast cancer to its list of uses for its drug Avastin earlier this year, in addition to colon and lung cancer, resulting in a 15 percent sales increase.

Sales of Rituxan, which treats non-Hodgkin lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, gained 12 percent.

And Abbott Laboratories Inc. announced a 34 percent jump, driven by robust international sales of its arthritis drug Humira and other medical products and its cholesterol pill Niaspan.

Health Care Jobs Booming

Along with the steady demand for health care products, the industry seems to be bucking the employment tide.

Total U.S. job losses for the first six months of the year have hit 438,000, with an average of 73,000 jobs lost each month, many in construction, manufacturing and employment services. Construction alone has lost 528,000 jobs since its peak in September 2006

But job openings in the health care field continue to grow, according a July 3 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since June 2007, health care has added 348,000 jobs. In June alone, 15,000 jobs were added in the field, 13,000 in ambulatory services.

Meanwhile, financial planners say health care companies are a good investment in bad economic times.

"I don't want to be giving stock tips," said Mark Johannessen, president of the national Financial Planning Association. "But for a long term investor, related stocks in the pharmaceutical industry and extended-care facilities are a reasonable place to be, especially if you take into account the baby boomers and their medical needs when they come of age."

Johannessen advises following tried-and-true investment rule of diversifying your portfolio, but he added that mutual funds that specialize in health care issues are a good bet.

Offering Second Careers

The burgeoning industry also offers job opportunities for baby boomers, many of whom are staying in the work place longer or returning to second-career jobs in health care after retirement, according to AARP, the organization that advocates for the rights of older Americans.

"But this positive economic news is not necessarily a good sign," AARP spokesman Jim Dau told

AARP commissioned a nationwide survey to determine how people age 45 and older were responding to the current economic slowdown. It found that 17 percent of younger boomers  ages 45 to 54  were making cutbacks on their medications because of the economic downturn.

Taking those types of medical shortcuts can have long-term medical and financial consequences, according to Dau.

There are also concerns that the growing acceptance and array of medical choices could lead to difficult economic decisions that don't always pay off in better health.

"Health care costs are exploding, and it has a huge impact on individuals, employers and government spending. This is the biggest issue we are looking at for the next administration," Dau said.

"The health care system's rapid adoption of emerging medical technologies has, in many instances, provided enormous clinical benefits, such as prolonged life and improved quality of life," according to a recent Congressional Budget Report.

Those technologies come at a price.

"Newer, more expensive diagnostic or therapeutic services are sometimes used in cases in which older, cheaper alternatives could offer comparable outcomes for patients," it said. "And expensive services that are known to be highly effective in some patients are occasionally used for other patients for whom clinical benefits have not been rigorously demonstrated."

'Walking a Thin Line'

The companies reaping profits say the effective and cost-conscious delivery of medical care is on their agenda as well.

"Access to health care is a critical issue to the country, and we are working with our industry peers to develop programs and make it more affordable through patient assistant programs and sensitive pricing," Johnson & Johnson Corporate Communications Director Bill Price told

Still, Gonzalez says Americans should not get too excited about the strong health care indicators, despite the bright  albeit short-term  investment and employment opportunities.

"The truth is on both sides," said Gonzalez. "Clearly, people are living longer. At the same time, there are more types of treatment available and new drugs that are costly to develop. Some of the costs come through increased profit, but over a long period of time, consumers, patients, Medicaid and Medicare absorb the costs.

"We are walking a thin line."

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

Posted by kkowatch on July 17, 2008 at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

Article: Every User Deserves a Personalized Interface

From the Chronicle of Higher Education...

Every User Deserves a Personalized Interface
July 16, 2008

One size does not fit all, at least when it comes to user interface design. Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a system to automatically generate interfaces that fit the users’ vision and motor abilities, making clicking easier.

In a paper presented yesterday at the meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the researchers described a system, dubbed Supple, that puts each user through a test of mouse pointing, dragging and clicking skills. The system then assesses the person’s performance and automatically generates a personalized interface that improves the user’s performance when using a specific program. This is particularly useful for people who have trouble controlling a mouse or a pointer, such as disabled and elderly people.

Thus, Supple will build an interface with larger buttons and expanded lists for users with cerebral palsy, who move cursors spastically. If the user suffered muscular dystrophy and had trouble in moving the cursor, the system would generate an interface with smaller buttons and a condensed layout.

Supple can reduce the performance gap between people with disabilities and those users who don’t have any by 62 percent. Disabled users also say they prefer the custom-made interfaces, a University of Washington’s press release says.
—Maria José Viñas

Posted by kkowatch on July 17, 2008 at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

The "Other" Jobs on iTrack

For everyone that has an iTrack account with SI, when searching for jobs, you may have noticed that under the Jobs tab, there are two choices:

-- iTrack Jobs
-- Posted Jobs (but not specific to SI).

Obviously, the iTrack jobs are the main ones you should be looking at. These are jobs that our recruiting partners (4235 companies, but who's counting?) post for you to apply to and also some jobs that our staff pulls and adds to iTrack. But what are these Posted Jobs?

SI contracts iTrack from a professional organization called NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) who contracts the software from a vendor called Symplicity.

Formerly, the jobs posted in the "Posted Jobs" section came from CareerBuilder. We had the option to approve the ones that we thought were relevant to SI students and alumni interests. All others would be not approved and thus went to the Posted Jobs section.

Today, I received an email that notified us that the relationship with CareerBuilder has been discontinued, but replaced with something even better. Here's the message we received from our NACELink contact:

"I am writing to inform you that CareerBuilder has discontinued their previous feed to NACElink CSM sites, and the link has been removed from your instance.

However, the good news is that your students already have access to those job listings through our partnership with DirectEmployers Association (DEA). The DEA site has partnerships with individual member companies and other job indexing sites like: Indeed, SimplyHired and Google. Through those indexes the CareerBuilder jobs are represented. In total there are millions of jobs that can be searched on by your students/alumni through the NACELink Extended Job Search."

If you are curious about other schools that use this system, you can see them all at:

I've always been a big fan of the index job search sites such as SimplyHired and Jobster. So, this is good news and we should be seeing more jobs that fall under the "NACELink Multi-School Postings" category that are relevant to your interests and career pursuits.

Posted by kkowatch on July 16, 2008 at 04:36 PM | Comments (1)

SI Careers Blog Ranked #10 Career Services Blog

I recently was notified by a fellow job search blogger, that he ranked our SI Career Blog #10 of all university career services blogs! I'm pretty excited about this -- and it encourages me to continue posting interesting and relevant articles and tips for our readers.

See the link here (and the opening text below) to read about our blog and the other top 10!

Top 10 College Career Services Blogs
Posted by Willy Franzen on Monday, June 30, 2008

A lot of people ask us, “Where do you find all the companies and jobs that you write about?? We’ve already told you about how we use Google, magazine lists, and television to find jobs, but we have a few other tricks up our sleeves as well. One is blogs - we use them a lot. Some of the most useful blogs are those published by career services offices at colleges and universities. They’re full of great tips and excellent entry-level job and internship opportunities. Although the blogs are usually geared towards the students of the school, they’re open to the public.

All of the sites we’ve included on our list of the Top 10 College Career Service Blogs are of great quality, but there weren’t too many blogs that we left off the list. That begs the question: Why aren’t more career services offices blogging? Is it lack of student interest? Many career services offices offer newsletters through e-mail, and some of these are published online, but why not use a blog for updates? It’s really easy to do, and it’s a much more flexible form of communication. We hope to see more career services offices pick up blogging. They can take a lead from the blogs listed below.

Posted by kkowatch on June 30, 2008 at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

CV Critique Day at The Career Center

Your CV is usually the first chance a search committee has to assess your candidacy for an academic job, so you'll want your document to be as strong as possible. Our CV Critique Day offers individual feedback on your document. Contact our Information Desk at 734-764-7460 to schedule your half-hour appointment:

Monday, July 14
12:00-2:00 p.m.
The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

Posted by kkowatch on June 27, 2008 at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Calling all Current and Future Records Managers!

From the SAA Student Discussion List....

Are you involved in a records management-related project?
Are you a recent graduate of a records management program?

If yes, please send your news to Debra Kimok for inclusion in the July issue of The Records Manager, newsletter of the SAA Records Management Roundtable (RMRT).

We'd also like to know if you are a student of records management, or interested in records management, and are attending the SAA annual conference in San Francisco.
The RMRT annual meeting wiki page is

Tiny URL for the above:

Past issues of The Records Manager can be found at

Debra Kimok

Editor, The Records Manager

Posted by kkowatch on June 24, 2008 at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

Employers@SI Recruiter on NPR!

Much to my surprise, I was listening to NPR on the way to work on Wednesday (6.18.08) morning, and I heard a discussion about a company that has software that can review huge amounts of electronic correspondence and use it as evidence. As I listened, I immediately knew that the company was Cataphora and the speaker was Elizabeth Charnock, CEO of Cataphora. In the fall of 2007, SI Careers hosted Ms. Charnock, a UM alumnus, as a recruiter at SI. She did a impressive presentation on her company which resulted in the recruitment of at least one of our students. If you are interested in learning more about Cataphora please contact SI Careers. Please see below for the commentary from the NPR discussion:

Investigating Employees' E-Mail Use

Morning Edition, June 18, 2008 · Co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Elizabeth Charnock, CEO of Cataphora. The California-based firm helps companies in legal matters by investigating patterns of employee e-mail use.

The E-Mail Age
E-Mail at Work: Tips to Keep You Out of Trouble
by Heidi Glenn

Ever wonder whether your boss is looking over your shoulder as you write e-mails from work? You're not being paranoid. Companies large and small have turned to monitoring employee e-mail, looking for everything from proprietary data leaks to cyberslacking.

E-mail creates the electronic equivalent of DNA evidence, according to the ePolicy Institute, which conducted, along with the American Management Association, surveys of e-mail monitoring among U.S companies. That means your electronic paper trail can be restored and reviewed — and can also be retrieved as part of a future lawsuit's discovery process.

Here are some suggestions on how to e-mail without worry.

Expect Zero Privacy. Employers are increasingly monitoring staff e-mails, instant messages and Internet usage. According to a 2007 American Management Association survey of 304 U.S. companies, 43 percent of employers store and review employees' e-mail messages. Nearly 30 percent of them have fired workers for e-mail misuse — for violating company policy, for using inappropriate or offensive language, for excessive personal use, and for breach of confidentiality. So unless your company states otherwise, assume your employer is monitoring your workplace communications, including e-mails and IMs, according to Sharon Nelson, head of Sensei Enterprises, a computer forensics and data recovery company in Fairfax, Va. Nelson suggests that before you hit send, conduct this three-part test: imagine your e-mail in a major newspaper, imagine your mom reading it and imagine it winding up on a billboard along the highway. "If it passes these tests, then it's fine," Nelson says.

How Do They Do It? Computer monitoring takes several forms. Most employers use software to automatically monitor e-mail, but many hire staff to read and review chunks of random e-mail, the survey found. Time stamps allow employers to gauge time spent on personal e-mail. And if you're afraid your boss may have it out for you, be careful: she could be monitoring your e-mail for when you slip up. So avoid using obscene, pornographic, sexual, harassing, discriminatory, defamatory, menacing or threatening language — anything that could make you a liability in your employer's eyes.

Will I know? Not generally. Two states — Connecticut and Delaware — require that employers notify employees when they're being monitored. And while an alert at log-in is a best practice for all companies, monitoring e-mail is generally unregulated. Besides, Nelson says, it's a universal given that the computer you work on is your employer's equipment. That has been "tested in the courts over and over again. It's their equipment. It's their right" to monitor. As head of Sensei, she says "I even assume I'm monitored" by Sensei's vice president of technology.

G-Mail Is No Refuge. Employers can still recover and read Internet-based e-mail like Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail when it's opened from a work-based computer. That's because the e-mail is saved to your local, company-owned hard drive. For this reason, personal e-mail from your attorney opened on your company's computer may result in waiving the attorney-client privilege.

But I Hit Delete! Computer forensics firms like Sensei can recover work e-mails that you thought you deleted. Over time, e-mail is overwritten from your work's server, but don't expect to know whether it's an e-mail from five days ago or five years ago, Nelson says. She recalls a case involving three stockbrokers who claimed they did not leave with the company database when they separated from their employer.Their e-mail logs indeed said the information had been deleted just before they left, but there was also evidence that their Palm Pilots had been synced up to their computers and, sure enough, forensics discovered the database on their handheld devices.

Disclaimers Aren't Worth a Darn. Most experts agree the sometimes ridiculously long disclaimers at the bottom of e-mails are worthless, Nelson says. "They're rote. Nobody's reading them." However, she adds, a lawyer may tell you to include them on your e-mails anyway.

Avoid the AutoComplete. One of the most frequent e-mail blunders is the AutoComplete function featured in programs such as Microsoft Outlook. AutoComplete predicts the e-mail address as you type, and if you're not careful, your message could wind up in a very different inbox than the one you intended. Case in point: the New York Times broke a story early this year that Eli Lilly and Co. was in settlement talks with the government after a lawyer associated with the company accidentally e-mailed confidential information to a Times reporter instead of to her colleague with a similar name. Either double-check that your e-mail's recipient is who you intend, or try disabling your AutoComplete function.

Watch out for copyrighted material. You wouldn't make photocopies of a chapter of a book and distribute them, would you? Same goes for electronic publications. So watch out before you send your co-workers and friends a magazine article that your company subscribes to. Say, for example, your company of a few hundred has only a handful of subscriptions to a magazine, but an article is distributed companywide. The publisher is losing out on all that subscription revenue, and your company could be liable. And if the publisher sued, your forwarded e-mails would be discoverable (and your company may be scanning your e-mail to head off potential copyright infringement lawsuits). Kim Jessum, an intellectual property attorney with Stradley Ronon in Philadelphia, suggests that before forwarding articles, find out what's permissible under the contract with the publisher: Your contract may allow for printing rights, which means you can make a printout copy of the article available to staff.

National Public Radio featured a week-long series on email usage and ideas. See below for the topics and links to the articles.

Monday - E-Mail Sins, Horror Stories and Strategies
Tuesday - by Yuki Noguchi
Wednesday - E-Mail at Work: Tips to Keep You Out of Trouble by Heidi Glenn

Posted by kkowatch on June 19, 2008 at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)

Think Social Networking is Good For You? Maybe Not!

Link to* to view a great podcast by Valdis Krebs (the long-term innovator in Social Network Analysis), in which he describes how social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are silos that can actually cut us off from our social networks.

Posted by kkowatch on June 16, 2008 at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Skills Needed To Get the Job -- Students Not Trained on The Job Anymore

IBM’s answer to IT skills crunch: Woo students
Reaches out to colleges with Web tools for honing IT skills
By John Cox , Network World , 06/13/2008

Go to to read the article at NetworkWorld and to access all the included links.

As part of an expanded outreach to college IT students, IBM is releasing a set of Web-based tools and resources to help them hone marketable skills in the fastest-growing IT job opportunities.

IBM is adding a section to the Web site of its long-standing Academic Initiative program, which until now has focused mainly on working with faculties who teach IT and IT-related courses. The new section is designed for students, with tutorials, games, skills assessments and online forums that can supplement, and be incorporated with, regular college and university courses.

“Our key concern is the ‘skills pipeline,’? says Kevin Faughnan, an IBM veteran who’s been director of the company’s Academic Initiative since 2004. The mega-trends of globalization and services-oriented economies are made possible by information technology, creating a growing U.S. and global demand for IT skills, he says. "The information system -- the hardware and software and networking ‘complex’ -- is what’s driving the services-oriented businesses,? he says. “They need young workers who have the skills to continue innovating."

And these companies can no longer afford the lengthy and costly internal training programs that have been standard features of the business landscape, according to Faughnan. Young workers need to be productive sooner, with skills that are ready to be used. (Read “Wanted: 10 IT skills employers need today.)

College and university faculty understand this, Faughnan says. And the expanded Web resources are part of IBM’s commitment to facilitate this skills development in colleges and universities, in conjunction with the company’s existing collaboration with faculties.

But the nature of these skills and the role they play in the developing global economy mean that IT skills are no longer limited to IT professionals, but become an important, even essential, part of other business disciplines such as marketing, accounting, security and business process re-engineering. So IBM’s outreach extends beyond computer science departments to include areas such as business.

Brandeis International Business School, part of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., is using IBM’s 3-D video game, Innov8, unveiled last November, as a complementary tool for teaching business process management. In the game, a student becomes an outside consultant working with a company to re-engineer a business process in its call center, says Preeta Banerjee, assistant professor of strategy at the school.

It takes one to two hours to go through the scenario, and students write up and then talk over their impressions and reactions. As members of the Academic Initiative program, Banerjee and other faculty have taken students to IBM’s Lexington campus to meet with employees whose job is re-designing business processes. IBM says about 100 institutions of all types and sizes are now using Innov8.

IBM has keyed many of the new student resources to emerging skills that are in high demand. Many of these are in Web services and Web application development, database, and open source programming.

The new Web resources fall into seven broad areas, accessible via an extension to the IBM Web site –

* Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME), an emerging discipline that combines works in science, engineering and business management, intended to equip students to work in a new class of jobs, such as environmental engineering, that need a multidisciplinary expertise.

* Database technology, a package of information tools, dubbed DB2 Express-C, including free software downloads, access to a tech support forum, and publications and materials for preparing for certification exams.

* For Web 2.0 development, the new site offers WebSphere sMash, which includes scripting runtimes such as Groovy and PHP, software, and access to an online development community at

* Web server technology, a battery of education and development resources around IBM’s downloadable lightweight Java application server, WebSphere Application Server Community Edition, based on the open source code delivered in Apache Geronimo.

* “Team-based development? with IBM’s just-unveiled Team Concert, a portal that keeps development teams in sync, based on IBM’s Jazz collaboration platform for distributed software development. Team Concert is a free download, and students can join the online community.

* Enterprise systems, a group of tools around emerging large-systems computing models and issues, such as the new data center, virtualization, “green IT,? and cloud computing. One element is mainframe “games? hosted on the 3-D virtual site, Second Life.

* Skills certification and job opportunity database: faculty members who are members of the Academic Initiative can request 50% discounts for their students on almost 50 IBM software and hardware certification tests. Students who pass these tests can post their résumés on the Student Opportunity Systems, a database accessed by IBM customers and business partners around the world.

BM’s Faughnan likes to quote former University of North Carolina Professor Daniel Reed, now with Microsoft Research, that IT is “the Liberal Arts of the 21st century.? “A lot of people consider [all] this as vocational training,? Faughnan says. “The truth is that this kind of education is pervasively relevant.?

Posted by kkowatch on June 16, 2008 at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Boost Your Career

Posted by: Logan Kugler
On: 06/10/2008 09:54:29
In: Information Technology

How to make LinkedIn work for you

As far as I'm concerned, LinkedIn is the single greatest networking tool in the world - ever. The problem is, not everyone knows how to use it to their advantage. Of all the people I've talked to about LinkedIn, most acknowledge that they're a member but only a handful are actually getting value out of the networking website. Most signed up because a friend sent them an invite and haven't really given it a second thought since.

The reality is, with more than 20 million business professionals on LinkedIn, you're missing out on countless business opportunities and the chance to build long-lasting relationships. Here are ten ways to get the ball rolling.

1. Your LinkedIn Profile = Your Resume
Instead of having a dedicated website with your resume, use LinkedIn to double as your online resume. Not only does it offer a world of more information that puts you ahead in the minds of employers, but it also boosts confidence in your credibility and can act like a qualified reference all by itself. Understand though that you need to put a reasonable amount of effort into creating an effective profile. Here Guy Kawasaki offers a primer on what it takes:

2. Increase Your Visibility
Every minute LinkedIn is used a resource to find qualified people to hire or do business with. By adding the right keywords in your profile (such as the words someone would probably use to search for someone with your expertise) you're much more likely to appear at the top of search results. My LinkedIn profile is a good example of this (note all of the references to the areas of writing I specialize in):

3. Grow Your Network Fast
Expanding the size of your network is a snap. Aside from being able to easily import your entire address book from most email clients and automatically view who is a LinkedIn member, you can search for other members by companies you used to work for, people you used to work with, and people who went to school with you. In order to use LinkedIn to its full potential, you should have at least 50 first degree connections.

4. Ask For Advice
Recently, LinkedIn added a feature called LinkedIn Answers and it's phenomenally useful. It allows you to ask virtually any business-related question across the collective knowledge of both your network and the greater LinkedIn network. For example, here are some questions that were recently answered:

• What should a presentation about a major acquisition include?
• How do I set a retainer fee for my consulting business?
• Which slogan do you like most?
• What should we pay a Chief Strategy Officer?

Its uses are infinite from anything to starting your own business to getting help with a marketing proposal to finding a mentor.

5. Migrate Into a New Job
When starting a new job, you're often treading into unknown territory. To help familiarize yourself with the company and your new co-workers, you can use LinkedIn to study their profiles and get to know them better, maybe even send them a quick note letting them know that you're looking forward to working with them.

6. Fill-in Your Business Trip
Have a business trip scheduled for Atlanta and Chicago next week but have some time in-between meetings? Using LinkedIn, you can search your network for connections local to your destination(s) and then reach out to those people to meet for a power lunch or quick meeting to put faces to name, suggests Eric Butow, CEO of Butow Communications Group and author of the upcoming book How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn (September 2008; $19.95).

7. Learn More About New Contacts
Say you have a meeting scheduled with John Smith tomorrow morning but don't know anything about him besides that's he's the VP of business development for XYZ Corporation. Using LinkedIn, you might find out that you went to the same school or share similar interests, giving you a number of creative ways to break the ice.

8. Accelerate Sales Delivery
When a client drops a large project on your plate that requires skills beyond the scope of your team's abilities, LinkedIn is a great resource for finding top subcontractors to outsource parts of the project to. "With LinkedIn, you can find partners who have the skills you need to deliver a complete solution for a client," says Butow.

9. Research a Potential Employer
If you're thinking about working at a particular company, LinkedIn offers some unique statistics. By clicking on the company name in someone's profile, you're brought to a page that will show you a list of all of the employees working for that company on LinkedIn, LinkedIn members that were newly hired by the company, recent promotions, and key info like the size of the company, when it was founded, and the average age of employees. Uniquely, it will also show the common career path of where former employees ventured to next and which companies current employees are most connected to. You can also learn who previously held the position you're currently applying for. Here is TechCareer's parent company's company page:

10. Farm References
Everyone wants testimonials, but sometimes they can be difficult to obtain. Not only does LinkedIn make it much easier to ask a former co-worker or boss for a "recommendation," but it's also a whole lot easier for whoever you're asking to give you one because assuming they enjoyed working with you, writing a testimonial on LinkedIn only takes a few minutes. Moreover, it has an even greater impact than one just stuck in your resume because it's visible to the world and it's interchangeable so you can copy and paste your LinkedIn recommendations into your resume as well.

Posted by kkowatch on June 11, 2008 at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

Ann Arbor's Pure Visibility Hires 3 SI Alums...

Pure Visibility adds an Information Superhighway Tour Guide, an Analytics Muse, and a User Experiologist

May 23, 2008 - Ann Arbor, MI - Leading internet marketing company Pure Visibility, Inc., has grown its team with three new hires: Analytics Muse Jessica Hullman, Information Superhighway Tour Guide Jason Young, and User Experiologist Michael Beasley.

About Jason Young, Information Superhighway Tour Guide
Jason earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Temple University and came to the University of Michigan School of Information for his Master’s Degree in Library and Information Services. As an AdWords-certified librarian and web junkie, Jason cares a lot about information resources that meet people’s needs.

About Jessica Hullman, Analytics Muse
Jessica is tied for the most degreed person at Pure Visibility. She has two Master’s degrees, one from Naropa University in Writing and Poetics, and another in Information Analysis and Retrieval from the University of Michigan School of Information. She brings her creativity and writing skills in addition to her deep understanding of information design, web analytics, and data visualization to add to Pure Visibility’s quantitative user experience and web analytics team.

About Michael Beasley, User Experiologist
Mike completed his education at the University of Michigan School of Information, where he earned his Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction. Before that, he earned his undergraduate degree in English and Music at the University of Michigan. Mike was previously a usability engineer at Compuware and at Thomson Gale. Mike is currently president of the Michigan chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Organization and Associate Content Editor for UX Magazine.

About Pure Visibility

Pure Visibility is an Internet marketing firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, specializing in Web site optimization and pay-per-click management. Founded in 2005, Pure Visibility helps national and local companies increase their visibility on the Web with its “Own Page One? strategy, which combines multiple forms of online marketing and web analytics to generate business and competitive advantage for their customers. Pure Visibility’s owners have been search engine marketing experts since 1997. Their company has continued leadership in the field of search engine marketing by employing one of the first 100 Google AdWords certified professionals in the world, and Pure Visibility is now a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant. Pure Visibility has recently been recognized for its growth by the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center awards.

Posted by kkowatch on June 11, 2008 at 11:25 AM | Comments (3)

This Summer at The Career Center for Graduate Students

Summer is often an important time for career exploration and decision-making, and beginning a job search. Wherever you are in your process, The Career Center is here to support you. Whether you are clarifying your plans or beginning to take action steps, we offer a range of services and resources to help you along the way. This Summer at The Career Center highlights a number of ways to connect with our office during the next few months.

View This Summer at:

We hope to see you at The Career Center as your summer progresses!
Tom Lehker
Senior Assistant Director,
Graduate Student Services
The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316

Click below to read the events being offered.

Connecting with The Career Center over the Summer

The Career Center is open throughout the summer, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Career advising is available Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Friday 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. These 20 minute sessions can get you started with our office, or help with specific needs such as a resume or cover letter critique. Call 734-764-7460 to reserve your time.

Career counseling is available by appointment throughout the summer. Stop by our Information Desk or call 734-764-7460 to schedule a time to meet with a member of our Graduate Student Team. Half-hour and hour appointments can help with the full range of career planning and job search needs.

Academic Job Search Strategies and Resources: Sciences and Engineering

Are you planning to launch an academic job search in the fall? The summer is often a critical time for those planning to be on the market next year. To help you prepare for the academic job search, plan to attend this session. Come learn tips and strategies from UM faculty who have been through the process as both candidates and committee members. The panel will include representatives from Engineering, PIBS and The Career Center.

Academic Job Search Strategies and Resources:
Sciences and Engineering
Tuesday, June 17
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Room 2710 Furstenberg Student Study Center,
Buhl Building (2nd Floor Taubman)

Academic Job Search Strategies and Resources: Humanities and Social Sciences

Are you planning to launch an academic job search in the Fall? The summer is often a critical time for those planning to be on the market next year. To help you prepare for the academic job search, plan to attend this session. Come learn tips and strategies from faculty who have been through the process as both candidates and committee members.

Academic Job Search Strategies and Resources: Humanities and Social Sciences
Thursday, June 19
12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

Career Assessment “Tests?

There really is no such thing as a career test with right or wrong answers, or that indicates the best career. However, The Career Center does offer a variety of self-assessment instruments to help you build your list of career possibilities and assist you in making informed career decisions. Visit our web page to learn more about the career assessment tools that we offer.

CV Critique Days

Your CV is usually the first chance a search committee has to assess your candidacy for an academic job, so you’ll want your document to be as strong as possible. Our CV Critique Days offer individual feedback on your document. Contact our Information Desk at 734-764-7460 to schedule your half hour appointment:

Monday, July 14, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 24, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, August 12, 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Posted by kkowatch on June 10, 2008 at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

Department of State U.S. Student Fulbright Award

Have you considered applying for a Department of State U.S. Student Fulbright Award? Grants provide round-trip airfare, a stipend and health insurance for approximately nine months for U.S. citizens to study, conduct research, to teach English, or to work in the creative and performing arts in over 100 countries.

To apply for this program through the University of Michigan, applicants must (a) be U-M students, alumni or staff; (b) be U.S. citizens; (c) have completed an undergraduate degree by the beginning of the award; and (d) demonstrate the language skills necessary to complete the proposed project.

Candidate and project eligibility vary by participating country, and applicants can usually only apply to one country. Please see complete program and application information on-line at Please note: as with all universities, the U-M application deadline is significantly earlier than the “at-large? deadline listed on this website.

The application deadline is noon on Wednesday, September 10 – 2008 for awards which will begin approximately a year later. Applicants must submit one copy of their (a) application form (signed), (b) project proposal (maximum length: 2 pages, single-spaced 12-pt. font), (c) personal statement (maximum length: 1 page, single-spaced, 12-pt. font), (d) official transcript for all undergraduate and graduate work, and (e) original or faxed letter(s) of affiliation (if any). (f) Three letters of recommendation must be submitted through the Embark application system, as well (see instructions on the web site).

Information Sessions will be held at the International Institute, School of Social Work Building (on the corner of East and South University), in room 2609 (second floor) on the following days and times:

Tuesday, June 10th at noon

The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the Department of State U.S. Student Fulbright Program. At the University of Michigan, the program is administered by the International Institute. Please email your questions to Fulbright Program Advisor, Amy Kehoe at

Posted by kkowatch on June 09, 2008 at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

Accept A Job and Keep Looking - Ethical or No? You Decide

A recent listserv discussion posted this question/scenario to a listserv and gathered the following responses on whether or not its ethical to accept a job offer and then continue to interview and ultimately accept another job offer. (FYI - Our policy here at SI Careers is that it is not ethical to do so). But, you'll see that the opinions on this topic vacillate widely! Its an interesting debate to consider from all perspectives.


I have a disturbing situation I would like your help with - I'm not exactly sure how to handle this. One of our '08 grads just accepted a job offer a week or so ago, through one of our vendor partners. He then received a call to interview with another company that has recruited through our school rather heavily in the past (5 of our alumni work there). He told them he had accepted another offer and they asked him to stop by anyway and talk about future possibilities. He agreed to the meeting,

Long story short, the 2nd company, knowing full well that he had accepted another offer, gave him an offer anyway, for $10000 more than the first company.

He wants to take that 2nd offer and we have been extremely firm with him, counseling him that under no circumstances should he do so. We can only counsel him though - we can't force his hand, although I would like to.

How would you suggest we handle this situation with both of the companies? Should we cut off all ties with the company that acted so unethically? Should we report that company to our recruitment vendor (I don't think they are a member)? Have you had this situation happen before, and if so, how did you handle it?


I agree with you. Competition is great but when a recruiter knows an offer has been extended and accepted, I have a problem with that. I think we (career srvicews staff) are bound by morals, ethics and our recruiting vendor's policies. I think many recruiters feel that the students have to do their part to be ethical but they can do whatever it take to meet the goal. I have heard several professionals from Business and Engineering fields who would see no issue with what that recruiter did. I think simply letting that recruiter know that he put the student and your institution in an awkward situation may be all that you can do. Remind the recruiter that the student is going to renege and that other company may call and share that with you and ask you to address it. The recruiter with the higher offer would probably be upset if the shoe was on the other foot. There is really not a whole lot you can do.


I'm curious about what's unethical regarding the employer's behavior. I thought I'd share another perspective of this - maybe more from the "other side" of the table. I don't think it's an ideal situation, but unethical? There are times when a competitive job market allows for multiple offers to be extended to the most desirable candidates-- an example of supply and demand. I know plenty of recruiters that this happens to them often-- and that it often comes down to the candidate choosing the option that works best for them. Maybe the first company should have made a more competitive offer.


I would say this is the way the free market works, so this is a good thing for all, even the first company as it provides them information that they need to be competitive with salaries. I wouldn't say this is unethical, as this is the way thinks work.


I used to work in HR for the 11th largest industrial corporation in the US, many moons ago. My experience working with this company involved a lot of competition with like companies. We typically offered more money AND benefits, and got the person. What the second company did is not unusual. It's really based on free enterprise. The student has the ultimate decision. This may not be what you wanted to hear, sorry.

Continue reading...

For what it's worth--both my husband (with over 30 years experience in business) and I (with over 20 years experience in higher education administration) feel that the student should definitely take the larger offer and have no compunction about doing so.


I would suggest that you have the student call the first company and ask them what they would advise him to do. If the first company cares about what's in the best interest of people then they will suggest he take the position at the second company.
In the business world what the second company is doing isn't all together uncommon. I would suggest that you cut off ties with the second company and report them to the vendor. I agree with you that what they're doing is unethical. I would also suggest that you tell the second company that what they did was very unethical. I've never dealt with this type of situation but thought I'd still give you my thoughts on this.


Unfortunately, we've experienced similar situations to this in the past. It is ultimately up to the student to decide, but we have created a participation agreement at sign-in (see View Terms at CCO Express sign-in box at to help us leverage our position. On occasion, we have withdrawn interviewing privileges to students who violated this agreement. As for the employers, we may have a few more restraints on actions that we can undertake given campus politics and our status as a public institution. However, I have had success in contacting the company's university relations manager (if one existed) and informing them of the issue. In two cases, it was a rogue line manager that pursued students already committed to other companies. The URM intervened to help insure that such circumstances did not resurface again with that company.


You handled it beautifully and from what I read continue to do so. Although you can't stop the student from accepting the 2nd offer he certainly knows that if he does it would be unethical. You can only do so much :-) When it comes right down to it the student never should have accepted the offer to visit. My next step would be to send a formal letter to the 2nd company expressing displeasure in their actions and letting them know you will not allow them to recruit at Wabash if the continue to use such unethical tactics. Hope this helps and good luck!! Issues like these are so unprofessional and unpleasant to handle.


As a recruiter, I share this perspective. It's a free market, and the best price prevails. It happens all the time. Unless the kid took some sort of sign-on bonus, his decision to make a change is not unethical. He will shoot himself in the foot with the first company, forever, but that is his choice. If he accepted a sign-on bonus from company #1, he should return it. Otherwise, the first company has a choice. They can either offer him more money or lose him. Competition is what it's all about, and recruiters, today, know that. (It's deftly not a reflection on you or your career center). The candidate needs to do what is best for him. Companies always do what is best for them, so it is his prerogative to let company #1 know he got a better offer.


Maybe a student policy regarding interviewing after accepting an offer needs to be put in place? I hate always writing new rules every time a student screws up, but at the our school, we did exactly that.


As the war for talent continues to heat up, you will find this situation happening more all the time. I do not agree that this is an unethical situation fpr the employer. If a candidate agrees to come in and meet an employer after accepting an offer from another employer, then he has invited the 2nd employer to consider him. If he is a good candidate, they would be compelled to make him an offer - he is sitting right in front of them. I think the situation is regrettable but it would never have happened if the candidate did not entertain the invitation to meet with the 2nd company. Employers are used to competing with their competitors for talent on a day to day basis - it is the nature of recruiting. I am certain many of your students are in the enviable position of having more than one offer to decide on. I think your distress is coming from the student accepting a second offer that is much better than the first offer - if there is a question of ethics, it lies with your student.


Hate to suggest but you're pointing the finger at the wrong party. Your student was the unethical party by continuing to interview after accepting an offer. I had this happen while in an MBA career services role. While in your circumstance the company didn't care, in my experience, the company didn't know the student had accepted another offer and I almost lost a top employer.


This happens all the time within the Federal government...with students/grads accepting an offer with one agency but then later declining and going to work for another (competing) agency. As recruiters, this is something that we understand and just move on to another selection. I didn't realize how it worked for private sector companies.....just wanted to say thanks for letting me see how others work.


My gut reaction is that yes, you ought to refrain from letting the second company recruit through your system. However do you have anything in writing that would allow you to do just that? Do you have a clause that they sign or agree to when recruiting that states they will participate in ethical recruiting behaviors and if they violate that agreement, they may lose recruiting privileges? Certainly the student can go back to the first company and let them know what happened if he wants to negotiate a better salary, but I also agree he needs to work for the first company for a year or two and then can consider moving on. Your school will hear about it if he decides to go with the second company. Good luck, excellent question to pose to our group as you will get some great debate.

Posted by kkowatch on June 04, 2008 at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

PUBLIB "Cold Resume" Discussion Thread

An SI student pointed out a really good discussion that was going on on the PUBLIB listserv. I've pasted the thread below. Note that you find a varying range of opinons here -- some for, some against -- which just shows how subjective the job search process can be!

Also, note that this is a question that a current grad student asked on a public listserv. I recommend this method for getting information, networking, and get a variety of answers to questions that are relvant to your own job search. In fact, I just saw an SI student post a message on a listserv earlier this week with a question pertaining to research that they were doing for their summer internship.


Good day, all!

This post is mainly for the folks that do hiring/firing (HR, Directors, etc.)

I am a GSLIS student (Simmons College, Boston MA) and am starting to think about my upcoming job search (half way through the program, yeah!). I do NOT want to get into the discussion of if there are jobs or not (I am operating under the assumption that there are jobs and I will be hired for one of them). I was wondering how everyone that does hiring feels about getting "cold" (read unsolicited) resumes in the mail. Do you automatically ditch them? Keep them
on file if they look promising even if you don't have any openings at the moment? I DON'T want to commit any librarian faux paux (I hope I spelled that correctly). However, I have always believed that if one wants to work at a certain company, and your resume is stellar, it is a good idea to send it, so that it is on file and access able when there is an opening.

There are certain libraries that I would love to work at, and would be willing to wait for a job to open up. I would send my resume in a heart beat if it meant I was considered. But if sending my resume "cold" meant I would nix my chances I would wait until a formal job announcement was made.

Thoughts anyone?



For myself, I just can't throw away a good resume - at least not for a while. If I receive a viable unsolicitated resume I put it in a file for 6 months (or until I clean out the file).

Good luck! By the way, are you asking this question so you know where you can send your resume? Very clever if you are!


Working at a smaller library (20 FTE staff), there are limited opportunities for hiring professional staff, so while I would not trash it unread, it is unlikely that a cold resume would be considered in a future job search. A vanilla resume, while being read, would probably not be saved. An unsolicited resume most likely to catch my attention is one addressed directly to me, with a cover letter explaining the reason for the cold resume and what unique skills you could bring to my attention. That would interest me enough to at least call you if I am favorable and might lead me
to keep an ear to the ground for possible opportunities. A cold resume for an intro level position, not so much.


Our official position (stated on our employment opportunities webpage)is that we only accept resumes/applications for currently open positions. That said, I know some of us do keep really good ones for a while in case we have an opening at some point. Whether a library keeps resumes may also depend on how their hiring is done. Some places require all hiring be done through the city or county HR department, and their requirements will likely be stricter on these things. Here all department/branch managers are responsible for hiring when a position opens in their department or branch, so it really ends up being a personal decision as to whether we want to try to keep up with a resume we may never use. If there is a library you are really interested in working for, you might give them a call to see what their policy is. You may even be able to talk to the person who makes hiring decisions and get a chance to make a good impression before even sending your resume.


At times a "cold" c.v. has made me say, "I don't have a job here, but I have heard of jobs at _____." It depends on the quality of the c.v. and the cover letter. I don't think they hurt, in most cases. "Ya never know."


I keep them on file for one year, and refer to them when jobs open up. I respect the fact that the candidates are actively looking. The cover letter is extremely important to me -- especially with cold resumes.


It might help to research the specific employment policies of libraries you are interested in. Many libraries hire through their jurisdiction's HR office. Library staff do not see resumes or applications untill there is an opening. In those cases a letter to the Library Director stating that you are interested in employment opportunities with their library and asking about their proceedures and what qualifications they particularly look for might accomplish the goal of becoming a "known" quantity.


I don't mind getting unsolicited resumes from librarians, but if there are no current openings, the documents may sit in a box for months or years. In many respects, the cover letter addressing an applicant's interest in a specific, advertised position is among the key elements to a successful application. I ask myself what she/he has to say about the specific job and how well that letter is written before giving careful scrutiny to the resume itself. Some of the miscellaneous cover letters I have received with "Greetings" and "To whom it may concern" followed by bland offerings of services haven't inspired much attention.

Instead of carpet bombing libraries with unsolicited resumes and generic cover letters, I would urge that you spend your time before graduating from Simmons in 2009 by establishing a "presence" on the web 2.0 world. Do you have an entry in Facebook? Do you have a personal blog or website with your vita and professional activities noted? I would expect that you will encounter such information at Simmons or with such basic learning sites as
where you will be given tips on how to create your own blog, become active in Facebook networking and on discussion lists among colleagues who are actively in the field discussing issues. Your present query to PUBLIB is a good start.

That being said, I should confess that I did commence job searches back in 1973 as I was planning to graduate from SUNY Geneseo with an MLS with a blitz of resume's and cover letters to many dozens of libraries. One of them did finally land be a job at Cleveland Public Library. Desperate as I was for a job, I was willing to go anywhere. If you have a narrow preference in terms of location, your search may take some time. If you are willing to relocate and go where you are needed/wanted, it probably won't take so long. But in this day and age, a web presence is probably essential to success on the job hunt.


I read the resumes I receive, and if it appeals to me and I anticipate an opening (in say six months or less) I'll hold on to it. I'll also pass it along to my local colleagues.

In some cases here on Long Island, you would be required to take a civil service exam to qualify for a full time position. In libraries like ours, which is an Association library, there are no civil service exam requirements.

I think you need to get a sense of the corporate culture of particular libraries you have an interest in. Some places have a hierarchical structure and specific procedures for filling job openings, others are more flexible in approach and procedure. Sending a cold resume is one way of finding out.

...and that's MY opinion


My advice is not to send a "cold resume". I get two or three a month, and they all get tossed or deleted. This is probably a product of being in a place many consider a desirable place to live. That same geographic desirability means that when a position is posted, I get swamped with applications. The policy of our county government, of which the library is a department, is applications are only accepted when there is a position posting.


I agree with Ed. Sending a cold resume sends a signal that you are not very savvy about the job search process and are sending resumes willy nilly to quite a few libraries. Makes me think the sender is desperate, not very discerning, or both. Our official policy is that no one is considered for a job unless it is currently posted and an application is on file for it. I toss them immediately. We expect and usually receive resumes and cover letters related to specific openings.

I encourage you to network in the region or regions where you'd like to work. Find out who is likely to be hiring soon for one or more jobs. Find out how the hiring process works. Is it strictly library based, or does it include interaction with a city or county government and possibly a civil service exam. Visit the libraries if possible and ask the librarians on duty questions about how it works there.


You can join the PUBLIB listserv at

Posted by kkowatch on June 04, 2008 at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

SAA Mentorship Program

Another message I pulled from a listserv -- if you are an alumnus who just happens to be a reader, this would be a great way to get involved with SAA and to keep in touch with the new edge of archiving.

If you are a SI - ARM student, now you know that this resource exists!


I am serving as the SAA mentoring program coordinator for the Membership Committee. The program matches a new archivist with an archivist who has been in the field for a while and is willing to serve as a resource person to offer advice and share work experiences. The time commitment is very manageable, and it is usually e-mailing or speaking over the phone once a month or more often depending on the mentor and protegé. Sometimes there is a possibility of meeting in person if both persons live or work in the same area, but this is entirely up to them.

I am currently trying to find prospective mentors for new archivists from all over the USA. One requirement is that both mentors and protégés are current SAA members. More description about the Mentoring Program is available on the SAA website at

Don't be shy! You might think you don't have anything to offer, but the truth is that your advice and experience is worth millions to someone that's just starting out. Don't you wish you'd had a mentor too?

Interested? Have any questions? Comments? Concerns? Feel free to contact me off-list at

Teresa Yoder
SAA Mentoring Program Coordinator

Archival Specialist
Special Collections and Preservation Division-9th Floor
Harold Washington Library Center
Chicago Public Library
400 South State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60605
312-747-4890 (fax)

Posted by kkowatch on June 02, 2008 at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

Blog for Library Technology

Blog for Library Technology [BLT] -- --

is the new Library Information Technology blog from the University of Michigan Library. We'll talk about technological innovations we're developing in the U-M library. Want to learn about developments in the Google book scanning project (MBooks) at U-M? Find out more about MTagger? Keep up with our MLibrary Labs experimental and test tools? This is the place to do it.

And, of course, we welcome your comments on any and all of it.

Recent [BLT] entries include:

- Full-Text MBook Searches from the Library Catalog
- MLibrary Labs Project Summary
- What to do with Books in Copyright
- MTagger Update
- University of Chicago Integrating MBooks in Catalog using OAI
- What is MBooks?

Visit [BLT] at

Posted by kkowatch on June 02, 2008 at 07:50 AM | Comments (0)

Michigan Usablity Professionals' Association (UPA) Meeting

The next Michigan Usability Professionals' Association meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 6th in Okemos, Michigan. Joanna Markel and Serena Rosenhan from ProQuest will talk about how they used contextual inquiry to inform their product development process. This is a preview of what they will present at the UPA conference later in this month.

Full details at the MI UPA website: Please RSVP to

Posted by kkowatch on May 28, 2008 at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)

Tips for Online Resumes

Below, find some information that was provided by a SI Alumnus on submitting an online resume -- and some from MSN Careers...

We "have received a number of resumes from SI folks in last couple of weeks. Problem is.. most of them are in PDF or Word format. Not very optimized for searching. If possible, it would be a good idea to keep a text version of the resume which will not lose formatting when copying and pasting in a text box on career sites. I remember somebody recommending this practice when I was at SI."

The MSN Careers article reiterates this information, but breaks it down in five easy steps to make your resume best for online search and applications.

Five Steps to an E-friendly Résumé by Eric Presley, CTO for

Today's Internet-driven world has changed the way we look and apply for jobs. Gone are the days of handwritten cover letters, typewritten résumés and hand-delivered job applications. Given the increasing number of online job boards that require Web-based applications, many employers don't want a hard copy of your résumé. Instead, they'll ask you to submit an electronic résumé, either online or via e-mail.

Electronic résumés are plain text or HTML documents, which can also be included in the body of an e-mail for job applications online. It may not be as attractive as your word-formatted résumé in all its bulleted, bold-text, fancy-font glory, but it gets the job done.

Why you need one
When an employer asks you to submit your application materials via e-mail or online, your résumé will be entered into an automated applicant-tracking system. These systems don't care what your résumé looks like physically, which is why it's imperative you reformat yours so the database can read it. The system will scan your résumé (along with hundreds of others), keeping those with keywords similar to the company's job descriptions and discarding the rest.

Make sure you keep a hard (and visually appealing) copy of your résumé on hand – not all employers are up-to-date on the latest technologies and may still require a paper copy. Plus, you'll need one to give to employers at all of your interviews.

Here are five easy steps to format your existing résumé into an e-friendly work of art.

1. Remove all formatting from your original résumé.
Unfortunately, the same formatting that makes your résumé nice to look at makes it almost impossible for a computer to understand.

To remove the formatting, open your word-processed résumé and choose the "Save As" option under the "File" tab on your toolbar. Save the document type as Plain Text or Text Only. In the following dialog box, choose the option to insert line breaks.

2. Use Notepad, WordPad or SimpleText to reformat.
Close your original résumé document and reopen the text version using editing software like Notepad, WordPad or SimpleText. Your text version should be free of most graphic elements, like fancy fonts, lines and bullets. Text should be flush with the left side of the document.

3. Stick to a simple font and style.
Use clear, sans-serif fonts, like Courier, Arial or Helvetica. This way, the computer won't mistake your fancy lettering for a jumbled word.

Use a 12-point font; anything smaller won't scan well. Also, stay away from italics or underlining. Rather than using boldface type, try using capital letters to separate sections like education and experience.

Instead of using bullets, use such standard keyboard characters as an asterisk or a dash. Instead of using the "Tab" key, use the space key to indent. Make sure all headings – like your name, address, phone and e-mail – appear on separate lines, with a blank line before and after.

4. Apply keywords.
Applicant-tracking systems scan résumés for keywords that match the company's job descriptions. Fill your résumé accordingly with such words (as they pertain to your experience), but remember that using the same word five times won't increase your chances of getting called in for an interview.

Place the most important words first, since the scanner may be limited in the number of words it reads. Use nouns instead of verbs. For example: "communications specialist," "sales representative" or "computer proficiency" is better than "managed," "developed" or "generated."

Additionally, avoid abbreviations as best you can. Spell out phrases like "bachelor of science" or "master of business administration."

5. Test it out.
After you've reformatted your résumé into a text document, make sure it really is e-friendly. Practice sending your new résumé via e-mail to yourself, as well as friends who use a different Internet service provider. For example, if you use AOL, send it a friend who uses MSN Hotmail.

Send your e-résumé pasted in the body of an e-mail, rather as an attachment. Have your friend alert you to any errors that show when they open it, like illegibility and organization. After getting feedback, make any necessary adjustments.

Posted by kkowatch on May 27, 2008 at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

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 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

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.


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 (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


(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,

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)

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)

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) Photo Essay of Libraries in Movies 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 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)

ASB Participant Blog

Another ASB Participant (Chenedy Schioperay) sharing their SI-ASB 2008 Experiences...

Project: Scanning Invertebrate Illustrations and Maps
Location: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Intern: Cheney J. Schopieray

For the SI Alternative Spring Break week, I worked under Molly K. Ryan, scientific illustrator, in the Invertebrate Zoology (IZ) division of the Smithsonian Natural History museum. My labor comprised the tail end of a larger effort to digitize the entirety of the IZ original illustrations – most of which had been previously published (1902-c. 2004). The work itself – as expected – was slightly repetitive, though entirely worth the effort for exposure to particular scanning equipment (e.g. the Zeutschel OS10000TT) and to have a glimpse at the Smithsonian’s digital reproduction standards.

The staff of the Smithsonian went out of their way to provide tours to non-public areas (the “mummy vault? and the Rare Book Room). In addition to the work, I was able to attend a meeting at the Library of Congress regarding the Congressional Research Service division, led by Jan Johansson, Angela [ ], (both SI alums) and Robert Newlen. This was a fine opportunity to hear about the CRS and the sort of work they do. And I am officially well over the suggested 100 word target.

Posted by kkowatch on March 13, 2008 at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

Non-Profit Job Resources -- from

I received this message from -- they have developed a new book on nonprofit careers which might be a good resource for those of you that have targeted that industry for your job or internship search.


I am writing you from Idealist to tell you about a new resource we just launched to help people understand the nonprofit sector, and the range of opportunities within it.

This free book, the Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers, is written for everyone from first- time job seekers to experienced professionals, and includes chapters on:

- Nonprofit Speak 101
- How to Find a Career or a Nonprofit That Is Right for You
- Networking: Is It Really All About Who You Know?
- How to Make Yourself a Stronger Candidate
- Evaluating Organizational Culture

And much more. The whole thing is online at

Click on the link to see the table of contents and to download each chapter separately, or the whole book as one PDF file.

If you have any questions or comments about this guide, feel free to write us through this link:

I also want to take this opportunity to tell you about our upcoming series of Nonprofit Career Fairs. Coming up this spring, with between 50 and 150 organizations tabling in each city, are:

- Minneapolis, March 31
- Washington , April 2
- Indianapolis, April 8
- Philadelphia, Apr 10
- Los Angeles, Apr 15
- Atlanta, Apr 22
- Chicago, May 20

For more information about any of these fairs, and to sign up, please visit:

And if you have a question about these fairs, please use this link:

Lastly, we've recently collaborated with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Meyer Foundation, and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services to conduct a survey about the future leadership of the nonprofit sector. The results, with a full report about them, are now online at:

We hope you find all these resources useful, and we really appreciate your help in sharing them with friends and colleagues in your networks.

Thanks, and all the best,

Steven Pascal-Joiner,

Posted by kkowatch on March 11, 2008 at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

Consulting - McKinsey & Company Discovery Weekend

McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm with nearly 8,500 consultants in 89 offices across 50 countries, is holding an exciting summer program for students working towards advanced professional degrees: Discovery Weekend.  This program will give non-MBA advanced degree students an insider's look into management consulting. The comprehensive seminar will cover a range of topics important to those who are exploring alternative career possibilities.  Agenda for the program will include an overview of management consulting, an introduction to the type of work we do, a management consulting case study, and an opportunity to interact and network with colleagues and participate in social activities. 

Chicago, Illinois
Friday, August 22 - Sunday, August 24, 2008 Application deadline: June 15, 2008

Qualified Applicants for Discovery Weekend should be:
pursuing a non-MBA advanced degree (Ph.D.s, Post-docs, J.D.s, Masters*, M.D.s, and Medical Interns, Residents, and Fellows) Completion of degree program by 2010 Residing in the United States or Canada Available to attend the entire event starting Friday evening, August 22 through Sunday afternoon, August 24 African American/African or Hispanic/Latino students are strongly encouraged to apply

No business experience required. All expenses will be paid by McKinsey & Company.

*Eligible 1 - 2 year Masters degree students must have received a Bachelor's degree before July 1, 2005.

Learn more and apply at

Posted by kkowatch on March 11, 2008 at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

And More ASB Blogs...

DC ASB 2008 Tell-All Blog: Days 4, 5, 6, and 7

We're back in Ann Arbor. I'd intended to keep more of a running blog over the week but as I mentioned previously, this was a very, very busy week!

Still, for those of you who went on ASB this year and want to relive it or for those of you who are just curious about the experience, I'd like to cover some of the last few days in this final blog post.

One of the questions I had going into this was how much work we could really accomplish in a week. The answer is A LOT. I was fortunate to be working with a team of students (four of us in all) and by the end of our five days at the Smithsonian NMAH Archives Center, we had taken an incredible quantity of minimally processed photos and documents and given them the love they had been denied since their arrival at the Smithsonian 15 years ago. Through our efforts, researchers will soon be able to access (physically and intellectually) papers that document the experience of early 20th century Arab immigrants in the United States. In the process, we learned some incredible stories about the people whose papers we handled – and really, for an archivist, stories are what form the heart of our profession. I can't stress enough how beneficial this experience was to me in preparing me to work as part of a team of archivists.

This week was also about discovering the city. Washington DC, you might be surprised, is not warm in February! At least that was a surprise to me. I packed two pairs of shorts but I don't think the temp got much above 50 at any point. Weather aside, the city has many things to recommend it. I chose not to do any of the normal "tourist" things associated with a trip to DC (the contrarian in me) but I did a lot of walking around and eating out. The massive architecture of the federal buildings and monuments is impressive, but even the residential side streets have treasures hidden here and there. After a few days of never quite knowing where I was, the streets even started to make sense, and I began to understand the metro subway. It doesn't sound like much but you have to remember I was born in a barn. Unlike in some large cities, in DC, I never felt overwhelmed. By the end of a week I even felt somewhat at home despite the lack of barns. The Harrington, I'll say again, was phenomenal and did feel like a home away from home (especially since the entire second floor was "taken over" by SI students).

On a less positive note, there are some racial undercurrents at play in the city that don't show up in the tourist literature. We stopped into an Irish Bar one evening to get a drink. The bar was packed – several hundred people – 99% of them (from appearances, anyway) white. Outside the same bar were a dozen men of color, asking for money. This division was repeated in other areas of the city. DC has a very diverse population, but I wonder to what extent people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds have learned to live together there? I heard a report on the way back to Ann Arbor on NPR, pointing out that black residents of DC felt that they were being displaced as a direct result of intentional gentrification by city planners and real estate investors. Community centers were being turned into pricey lofts, schools shut down, and so forth, essentially forcing underprivileged segments of the population out of the district into peripheral areas. This type of "re-segregation" is I suppose not uncommon in large cities, but seeing it up close in our nation's capital was a little disheartening.

Back to ASB. Work and city aside, this was also an incredibly entertaining week socially. People I barely knew before we left were new friends by the time we got back, and I gained a deeper connection with people I thought I knew. The week felt a little bit like "The Breakfast Club." We were a diverse group of "misfits," (of the academic kind) each with our own peculiarities, thrown together for a time with little choice but to find out more about one another. Lack of sleep, a little liquor here and there, and an amalgamation of shared experiences inspired some truly memorable conversations and some nights to remember (or forget)!

I mention lack of sleep but at this point I'll confess, I went to sleep at 6:30 on Thursday evening and didn't get up until 8:30 the next day – 14 hours straight baby! Archiving is hard work. And I needed the extra sleep to handle Friday night's "going-home" party; don't ever, ever let anyone tell you that archivists don't know how to have a good time…

All for now, Bill C.

Posted by kkowatch on March 04, 2008 at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

ASB Blogs... Continued...

DC ASB 2008 Tell-All Blog: Days 2 and 3

I'm sharing a two-room suite here at the Harrington with 3 other gents: Tim V., Nathan T., and Greg G. We've been here three days and the rooms still smell pretty fresh even with all the things we've done to them. Credit the housekeeping. The tub doesn't drain in my room, so showers remain short (you have to get done before the water pours over the edge). Our temporary jobs all start around 9 and none of us in my suite has to go very far, so it's not uncommon for people to start getting ready around 8:30. It's still too early for me. I pushed it to 8:35 this morning for an 8:45 departure from the hotel.

I'm working at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History with Emily H., Megan E., Barb P., and Nathan T. Each morning we walk just down the street from the Harrington to the Museum, which is currently closed to the public. We get to dress casually -- a nice perk. The actual facility where we do our work is the Archives Center, which is responsible for an impressive variety of materials. The people there are treating us very well and our program coordinator bakes us cookies, cupcakes, etc. every day.

The focus of our placement is on processing a large collection of material known as the Naff Collection. The first day, we looked at the collection broadly and determined how it might best be arranged to be of value to researchers. We learned some good techniques for effectively arranging and housing photographs, and actually worked our way through the Naff Collection's boxes of photos. Lunch was PB&J and other down-home goodies, and was accompanied by a presentation about digitizing the Smithsonian's NMAH photo holdings.

On the second day we finished with the photos and transitioned into the other main component of the collection, personal papers. For me this was one of my first experiences carrying out formal document processing – it's not the most exciting thing in the world, but it really does require expert judgment and attention to detail in order to arrive at a product with archival "added value" in terms of organization, enhanced findability, and standards of preservation. We also learned how to construct "sink mats" to protect glass negatives. The lunchtime presentation was fantastic, as the Smithsonian NMAH's expert on musical holdings shared some great footage of Miles Davis, Benny Carter, and Frank Sinatra. None of us wanted to leave the jazz and food to go back to processing.

ASB is giving us some really great work experience, but it's not all work. The evenings have been an opportunity to get to know fellow students in a way we may not have back in Ann Arbor. Some people like to go out sightseeing, some get ambitious and go to shows or movies, and some just walk around the city. I've gone out for dinner (and drinks…) with friends each night and met some "new" people from SI that I have really enjoyed talking with. We've shared some good laughs so far. Last night, we celebrated Malisa L.'s birthday with a Chinese dinner and chocolate cake (and singing, of course) – Happy Birthday Malisa!

I'll address some "other" topics in my next blog post, but just wanted to give you a sense of what the days and nights are like for us here in Bush's shadow.

All for now, Bill C.

Posted by kkowatch on March 04, 2008 at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

Alternative Spring Break at the School of Information

I drove into Ann Arbor this morning; there was no traffic and I got a great parking spot. Its not quite summer here; its spring break! But while the halls of SI are quiet, 74 SI students traveled to Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. this last weekend -- snow free! -- and this morning are off to their first day of Alternative Spring Break. You can check out more information about SI's ASB program at These students will be spending their week helping a wide range of non-profit and governmental organizations with their information management needs.

I asked SI students to send me blog entries -- testimonies of what its like while on ASB. I got my first one to post today... this one is from second year SI student, Bill Cron. Thanks Bill! Enjoy!

DC ASB 2008 Tell-All Blog: Day 1

The night was moist…

Welcome to my blog. This week I'll be writing all about our wonderful ASB adventures in Washington, D.C…Stay tuned!

Day 1 started earlier than I would have preferred. The van pulled up at a quarter to eight with Beth P. and Megan C. ready to roll. We headed to the airport to pick up Malisa L., and the team was united. We were optimistic, we were excited, and we were ready to represent our school with pride. We were four archivists on our way to Washington with a single purpose in mind: donuts.

Having settled the donut issue, and after some confusion about the best way to get to the other side of Toledo, our journey began in earnest. The fifth member of our team, the Chevy Uplander, proved a worthy steed. "White Lightning" made quick work of Ohio before tearing Pennsylvania literally in half. A vehicle for the American Millennium, we thought.

Conversation started brisk and got briskier. Where are you working this week? Have you looked for jobs? How's the semester going? What does Tom Selleck have to do with Maeve Binchy? How many cows were in that herd? Are those Amish romance novels as good as the covers suggest? Has anyone in this van eaten a squirrel? Does Sbarro sell bagel pizzas??? These perverse and often baffling questions demanded consideration as we hurtled toward the nation's capital.

We reached our destination shortly after six. Few hotels evoke Mom and apple pie like the Harrington. Remember the scene in It's a Wonderful Life, where Jimmy Stewart realizes how good his life is, and returns home to a house full of adoring friends? Our entry into the Harrington was nothing like that, but I did feel truly welcome, especially after they gave me a key.

Fellowship and good cheer marked the evening. We were all glad to see friend and recent SI alum Valerie H., living proof that talented archivists can find really good jobs. Val and Christa L. joined Team Uplander for dinner at the Capital City Grille and a private after-dinner Oscar party. Very exclusive, A-List only. Strictly hoodie.

Only time will tell what surprises the week may bring. For the moment we were left to anticipate all we would learn about archives, about each other, and about ourselves.

All for now,

Bill C.

Posted by kkowatch on February 25, 2008 at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

A Couple Others Career Related Blogs to Check Out!

So... its been a while since I've blogged... I've been a bit tied up with some of the plans for ASB so my energy has been directed elsewhere. I hope for those of you that are loyal readers, that you're understanding of my absence! :)

I've received some emails from other career-related blogs and articles that I wanted to share with you – one is called Bootstrapper... They have some specific entries about job search tips that I thought would be beneficial for you to read:

50+ Tools to Change Your Career Path by Jessica Hupp

"Sometimes you come to a point in your career when you realize you’re just not on the right path. It happens to lots of people, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you make a change. These tools offer assistance for finding the best career for you, and how you can get there..." (Click on the title link to read more…)

From the link provided, it gives you links to 50 different sites and tools that can help you make educated career decisions, explore new careers, and find advice and the answers to your job search questions. Check it out!

Another article that got emailed to me is 20 Jobs That Are (Much) Better or Worse Than You Thought By HR World Editors. Funny article that starts off with the number one job that's worse than you thought as the President of the United States (which I have to agree with!) The second have of the article is about jobs that are great - and librarian is #3 on the great list! Overall, this article makes the lives of Information-related careers sound fun, balanced, and definitely worth your time at SI. :) ~Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on February 22, 2008 at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

"Careers in Management Consulting" Online Discussion

Many SI students have been asking about careers and internships in Management Consulting. SI Careers is hosting a Consulting Career Exploration Panel on Friday, February 8 at 4pm. (More information forthcoming or you can check it out on iTrack and register to attend.)

In addition to attending this panel, you can also participate in an online discussion through the WORK 4 US listserv:

"Careers in Management Consulting" is the topic of an email discussion to take place Monday February 4 through Friday February 9, 2008, on the Work For Us listserv. If you are a grad student or even a faculty member in humanities, education or social science, this email discussion will give you top quality information about the field of Management Consulting, geared specifically to you and your situation.

Joining us for the discussion will be four humanities PhDs who are actively working in the management consulting field. They will share their stories on Monday February 4, then answer your questions all week till Friday February 9.

If you would like to listen in and/or participate, subscribe to Work For Us listserv before February 4. List information and subscription instructions are below. No long-term commitment is required; you may subscribe just for this discussion if you want, then unsubscribe after it's over. And of course it's free.

Hoping you will join us,
Paula Foster Chambers, Ph.D.
Work For Us list manager

"Work For Us" (aka WRK4US) was founded in 1999 by Paula Foster Chambers as a safe place for the free and supportive discussion of nonacademic and careers for people with graduate degrees in humanities, education and the social sciences. Since then, WRK4US has grown to over 1,300 subscribers from all over North America and has received national media attention (Chronicle of Higher Education, US News and World Report).

A unique feature of Work For Us is the Guest Speaker Discussions, in which humanities, education or social science PhDs who have succeeded outside the academy come onto the list for a week, share their stories, and answer questions from the group.

For more information about this list, and for a complete archive of all previous Guest Speaker Discussions, please visit the Work For Us website:

To subscribe to Work For Us, visit and follow the prompts.

If you have any technical difficulty, email

Posted by kkowatch on January 28, 2008 at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

SI@Work 2007 Summer Internship Presentations Posted!

A common resource that I direct internship seekers to is the list of the past PEP Internships on the SI Career Services website. If you haven't checked this now sort-able list out, it basically tells you where most everyone that has had a PEP summer internship for the past few summers have gone, what they have done, and what they learned. Students who didn't get PEP credit for their internship also sometimes add their experiences. Fall and Winter SI 690 internships are also included in this listing.

If you are looking for an internship at UM, this is a GREAT resource as you can see what UM departments are already familiar with SI students and the PEP credit process. I always recommend contacting the SI student who did the internship to ask them about the experience and to find out who their supervisor/mentor was. If they aren't a second year student, you can always check the Student Alumni Network or the UM Online Directory to find their contact information.

What's new is that the Fall 07 SI@Work presentations (from all Summer 2007 PEP Internships) are now available for students to view through the SI Intranet. Once you login to the intranet, click on PEP Resources/SI@Work Presentations.

All students who get PEP credit for their summer internship are required to do a SI@Work presentation in the fall. In their presentation, they share information about what they did, what they learned, and how the experience reflects on their career goals and plans. The presentations are an easy and quick way to see if a particular organization or function might be right for you.

If you have questions, please let me know! - Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on January 25, 2008 at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

Top 30 Jobs for 2008 - Article

Interesting article with some SI-related jobs mentioned! Good news for SI students. (The other jobs listed make me think that our country is slowing going crazy and in bad health, especially dental health, -- but we're looking good with nice nails and perfect skin at the same time!) I shortened the article to just the top 30 position titles, but check out the source link for the expanded version that includes 2006 employment figures, 2016 projection figures, percent growth, salary range, and required education/training.

I'll be back soon with some articles that are more SI-related. I'm up to my ears in ASB applications right now.

Coming soon -- How to Use iTrack Effectively and Top Job and Internship Resources!

30 Top Jobs of 2008 by Rachel Zupek, writer Source

A new year means new beginnings: new resolutions, ideas and friends; new habits, relationships and goals; new salaries, titles and responsibilities. And perhaps most importantly, new jobs. Lots of ‘em. And not just for 2008, either - until 2016.

Total employment is expected to increase by 15.6 million jobs during the 2006-16 decade, according to the most recent employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Almost all of this growth will occur in the service-providing sector, which will account for 75 percent of all jobs in 2016.

Professional and related professions and service occupations are projected to grow most quickly, accounting for more than six of 10 new jobs created throughout 2006-2016. Twenty-eight of the 30 fastest-growing jobs are in professional and related occupations and service positions.

Interested in getting in on the new job action this year? Here are the 30 fastest-growing growing occupations for 2006-2016, according to the BLS.

1. Network systems and data communications analysts
2. Personal and home care aides
3. Home health aides
4. Computer software engineers, applications
5. Veterinary technologists and technicians
6. Personal financial advisors
7. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance
8. Medical assistant
9. Veterinarians
10. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
11. Skin care specialists
12. Financial analysts
13. Social and human service assistants
14. Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators
15. Physical therapist assistants
16. Pharmacy technicians
17. Forensic science technicians
18. Dental hygienists
19. Mental health counselors
20. Mental health and substance abuse social workers
21. Marriage and family therapists
22. Dental assistants
23. Computer systems analysts
24. Database administrators
25. Computer software engineers, systems software

26. Gaming and sports book writers and runners
27. Environmental science and protection technicians
28. Manicurists and pedicurists
29. Physical therapists
30. Physician assistants

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Posted by kkowatch on January 23, 2008 at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

Using an ePortfolio in Your Job Search

At SI, Career Services staff encourage students to develop online portfolios -- or ePortfolios -- to demonstrate their work for employers. I've heard from students in the past that for a job or internship, they were asked only a few real interview questions, but their online portfolio was viewed by the employer several times.

ePortfolios are the easiest was to demonstrate to an employer what you are capable of. Behavioral interviewing, a big trend in interviewing these days, involves questioning the interviewee in a way that will allow the employer to determine from past experiences, how the candidate will perform in future situations. The best way to show how your past experiences will indicate your future abilities is through a tangible demonstration of your work. An ePortfolio is the most portable and professional method of showing your capabilities!

Join local employers at SI for the annual MSI ePortfolio Review Panel on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 in 311 WH at noon.

See below for an article from MSN on how to best use an ePortfolio in your job search.

Stand Out With an E-portfolio By Rachel Zupek, writer Source

Take a minute to search your name on the Internet. What comes up? Your MySpace page? An old paper you wrote in college? A court document archiving your arrest from college?

While some of these citations are worse than others, none of them are items you want to showcase – especially to potential employers. And believe me, they’re looking. Thirty-five percent of hiring managers use Google to do online background checks on job candidates, according to a recent survey by Ponemon Institute, an information and privacy think tank. Nearly one-third of those Web searches lead to job rejections.

“If an employer is going to be searching for you online, would you rather them find pictures of you at a party or valuable information about your experience, expertise and career goals?? asks Kelly Driscoll, president and co-founder of Digication, an e-portfolio service.

Enter the e-portfolio, the newest career tool in our tech-savvy era of job hunting. Not only will an e-portfolio give you a competitive edge in the job market, it also gives you a positive digital identity when companies search for you online, Driscoll says.

“E-portfolios are becoming increasingly important to supplement, support and extend a résumé into a dynamic profile of an individual with not only descriptions of work that was done,? Driscoll says, “but actual examples that give employers the ability to learn much more about an individual before even entering the interview process.?

Want to learn how to hone your digital identity as a competitive advantage in your job search? Read on for a crash course on e-portfolios.

What is an e-portfolio?
An e-Portfolio is a collection of work published online to document achievements, accomplishments, ideas, progress, performance and activities, Driscoll says. It can also showcase, publish and compile your work to expand on a personal vision or life goal; create an archive of experiences; provide documentation for grants, accreditation or donation; and more.

Why should I have an e-portfolio?
The better question is, why not? E-portfolios give workers – young and old – the tools to communicate with a large audience and be part of a greater social network that extends beyond the office, Driscoll says.

“[Job seekers] can create and customize a true online depiction of who they are and who they want to become, where they come from, where they are going and what their plans are to get there,? she says. “It is a channel for expression that creates a powerful motivation for creating great content to share with … potential employers and the world at large.?

Additionally, the process of building the portfolio allows workers the opportunity to build necessary technology skills, acknowledge their strengths, recognize areas for improvement and set goals for themselves, Driscoll adds.

Where can I create my e-portfolio?
Not such a whiz with the computer? No fear – there is an increasing amount of tools that tech novices and tech-savvy individuals alike can use to create an e-portfolio, Driscoll says.

Job seekers can mimic the style of an online journal, organizing their work by time using blogging software, Driscoll says, or people can use a wiki to create a portfolio with open organization. Blogger ( and PBWiki ( are free, with options to remove advertisements for a small fee. Other easy-to-use tools are e-porfolio ( and Digication (

How can I build my e-portfolio?
Pretty easily, it turns out. Here are Driscoll’s five tips to follow for creating your portfolio:

1. Brevity is best – Like a great résumé, you want to provide clear, direct information about yourself, your work and your achievements. Providing snippets or brief introductions to your work that lead to or link to full descriptions and examples are best.

2. Organization is everything – Make sure your e-portfolio is easy to navigate and browse with the most important information available in the fewest clicks possible. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to impress someone if your best work is buried in too much information.

3. Make it searchable – Use keywords throughout your e-portfolio so that when employers are searching for potential hires they will more readily find your e-portfolio. Linking to related Web sites, resources and professional organizations will increase the searchability of your e-portfolio. Remember to include the Web address of your e-portfolio on your résumé and in the footer of any e-mails you send related to your job search.

4. Express yourself – E-portfolios should be uniquely you, so make sure you have some level of customization in how your work is presented. Keep it simple and consistent with readable font and files that are not too big to download to view (no more than 2-5MB).

5. Keep it professional – Unlike other online profiles like Facebook and MySpace, it’s particularly important that any writing and files (like images, movies, PDFs, etc.) in your e-portfolio are free of any grammatical errors, are of the highest quality and reflect your most positive aspects you want to share with potential employers.

Posted by kkowatch on January 07, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

Where and Where Not to Target Your Job Search!

A great article on the best and worst cities for employment in the United States. What's not great about this article is that two major Michigan cities (Detroit and Flint) are on the worst list. Looks like it’s a good time to be a nurse or to move to Florida. Interestingly enough though, in Flint, the article reports, there are more jobs in education, training and library workers than in other fields. Read on for more information!

Best and Worst Cities for Job Growth By Mary Lorenz, writer

The Best...

Florida isn't just for vacationers and retirees anymore. It seems the Sunshine State is also a hub for employers and businesses eager to expand and hire more workers. recently released its annual list of the 200 Best Places for Businesses and Careers, and, among those places, five Florida cities ranked in the top 10 for U.S. cities with the highest job growth. Cape Coral, Fla. held the top spot for cities with the highest job growth. Las Vegas, Nev. ranked second, followed by Naples, Fla. and Sarasota, Fla. McAllen, Tex. rounded out the top five.

If you need a change of scenery and are thinking about relocating in the next few years, consider one of the following 10 cities, which are projected to have the highest job growth this year, as reported by and based on five-year projections from

Cape Coral, Florida
Population: 562,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary*:
Registered nurses -- $44,561
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,772
Accountants and auditors -- $41,609
Jobs more common to Cape Coral than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Helpers/roofers -- $19,634
Athletes and sports competitors -- $15,496
Construction managers -- $55,752

Las Vegas, Nevada
Population: 1,777,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Elementary school teachers -- $29,318
Registered nurses -- $51,869
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $49,474
Jobs more common to Las Vegas than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Gaming supervisors -- $22,624
Gaming change persons and booth cashiers -- $23,016
Gaming service workers -- $12,879

Naples, Florida
Population: 317,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $47,015
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $52,641
Accountants and auditors -- $41,363
Jobs more common to Naples than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Construction managers -- $67,005
Helpers -- painters, plasterers, paperhangers and stucco masons -- $19,753
Tile and marble setters -- $30,447

Sarasota, Florida
Population: 689,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $43,211
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,643
Accountants and auditors -- $39,408
Jobs more common to Sarasota than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Fence erectors -- $24,917
Financial managers -- $75,189
Motorboat mechanics -- $27,961

McAllen, Texas
Population: 697,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Elementary school teachers -- $36,246
Registered nurses -- $47,115
Secondary school teachers -- $39,915
Jobs more common to McAllen than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Personal and home care aids -- $16,142
Oil, gas and mining service unit operators -- $29,877
Agricultural products graders and sorters -- $12,472

Port St. Lucie, Florida
Population: 391,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $46,074
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $39,025
Accountants and auditors -- $43,736
Jobs more common to Port St. Lucie than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Helpers -- painters, paperhangers, plasterers and stucco masons -- $25,097
Helpers -- roofers -- $18,240
Roofers -- $24,463

Riverside, California
Population: 4,017,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Elementary school teachers -- $48,696
Registered nurses -- $58,573
Secondary school teachers -- $50,286
Jobs more common to Riverside than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Terazzo workers and finishers -- $32,930
Slot key persons -- $13,343
Automotive glass installers and repairers -- $42,514

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Population: 417,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $41,669
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,358
Elementary school teachers -- $36,306
Jobs more common to Fayetteville than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Meat, poultry and fish cutters and trimmers -- $17,975
Agricultural inspectors -- $27,180
Purchasing managers -- $54,734

Ocala, Florida
Population: 311,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $44,557
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,782
Loan officers -- $36,586
Jobs more common to Ocala than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Recreational vehicle service technicians -- $28,633
Farmworkers, farm and ranch hands -- $17,963
Nonfarm animal caretakers -- $17,209

Phoenix, Arizona
Population: 3,976,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Elementary school teachers -- $29,399
Registered nurses -- $50,755
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,028
Jobs more common to Phoenix than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Aircraft structure surfaces, rigging and systems assemblers -- $35,324
Gaming and surveillance officers and gaming investigators -- $22,074
Umpires, referees and other sports officials -- $50,326

The Worst...

Your heart may be in San Francisco, but your best chances of finding a new job in the coming years are probably elsewhere.

For its annual "Best Places for Businesses and Careers" list, ranked 200 United States metropolitan cities based on the accumulated factors of job growth, cost of doing business, educational attainment, living costs and crime rates. Although San Francisco ranked high among cities with the number of adult inhabitants with a college degree, it came in at a dismal No. 175 overall and an even more dismal No. 197 for places with high job growth.

Still, in terms of job growth, the home to Rice-A-Roni performed better than Hickory, N.C., San Jose, Calif. and New Orleans, La., the city with the smallest job growth on's list.

According to Forbes, the following metro areas are top 10 places where U.S. job growth is smallest. If you are looking for and are having trouble finding work in one of these places, it may be that the supply of job candidates outnumbers the demand for workers.

New Orleans, Lousiana
Population**: 913,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary*:
Registered nurses -- $50,496
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $37,236
Elementary school teachers -- $34,374
Jobs more common near New Orleans than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Pump operators -- $38,149
Sailors and marine oilers -- $27,807
Bridge and lock tenders -- $25,469

San Jose, California
Population: 1,774,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Computer applications software engineers -- $78,822
Computer systems software engineers -- $88,659
Registered nurses -- $79,649
Jobs more common near San Jose than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Semiconductor processors -- $34,169
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons -- $186,196
Computer hardware engineers -- $88,163

Hickory, North Carolina
Population: 358,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $45,244
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,338
Elementary school teachers -- $32,390
Jobs more common near Hickory than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Wood model makers -- $24,799
Wood patternmakers -- $25,750
Upholsterers -- $34,240

San Francisco, California
Population: 1,692,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $71,408
Accountants and auditors -- $51,435
Computer applications software engineers --$70,426
Jobs more common near San Francisco than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Mathematical scientists -- $69,664
Graduate teaching assistants -- $26,324
Biochemists and biophysicists -- $76,807

Detroit, Michigan
Population: 1,977,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $53,194
Elementary school teachers -- $50,238
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $54,024
Jobs more common near Detroit than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners --$24,689
Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators and tenders -- $45,476
Power plant operators -- $55,733

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Population: 1,471,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $65,598
Accountants and auditor -- $47,239
Computer applications software engineers -- $69,912
Jobs more common near the Cambridge area than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Nuclear technicians -- $55,952
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons -- $193,462
Atmospheric and space scientists -- $62,651

Flint, Michigan
Population: 444,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $48,594
Elementary school teachers -- $50,475
Secondary school teachers -- $48,177
Jobs more common near Flint than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Postsecondary teachers -- $60,113
Education, training and library workers -- $51,530
Elementary and secondary education administrators -- $71,703

Binghamton, New York
Population: 248,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $41,437
Secondary school teachers -- $40,957
Elementary school teachers -- $36,611
Jobs more common near Binghamton than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Coil winders, tapers and finishers -- $16,525
Judges and magistrates -- $70,856
Legislators -- $102,050

Canton, Ohio
Population: 411,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $47,910
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $41,607
Secondary school teachers -- $45,051
Jobs more common near Canton than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Metal and plastic forging machine operators -- $45,255
Welding operators -- $27,655
Heat treating equipment operators -- $23,888

Dayton, Ohio
Population: 846,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:
Registered nurses -- $45,867
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,827
Secondary school teachers -- $44,184
Jobs more common near Dayton than other U.S. cities and average local salary:
Metal and plastic workers -- $32,182
Materials engineers -- $76,952
Postsecondary engineering teachers -- $50,824

*Salary information provided by All other data from and
**Population numbers based on metro area.

Posted by kkowatch on January 02, 2008 at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

Career Resources for the LGBT Job Searching Community

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop on job search strategies and resources for the LGBT community. This workshop was hosted by Mark J. Brostoff, Associate Director of Undergraduate Career Services at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana Univeristy in Bloomington. You can contact Mark Brostoff at if you have any further questions about these resources or materials.

What I thought might be most interesting and relevant to our LGBT students and readers is the list of LGBT-friendly companies that he provided -- and a few interesting statistics:

Benefits: 70 percent of the Top 500 companies offer health-benefits to same-sex couples

In Good Company published a list in October 2005 of the Top Ten pro-gay companies in The Advocate:

Gap, Inc
General Mills
Kaiser Permanente
Olivia Cruises and Resorts
Raytheon Company
Sprint Corporation
Viacom, Inc.
Washington Mutual
Wyndham International

Brostof stated that there are thousands of employers out there that are gay-friendly including non-profits, large and small organizations, and for-profit organizations that have instituted policies to protect gays and lesbians (and bisexual and transgender) workers from discrimination.

The HRC Corporate Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign each fall is a great resource for additional employing companies.

Other resources:
Gay Financial Network
Federal Globe
Human Rights Campaign
Queer Resources Directory
Out & Equal
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Pride at Work

Posted by kkowatch on December 10, 2007 at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

Live Discussion: Inside the Job Search Process

The Chronicle of Higher Education is hosting a *Live Discussion* this week on the job search.

From the Chronicle..."Jan Greenwood, a search consultant since 1992, will answer questions about how she finds job candidates and matches them to colleges with openings."

You can join in on the chat this Thursday (12/6/07) at noon, U.S. Eastern time. Link to this website to join:

Posted by kkowatch on December 04, 2007 at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

More Information on Internships Abroad -- Deadlines, etc

If you are interested in an internship abroad, I suggest that you meet with Bill Nolting of the UM International Center. His contact information can be found at the bottom of this posting. Below you will find information from Bill on international internship deadlines, etc. -Kelly

It may seem early to think about what you'll be doing next summer or next year, but if you're interested in working abroad, many of the best programs have application deadlines just around the corner!

More than 800 U-M students & recent graduates work abroad each year, and many of them participate in the following programs. I'm listing these in two categories: options for short-term (summer / semester) internships, and longer-term options for those who will be graduating or have graduated.

Feel free to let me know if you have questions about any of the programs listed here -- or about other options if you don't see what you're looking for here.


CDS EMGIP parliamentary internships in GERMANY
Nov. 30 for Spring 2008 or Jan. 11 for Summer 2008
U-M contact: Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, or tel.

Dec. 1 --
Applications must be received by CDS in New York, NY by this date!
U-M contact: Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, or tel.

Dec. 3 -- CDS-UM Summer 2008 internships in GERMANY,
Citizens of *all* countries are eligible. Most positions are paid.
Program is affiliated with U-M's German Department.

CDS also offers unpaid summer internships in SPAIN (apply by Jan. 18) and ARGENTINA (apply by Jan. 31). U-M contact: Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, or phone 615-6336. She will hold extra office hours in MLB 3416 this week to meet with applicants: Tuesday 12-3PM, Wednesday 1-3PM and Friday 1-4 PM.

Apply in December, or no later than Jan 1. -- IAESTE offers paid overseas internships in 80+ countries for students in ENGINEERING, SCIENCES & ARCHITECTURE. Citizens of *all* countries are eligible. Be sure to join U-M's IAESTE student chapter before you apply, to save on fees! IAESTE application page is:

Apply now -- Internships in FRANCE through U-M's French Department -- contact Rachel Criso at

No deadline, BUNAC Work Abroad Programs in BRITAIN, IRELAND, CANADA, AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND. Note that if you graduated in May, you'll need to start the program in Britain, Ireland or Canada by December 31. The Australia program is open to students & non-students up to age 30 (same for New Zealand, but age limit is 35).

See our article on short-term paid work abroad at:

BUNAC's website is


Dec. 1 -- CDS Congress-Bundestag Program in Germany (see above)

Dec. 3 -- Japan Teaching & Exchange (JET) Program, for academic year
2008-09 (deadline for receipt of hard-copy application & all supporting documents in Washington, DC). Placements as English Teaching Assistants
(ALT) or Coordinators of International Relations (CIR). Japanese Government program. Positions are well-paid and there are no fees. See our article with tips for applying at:

The JET Program's website is:

Dec. 3 -- Princeton-in-Asia, for academic year 2008-09. Program offers placements in 13 Asian countries for a) Teaching English or b) "Workplace fellowships" in Business, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Media. Program is affiliated with Princeton University. Applicants must be willing to go to interview in Princeton, NJ.

Dec. 15 -- CDS Alfa Fellowships in RUSSIA, 2008-09 (for those who have a graduate degree & knowledge of Russian). Fully-funded.

Feb. 1 (previously was Dec. 1, though earlier application than Feb. 1 is
encouraged) -- France English Teaching Assistantship, for academic year 2008-09. French Government program. Positions are paid and there are no fees. See our article about the program at:

The program's website with application forms is:

No deadline, BUNAC (see above).

No deadline, PEACE CORPS (but best to apply around 9 months before you want to start). If interested, come to the PEACE CORPS INFORMATION SESSION FRIDAY, NOV. 30 at 3 PM in the U-M INTERNATIONAL CENTER. Peace Corps offers fully-funded (paid) volunteer work in 70+ less-developed countries; positions are for two years plus several months training. US Government program; no fees, US citizens eligible.
U-M Peace Corps Office (at the International Center), Amanda Miller and Ashley Thompson,, tel. 647-2182,

For all options for working abroad, please see our overview site at:

As always, feel free to e-mail, phone or visit our office if you have any questions!

Bill Nolting, U-M International Center, tel. 734-647-2299 Overseas Opportunities & Peace Corps Office
603 E. Madison Street (next to the Michigan Union)

Posted by kkowatch on November 26, 2007 at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

Resources for Employment in Michigan!

If you are interested in staying in Michigan for your internship or for when you graduate then, this article is for you. Earlier this term, I received an email from Amy Cell, Amy Cell, Director, Talent Enhancement, at Ann Arbor SPARK about a resource that her organization was developing that would provide a list of organizations in Michigan that are hiring talent out of college.

Its true that the economy in Michigan isn't great, but I've found that there are many employers that are seeking new employees and can't find people that have the right skills or want to stay in Michigan. So, there are jobs out there -- its just a matter of finding the right one for your abilities and skills.

Please find below information on the resource being developed by 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? If the answer to these questions is “YES!? Please check out this link:

Ann Arbor SPARK College Connections

This portal was created just for you – college students that would like to stay in Michigan upon graduation. We have an initial list of 44 companies and a number of helpful links, and we will be 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 with any questions, comments, suggestions and other feedback.

Posted by kkowatch on November 21, 2007 at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

Local Tech Recruiters -- Hiring!

Last week, I made my way up to North Campus and visited the Ann Arbor Tech Fair, which was hosted by UM's Electrical Engineering and Computer Sceience Department and Eta Kappa Nu.

While at the fair, I visited with recruiters from ten local companies. Many of the recruiters had at least heard of SI, but some were very familiar with our school and were interested in learning more about how to get in touch with students. I've added all of the contacts to iTrack and you will be seeing some of these local organizations at SI next term. Please see below for some information on these local organiztaions. Note that most of them are not only Michigan based, but also have offices around the country or even the world. I encourage you to check their websites out and see if they have a position open that fits your skills and interests!

Arbor Networks
Arbor Networks delivers network security and operational performance for global business networks. From the service provider cloud to the enterprise core, the Arbor Peakflow network behavior analysis and anomaly detection solution delivers unmatched network-wide visibility and scalability to defend against a wide range of threats, including worms, data theft, DDoS attacks, botnets and more. Arbor Peakflow enables businesses to harden their networks, maintain business continuity and prevent the loss of customer confidence.

HandyLab, Inc.
HandyLab, Inc is dedicated to the development, manufacture and sale of novel diagnostic products based on its patented and proprietary microfluidic, miniaturized real time PCR, and nucleic acid extraction technologies. HandyLab's target markets include hospital and clinical reference laboratories. The company focuses on applications requiring a high degree of sensitivity, specificity and speed in testing capabilities.

Keepsake Software
Keepsake Software is the leader and inventor of 'Flowchart Programming Technology' supporting thousands of PC Based applications in the automotive industry and elsewhere. Founded by a team of seasoned professionals in 1998, Keepsake Software has successfully deployed and supported over 3,000 installations in the automotive industry. Originally, the company utilized its software technology specifically in the automotive industry. Today, Keepsake Software is currently adopting its software and flowcharting technology into diverse markets enabling the company to grow and introduce innovative products.

Media Genesis
Media Genesis provides website and Internet application development for companies of all sizes. We specialize in corporate and consumer website development, and in creating web-based training programs.

Merit Network, Inc
Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit, member-owned organization formed in 1966 to design and implement a computer network between public universities in Michigan. After 40 years of innovation, Merit continues to provide high-performance networking and services to the research and education communities in Michigan and beyond. Merit is also actively involved in various research projects including the development of network traffic visualization tools, effective data extraction from large volumes of network data, and the identification and mitigation of Botnets. Merit is actively seeking highly talented students to work in some of these projects on both a full-time basis as well through internships (summer or regular semester).

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and protect the world's most critical information. Serving both service provider and enterprise customers, Nortel delivers innovative technology solutions encompassing end-to-end broadband, Voice over IP, multimedia services and applications, and wireless broadband designed to help people solve the world's greatest challenges.

SRT Solutions
SRT Solutions provides custom software development and mentoring. SRT Solutions’ expertise is working with software developers on-site on their current projects, teaching them to apply new technologies to current projects. Unlike its competitors that learn new technologies at a client’s request, SRT Solutions is a leader in emerging technology, enabling it to apply cutting-edge innovations to client problems.

Urban Science
Founded in 1977, Urban Science is a strategic consulting firm that provides customized intelligent solutions to companies seeking to increase the market share and profitability of their retail networks. Using advanced data analytics, informed strategic insight and robust planning tools Urban Science delivers critical competitive, cost and customer-relationship advantages for our customers. Urban Science’s success is based on exceptional data-collection and analysis which yield scientific information that drives network performance. Statistical modeling, market benchmarking, segmentation analysis, market profiling and advanced data mining are examples of Urban Science tools to maximize sales-channel performance. Our experienced consultants design, develop and implement strategically sound sales-channel initiatives. Real-world experience, disciplined processes and proprietary methodologies are applied to help gauge market opportunity, assess competitive strengths, develop performance standards and create effective marketing programs. Urban Science's World Headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan, and serves its global clientele from offices in the United States, Spain, France, England, Germany, Italy, Australia, The Netherlands, Mexico, China and Japan.

Workforce Software
Workforce Software develops and implements web-based, enterprise application software for employee time and attendance. Our customers are large organizations who need to manage their workforce with an enterprise class web-based time and attendance system. Our solution is gaining widespread acceptance as the industry-leading solution for organizations wishing to automate their time and attendance processes. Our system has the right functionality and technology and we continue to make large investments in new functionality to maintain our market leading position. We have experienced 5 years of explosive growth averaging over 100% per year, and were recently ranked the 147th fastest growing company in North America on Deloitte's 2006 Technology Fast 500.

Zattoo acquires, transports and presents quick-start, long-play streaming video in one browser for all channels for broadband users anywhere. Zattoo is the only provider of P2P IPTV to provide users with diverse and desired content of the highest possible video quality in one browser, while dramatically reducing cost and increasing reach for broadcasters and enabling advertisers to leverage the best aspects of both web-based and traditional television advertising methods. Zattoo partners with broadcasters and advertisers to serve consumers with a wide selection of content from various sources in one easy-to-use web interface. Developed by leading researchers and software engineers from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Zattoo offers a state-of-the-art, commercial peer-to-peer network optimized for streaming video that is uniquely capable of serving the specific needs of consumers, broadcasters, content owners and advertisers.

Other organizations that are local and registered for the Ann Arbor Tech Fair, but were not present during my visit include the following:
Computer & Engineering Services, Inc.
MBM Consulting
Menlo Innovations LLC

Posted by kkowatch on November 20, 2007 at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

Advice: Resume Rules Not to Be Broken

Some great, pointed tips on what not to do on your resume! This is a very cut and dry article with some great advice! Thanks to the MSI student that passed this along to me. - Kelly

BRAZEN CAREERIST: Resume Rules Not Made to Be Broken by Penelope Trunk

This is the problem with the resume-writing world: Everyone thinks they’re an exception to the rules. Everyone thinks they can pick and choose which rules are important. Do not do this. Until you work in human resources and personally scan 300 resumes a day, you are in no position to discard rules of resume writing.

Here are the six most violated rules among the resumes that people send to me to review:

Keep it to one page. The job of a resume is to get you an interview, not get you a job. A hiring manager has to sift through a pile of resumes to figure out which person to interview. Each resume gets about a ten-second look. If you think you need a longer resume, give someone one page of your resume and have them look at it for ten seconds. Ask them what they remember; it won’t be much. They are not going to remember any more information in ten seconds if you give them two pages to look at; ten seconds is ten seconds.

Ditch the line about references on request. It’s implied. Of course, if someone wants a reference, you will give one. No one presumes that you will not. So when you write that you will provide a reference you seem to not understand how the game is played.

Bonus tip: If you have an excellent reference, like a CEO of a Fortune 500 company who vacations with your Mom, have the reference call before you even go to the interview. Sets the tone for the employer to think you are amazing. (KK note: Hmmm... not so sure about this one... it sets you up for the possiblity of great disappointment -- do this only if you are a wow-great-interviewer).

Tread lightly on the personal interests line. Your personal interests are not there to make you look interesting. They are there to get you an interview. Every line on your resume is there to get you an interview. So, only list personal interests that reveal a quality that will help you meet the employer’s needs. If you are in sports marketing, then by all means, list that you kayak. If you were an Olympic athlete, put it down because it shows focus and achievement. If you are a mediocre hobbyist, leave it off.

Personal interests that don’t make you stand out as an achiever do not help you. And personal interests that are weird make you look weird, and you don’t know if your interviewer likes weird or not, so leave weird off the resume.

List achievements, not job duties. Anyone can do a job. Achievements show you did the job well. Past performance is the best indicator of future performance, so don’t let someone think you just showed up for your last job and didn’t do it well.

It’s very hard to see your achievements from the trenches; you might think you did not have achievements because your boss doesn’t ask you to do achievements, your boss asks you to do tasks and projects. But you need to recognize that you do not see achievements and ask for help to see them. A resume coach, or even a friend, can help you to see them more clearly.

Don’t be a designer unless you are. If you have more than three fonts on your resume and you’re not a designer, I can promise you that you’ve botched the layout. If design were easy, no one would get paid for it. Recognize your strengths and keep design elements to the bare minimum. And please, save Photoshop for cards to your mom. Just because you know how to use the shading tools doesn’t mean you know how to use them well.

List your most recent job first. Reverse chronological order is only a good idea if you are looking to get hired to go back in time. Otherwise you look like you’re bucking resume writing convention in order to hide something, which you probably are, but you have to do it with a better sleight of hand than that.

Penelope Trunk writes the Brazen Careerist blog. Her new book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success (Warner Business Books, 2007), is available at E-mail her at

Posted by kkowatch on November 07, 2007 at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

Good News: IT Salaries are on the Rise!

Great news about IT Salaries -- they are on the rise! At twice the rate of inflation.

IT Salaries to Rise Twice as Fast as Inflation by Deborah Perelman

The biggest increases will go to lead application developers and application architects, a Robert Half Technology report says.

CIOs looking to hire skilled IT professionals will pay, on average, 5.3 percent more in 2008 than they did this year, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology's 2008 IT Salary Guide. As a comparison, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.8 percent this past year.

Click here for a free copy of the Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide.

The biggest increases will go to lead application developers,who manage softeare development teams and projects, with base compensation expected to rise 7.6 percent to between $80,250 and $108,000 annually. Application architects, also in demand, will average a 7.5 percent increase, with starting salaries ranging from $87,250 to $120,000.

Other skills seeing salary increases of 7 percent or higher include Web development, network management or database administration.

"This was not really a surprise," says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm. "The strong increases are still in the application development space, especially for individuals that have those Web 2.0 skill sets. Those who can architect and develop Web spaces had the highest increases that we saw, even 7.5 percent in some titles."

Robert Half Technology's 2008 IT Salary Guide is based on analysis of the job placements managed by the company's U.S. offices. The analysis found that nearly 15 percent of firms said that they intended to increase their IT staff in 2008.

The company pegged wireless communication as one of the top areas driving IT hiring in U.S. companies, as developers create more and more tools for mobile devices that IT departments are increasingly responsible for supporting. Lee calls this the "gadget factor."

"With everyone's devices communicating with everyone else's devices, there is a need for people who are like the air traffic controllers of the IT department," Lee says.

Industries foreseeing strong demand for IT pros next year include financial services, healthcare and commercial construction, the report says.

Application Development
Manager, 6.1%, $86,250 to $117,750
Project Manager, 5.0%, $76,500 to $111,500
Systems Analyst, 3.5%, $66,000 to $90,250
Applications Architect, 7.5%, $87,250 to $120,000
Business Systems Analyst, 5.6%, $64,250 to $91,750
Developer/Programmer Analsyt, 6.0%, $57,500 to $96,750
Lead Applications Developer, 7.6%, $80,250 to $108,000
Technical Writer, 5.3%, $48,250 to $72,000
Source: Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide
Bonus Pay for Application Development
For the following development skills, add
5% for C++
10% for Java
5% for Visual Basic
12% for C#, 5% for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl)
5% for AJAX (Asynchronous Java and XML)
5% for Microsoft SharePoint
10% for Visual Basic .Net.

Consulting and Systems IngegrationDirector, 6.1%, $93,250 to $137,500
Practice Manager, 5.2%, $92,500 to $125,000
Project Manager/Senior Consultant, 5.5%, $78,250 to $108,750
Staff Consultant, 6.4%, $59,250 to $82,250
Senior IT Auditor, 6.9%, $86,750 to $114,750
IT Auditor, 6.3%, $74,000 to $102,750

DataBase Administrator
Database Manager, 5.4%, $88,750 to $122,750
Database Developer, 4.1%, $76,250 to $107,500
Database Administrator, 5.1%, $74,250 to $106,750
Data Analyst/Report Writer, 6.0%, $57,750 to $78,500
Data Architect, 6.2%, $87,750 to $119,000
Data Modler, 7.0%, $74,250 to $102,000
Data Warehouse Manager, 6.3%, $90.750 to $120,750
Data Warehouse Analyst, 6.1%, $78,250 to $104,250
Business Intelligence Analyst, 6.6%, $78,250 to $108,250
Note: Add 10 percent for Oracle database, 12 percent for Microsoft SQL Server and 7 percent for IBM DB2 database skills.

Quality Assurance and Test
QA/Testing Manager, 5.4%, $74,250 to $96,000
QA Associate/Analyst, 5.5%, $54,500 to $79,250
Note: Add 5 percent for performance testing skills, such as Mercury Interactive tools.

Internet and E-Commerce
Senior Web Developer, 6.6%, $76,250 to $108,250
Web Developer, 5.3%, $57,250 to $86,250
Web Administrator, 6.0%, $52,250 to $79,750
Web Designer, 6.1%, $50,000 to $75,750
EDI Specialist, 5.7%, $59,750 to $85,000
E-Commerce Analyst, 5.5%, $65,000 to $92,500
Messaging Administrator, 7.1%, $55,000 to $77,750
Bonus Pay for Internet and E-Commerce
For the following development skills, add
10% for Java
10% for Java Enterprise Edition
5% for LAMP (Linus, Apache, MYSQL and PHP/Perl)
5% for AJAX (Asynchronous Java and XML)
5% for Microsoft SharePoint
5% for ColdFusion
7% for Web services
5% for Active Server Page
10% for DCOM/COM/ActiveX
12% for C#
10% for Visual Basic .Net
5% for WebLogic clustering administrative

Network Architect, 5.8%, $843,000 to $118,250
Network Manager, 7.0%, $74,500 to $98,500
Network Engineer, 3.0%, $67,250 to $93,500
LAN/WAN Administrator, 4.9%, $53,500 to $75,000
Telecommunications Manager, 2.9%, $70,500 to $91,250
Telecommunications Specialist, 4.1%, $49,250 to $72,500
Note: Add 12% for Cisco network, 10% for Linux/Unix, 10%for Windows 2000/2003/XP and 10% for Voice over Internet Protocol administration skills.

Manager, 4.4%, $55,000 to $74,250
Computer Operator, 3.9%, $30,500 to $42,750
Mainframe Systems Programmer, 4.9%, $55,250 to $72,750

Data Security Analyst, 4.9%, $76,250 to $104,000
Systems Security Administrator, 4.0%, $73,500 to $103,500
Network Security Administrator, 4.5%, $72,750 to $103,000
Note: Add 12% for Disco network, 10% for Linux/Unix and 10% for CheckPoint firewall administration skills.

Software Development
Product Manager, 4.0%, $83,000 to $112,250
Software Engineer, 4.5%, $69,250 to $104,500
Software Developer, 5.3%, $63,500 to $99,750
Bonus Pay for Software Development
For the following development skills, add
5% for C++
10% for Java
7% for Web services
5% for Active Server Page
5% for Visual Basic
10% for DCOM/COM/ActiveX
12% for C#
10% forVisual Basic .Net

Technical Services, Help Desk and Technical Support
Manager, 4.3%, $65,250 to $92,000
Desktop Support Analyst, 4.5%, $48,500 to $68,250
Systems Adminstrator, 3.8%, $51,750 to $78,8750
Help Desk Tier 3, 5.2%, $44,750 to $57,250
Help Desk Tier 2, 6.5%, $35,750 to $46,250
Help Desk Tier 3, 5.8%, $29,250 to $39,000
Instructor/Trainer, 4.4%, $47,750 to $70,500
PC Technician, 3.9%, $29,250 to $44,000
Business Continuity Analyst, 5.3%, $68,250 to $100,250
Note: Add 12% for Cisco network, 10% for Linux/Unix and 10% for Windows 2000/2003/XP administration skills

Source: Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide

Posted by kkowatch on November 06, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

Social Networking and Behavioral Targeting -- Its Out There!

Another great article from the Chronicle of Higher Education....

The Advertiser Over Your Shoulder by Brock Read

When they warn students about the perils of social networking, college officials often point out that prospective employers pore over profiles on MySpace and Facebook. And the sites themselves aren’t shy about doing the same.

As The New York Times reports, both MySpace and Facebook are embracing “behavioral targeting? as an advertising tool. MySpace has enlisted more than 50 companies, including Ford and Taco Bell, in a program that peruses profiles, makes note of users’ interests, and then delivers thematically appropriate ads. Facebook is expected soon to unveil a similar advertising scheme, also based on profile data,.

The social networks are going public with their microtargeting strategies just a week after the Federal Trade Commission held a hearing to consider whether it should regulate online advertising more aggressively. Privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology had asked the commission to create a “Do Not Track? registry that would prohibit companies from logging people’s Web usage for advertising purposes. (Facebook officials showed up at the hearing to discuss their privacy policies.)

Would many college students sign up for such a list? Google’s e-mail service, Gmail, runs advertisements based on the content of users’ e-mail messages, but that practice hasn’t stunted the service’s growth.

Still, the advent of target advertising should unnerve students who are devoted to social networking, says Kathryn Montgomery, a professor of communication at American University. “If you are hanging out with your friends and talking about who you are, what rock stars you like, and so on,? she told The Times, “you don’t assume that someone is sitting there and taking down every word you’re saying and putting it into some kind of algorithm.? —Brock Read

Posted by kkowatch on November 05, 2007 at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

iTrack: Search By Zip Code and Search Agents!

I just got notification that within iTrack, as of Monday, November 12, you can search jobs by zip code! This will make geographic searches much easier!

A tip: If you login to iTrack pretty much never (which I know is the case for you busy students), login in once and set up a Search Agent. This function will send you an email as frequently as you like with positions that match your selected criteria. If you aren't logging in, you may be missing out on your dream job! If you need help with setting up a Search Agent, let me know as its not as intuitive as you would think. ~ Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on November 05, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

Chronicle of Higher Education Article: Access to Digital Repositories

An interesting article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about access to digital repositories at small universities and colleges....

Struggling to Keep Up By Martha H. Patterson

For the past 10 years I have been working on and off on one project: an analysis of the imagery and the rhetoric of the “New Woman? -- a phrase often used to describe suffragists, progressive reformers, clubwomen, or bloomer-wearing bicyclists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A fair amount of the research I’ve done has been a painstaking process of examining hard copy or microfilm of ethnically and regionally diverse American newspapers, periodicals, and fiction from 1894 until 1930. I have paged through bound volumes of popular magazines, such as Life or McClure’s, until my eyes watered and my index finger ached. The most popular black newspaper of the period, the Chicago Defender, I scanned via microfilm, searching hour after hour for references to the New Woman in editorials about women’s suffrage or gender roles.

Only later, on a trip to the Schomburg Center in New York, did I discover that all of those periodicals have been digitized.

As I scrolled through the New York Public Library’s digital database riches, I tried not to groan audibly, feeling like someone who has dragged her luggage up five flights of stairs without noticing the elevator around the corner. The digital ProQuest collections -- including the American Periodicals Series Online, the Gerritsen Collection, and especially the expanding Historical Newspapers products -- would have made my task considerably easier had I known about them earlier, or had I had ready access to the libraries that could afford all of them.

As it was, I scurried about, trekking to major research libraries on family trips, appealing to my home institution for additional travel money, relying on the kindness of librarians around the country to perform digital searches for me, and doing without.

While the interlibrary loan service has leveled the scholarly playing field for many reseachers at smaller institutions, the digitization of primary sources presents new challenges. Currently there is no way for an individual to purchase access to databases owned by ProQuest, which accurately proclaims itself “the leading provider of microform and electronic information to school, academic, public, and government libraries.?

Resources such as, which individuals can purchase for $16.50 a month, help, but their search engines lack many important features that are available with the ProQuest Historical Newspapers products. And while a number of states and the Library of Congress have embarked on newspaper-digitization programs, they haven’t begun to rival ProQuest in their scope.

Many small and medium-size academic libraries can’t afford the databases, which, despite a sliding fee scale, still cost thousands of dollars. Most medium-size college or university libraries will carry the major secondary-source online index to a particular discipline, so that one can at least know that an article exists even if one doesn’t have immediate access to it via the expensive JSTOR, which offers full-text articles from a wide range of disciplines. But comprehensive citations from historic journalistic sources generally aren’t available unless a library purchases the full-text database.

The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, owned by most institutions, regardless of their size, doesn’t index many popular magazines—such as the National Police Gazette, a 19th-century tabloid—that are available digitally and in full text through the American Periodical Series Online.

To gain access to the information we need, scholars at small or medium-size institutions must grapple with the extra expense and time of travel to get to a major research library -- even those who are fortunate enough to live relatively close to one. Some academics have resorted to secretly using the accounts of friends at larger and better-supported institutions. Some spend needless hours plowing through microfilm that has been digitized. Many others simply restrict their studies to the information at hand.

As a friend reminded me, however, archives have always been a place to which one must travel. But digital archives, I countered, are different, in part because they could theoretically be made available to all scholars. The information held within is often unindexed primary-source material, the searching possibilities enable far more comprehensive research, and the potential time saved is so great.

Unlike a physical repository, the searching variations of a digital archive are so many that one visit is almost always inadequate. One key word search often opens up a chain of new search possibilities into unimaginably vast amounts of data. At the same time, obtaining biographical information about relatively obscure writers or tracking long-range cultural trends with key-word searches in multiple periodicals can now be done in a matter of hours, as opposed to weeks or even years.

As the digital revolution continues, reviewers of book manuscripts in the humanities will increasingly expect those tools to be used. Access to them will materially affect not only the scope of the final scholarly product and the time it takes to produce, but the expectations for the product, and its author, in the academic marketplace.

Scholars from tuition-driven institutions already contend with heavy teaching loads and little time for research. A lack of access to the best digital archives presents yet another hurdle.

Even midsize institutions enjoy only limited digital offerings. Campus database holdings tend to be region specific -- so if you want to search a historical database of The Atlanta Constitution, you have to visit a university library in the South.

No library that I know of owns all of ProQuest’s products. If you’re looking at a national cultural trend or the myriad responses to a specific event, you will have to travel to multiple libraries with little hope for the external grant support that traditional archives provide.

It’s not that I begrudge entirely my time spent examining the hard copy and microfilm of now-digitized collections. Digital searches often won’t pull up political cartoons, advertising, and comic strips that are important resources in cultural studies. And in key word searches, even with full-page view options, you often lose the context of newspaper or magazine articles.

Nonetheless, the digital divide between the ivory-tower haves and have-nots will be a defining one for our generation of scholars. It exacerbates inequalities already present and makes it that much harder for scholars hoping to enter the larger intellectual debate on an equal footing.

Martha H. Patterson is an associate professor of English at McKendree University.

Posted by kkowatch on November 05, 2007 at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

2nd Year MSI's: Submit Your Resume to the American Research Libriares (ARL) Graduate Student Database!

ARL Redesigns MLS Graduate Student Résumé Database

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has redesigned its MLS Graduate Student Résumé Database, which allows graduate students within six to eight months of completing an MLS program or within six to eight months of completing a post-MLS residency program to post their résumés in one of the most visited online recruitment services in the academic and research library community.

This unique service enables human resources staff at ARL member libraries and other subscribing institutions to target outreach efforts by conducting proactive searches of potential candidates. The site is secure and only ARL member representatives and paid subscribers have access to the confidential database.

The redesigned site allows human resources staff to search by:

Areas of interest
Geographic locations
Foreign language skills
Library schools
In addition to the search capabilities, human resources staff can subscribe to an RSS feed that will notify them when new résumés are added to the database.

Posting résumés to the database is complimentary for all MLS graduate students and post-MLS residents. ARL encourages students and residents to post their résumés today at

Human resources staff at ARL member libraries or other interested institutions should contact Jerome Offord Jr., ARL Director of Diversity Initiatives,, to obtain access to the database.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is located on the Web at

For more information, contact:
Jerome Offord, Jr., MS, MLS
Director of Diversity Initiatives
Association of Research Libraries
21 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
Office: (202) 296-2296
Fax: (202) 872-0884
Efax: (202) 318-8991

Posted by kkowatch on October 26, 2007 at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

From Library "What's an MLIS Worth?"

Library published an update on the job outlook for MLIS graduate. SI Careers contributes to their annual employment surveys, so our graduates' outcomes are included in this article's outcomes. Things sound pretty good to me: salaries are increasing and MLIS graduates are finding an increasing number of jobs outside of the library environment (which could be good or bad, depending on your perspective). Read the article for a glimpse of the good and not-so-good news about the job market.

What's an MLIS Worth? A picture of overall growth is marred by fissures in job outlook
By Stephanie Maatta -- Library Journal, 10/15/2007

It was a banner year for women in 2006. Their average annual starting salary finally cracked through the $40,000 glass barrier, increasing to $40,566 for all women and with a substantial gain of 11.3% for women in the Southwest. There was small, but solid, growth in salaries overall. Reported annual starting salaries for new graduates increased approximately 2.2% overall, from $40,118 in 2005 to $41,014.

Another surprise was the substantial leap in graduates reporting jobs outside of the library and information science (LIS) professions (up 43.7%). The number of LIS graduates participating in the annual placements and salaries survey increased by 12% for 2006. This year, 1,992 graduates submitted responses (approximately 37% of the estimated total graduates). The percentage of graduates reporting employment of any type has remained steady at 90.8% (totaling 1,809). Of these graduates, 89.9% reported placements in some type of library agency, down slightly from 92.9% in 2005, while those reporting placements outside of library agencies increased by 37.4%, continuing a trend from previous years.

However, fissures appeared in the job outlook owing to more grads in nonprofessional jobs, rising temp positions, more graduates taking multiple part-time positions, and a longer average job search.

Entry-level “gap??

Over the last several years there has been speculation that an entry-level gap exists—that there are more graduates than available entry-level jobs. This is a complex situation. Approximately 37% of the LIS graduate programs responding to the institutional questionnaire reported a rise in the number of available jobs, while 16% reported a decrease. None of the responding institutions reported difficulties in placing graduates. In fact, few LIS graduates commented that entry-level jobs were not available. Instead, the graduates' concerns reflected salary levels that were not competitive with other professions or the inability to find a job in their area that fit their interests and skills.

It may be useful to examine some of the other factors that impact job placement. For example, there are heavy concentrations of LIS schools in some regions of the United States—the Midwestern and Northeastern programs combined produce over 50% of the graduates, thus providing dense pools of job applicants. For geographically bound graduates this makes the job search more arduous since more graduates compete for the same positions. Another factor is the hiring process itself. Graduates frequently discuss taking civil service exams and undergoing background checks and security clearances that all add time and, perhaps, frustration to the job search. Employers also go through a lengthy process of contacting references and interviewing. There is no doubt that employers look for experience; it may behoove LIS programs to be more proactive in encouraging students to participate in fieldwork or internship activities and service learning projects and volunteer at library and information agencies.

Some ups, some downs

Despite some good news, there were disturbing trends. An increasing number of grads reported taking nonprofessional positions. While they make up less than 10% of the overall placements, nonprofessional positions increased by almost 37.5% between 2005 and 2006 after declining between 2003 and 2005. Nonprofessional positions most frequently included titles such as technical assistant, clerk, or customer service assistant, suggesting that LIS graduates are accepting jobs typically filled by support staff without graduate degrees in order to gain experience or simply to find a job, any job.

Serious salary decreases in the Southeast in 2006 reversed multiyear rises in the region. This may be owing to the greater response rate from graduates in the Southeast. Placements in public libraries increased by 42% compared with 2005, and public libraries there offer the lowest pay—an average of $34,496 annually. It was quite the opposite in the Southwest, where public library placements increased by 53.3% and salaries were up 13.6%.

Jobs as school media specialists have fallen by 6.6% from 2005. Interestingly, those who say they work in school libraries remains steady. This suggests that graduates in school media centers may be redefining their job titles or accepting other types of jobs in school media centers. Average annual salaries for school library spots have changed little, except in the Southeast and the West. In the Southeast, you're better off working in a school this year; despite overall salary drops there, school library salaries rose by 7.7% to $40,526. But in the West, average annual salaries for those jobs dropped 11.7% to $47,257.

On the up side, placements with public libraries, special libraries, and vendors experienced salary growth and more jobs. A rise in the number of placements (up about 24%) in public libraries across the United States and Canada was complemented by 6% salary growth (up $2,268 to $37,875). Special libraries saw a healthy 6.1% increase above 2005 salaries, from $41,779 to $44,494, though the number of jobs remained steady. These findings continue trends for both of these types of libraries.

Work with vendors has seen steady growth since 2003. The average salary in that sector jumped from $38,273 in 2003 to $46,799 in 2006, with an approximate 28.5% growth in placements. Between 2005 and 2006, vendor salaries in the Northeast popped a whopping 19.5%, from $40,843 to $50,738. Vendor jobs vary and include cataloging and classification, reference/information services, and instruction.

More compromises

Part-time placements decreased slightly, but, on the flip side, more graduates are cobbling together multiple part-time jobs to approximate a full-time salary (29.1% hold two or more part-time positions). Nearly half of part-time placements were in public libraries, followed by 22.6% in academic libraries. Reference work had the highest rate of part-time employment.

As seen last year, some grads deliberately chose to delay the job search and seek part-time employment, whether to meet family demands or to go after additional certifications. Yet others chose to stay in current jobs while waiting for full-time professional positions to open up.

Just over 10% of respondents identified their jobs as temporary professional, up from 8.5% in 2005. Temporary status, of course, implies that employment is likely to end after a contractual period has expired, i.e., there is no guarantee that a position will remain in a budget. Many graduates said that they continued to job search while in a temporary position. One reported that lack of experience hindered her attempts to find the right job, resulting in her moving through several temporary roles—two months here, three months there—until she felt she had what it took to land a permanent spot. Graduates also accepted unrelated temp positions while searching for the “perfect? job within the LIS profession.

Seamless for some

The job search was relatively seamless for many grads. Of the 1,809 graduates who reported employment, approximately 36.9% remained with a current employer while getting the master's. For some this meant promotion upon graduation, with respondents noting salary hikes from the high $20,000's as a nonprofessional employee to the low $40,000's with a new professional title (LTA to Librarian I, for example). Additionally, of the 1,117 graduates who shared stories about their job search, 46% found employment before graduation, a jump from previous years (25.2% in 2005; 23% in 2004; 30% in 2003). Several said that they started to job search a semester or two before graduation, and many familiarized themselves with the potential job market before beginning to look.

The types of jobs graduates reported fluctuated in 2006. For example, spots in reference/information service had been slowly decreasing over the last couple of years; however, in 2006, the percentage of these positions came closer to 2004 levels (22.9%), with 21.1% of the full-time professional jobs in reference/information service. Positions in adult services decreased by 35% from 2005 (50 positions reported in 2005; 37 reported in 2006), while positions in youth services (teen librarians, young adult librarians) increased (80 positions reported in 2005 compared to 60 in 2004). This reflects a growing trend in many public libraries to serve the young adult population with dedicated staffing.

The biggest leap occurred in information technology, which saw a 57.8% rise (from 30 reported positions in 2005 to 71 in 2006). Along with the increased number of positions, graduates reported an 8.8% increase in the average annual salaries for positions related to information technology, to $53,083. “Information technology? is a bit of a catch-all, but graduates reported exciting positions within the category, including information policy analysis, software engineering, and training specialist. While 57% of the information technology placements were in outside agencies, graduates found IT jobs in all types of libraries, including academic, public, special, and government facilities.

Looking to other types of jobs, acquisitions saw the best salary increase (up approximately 16.7% to $38,894), while circulation salaries experienced the worst drop (down 10.8% to $32,334). In fact, the broader areas of access services and technical services continue to raise concerns. Cataloging and circulation continue to be among the lowest paid of the professional and nonprofessional positions, falling well below the average starting salaries for all LIS graduates (at $35,976 and $32,334, respectively, approximately 20% less). As in previous survey analyses, location and professional/nonprofessional classification in these jobs do not seem to factor into salary, though it is beginning to appear that the type of organization may impact salaries for both. For example, salaries for catalogers in public libraries average $34,864, 5% below the average salary reported for all catalogers, and positions in circulation and interlibrary loan/document delivery follow suit.

Other positions that saw strong salary improvements include administration (up 12.27% to $43,303), which encompasses all levels from assistant department head to library director, and government documents (up from $33,600 to $38,743) at the state and federal levels.

Diversity in the profession

The number of graduates reporting minority status continued to decline— from 12% in 2005 to 10.7% in 2006. This despite increased numbers of overall respondents and more graduates reporting race and ethnicity than in previous years. Salaries also took a step back. The 2006 minority graduates reported an average annual salary of $40,750, a 3.5% decrease from a high of $42,233 in 2005. In 2006, there was less than 1% difference between the salaries obtained by minority graduates and overall salaries—a reversal of past patterns when reported salaries for this group were an average of 6% higher. Increased placements in the Southeast (up by approximately 32.6% from 2005), where salaries are among the lowest, may be the culprit.

On a positive note, minority grads in special libraries reported significant improvement in salaries. These salaries recovered from a drop in 2005, gaining $7,246 to reach an average of $49,500. The trend in salaries for minorities mirrors the overall trend in special libraries, whose salaries rose 6.1%. It is important to note that special library placements reported by minority graduates declined somewhat over the previous year.

Salaries for minorities took the largest hits in other agencies and school libraries, dipping approximately 17.5% from 2005 in other agencies; however, salaries there are still 9% above the overall annual averages. School library salaries had a less dramatic reversal at approximately 3.9%.

Location continues to matter for graduates reporting minority status. On a bright note, this group experienced salary gains in the Midwest, up 7.5% to $42,080. Following the pattern of the rest of the Southeast, salaries plummeted there by 8.8%. Canadian graduates reporting minority status had significantly higher salaries than all Canadian graduates, which may be owing to the increased number of individuals claiming minority status.

Public libraries (36.4%) and academic libraries (29%) continue to be popular choices for minority graduates, and each type has seen modest salary growth. Salaries in public libraries rose by $1,368 (3.6%) for graduates reporting minority status, while average starting salaries in academic libraries surged 5.6% to $41,942 (approximately 7.1% higher than the overall average).

Gender inequity remains

Comparing average starting salaries for women and men continues to be an exercise in frustration, but with some glimmers of hope. While women have seen positive improvement in salaries, finally topping $40,000, their salaries continue to lag approximately 6.5% behind salaries for men.

Proportionately, women comprise approximately 80% of the LIS work force. However, smaller percentages of women found jobs in academic (73.6% women) and special libraries (76.7% women) and with vendors (66% women) and other organizations (46% women). Three of these four workplaces offer the top starting salaries (other agencies, vendors, and special libraries). So, fewer women are finding positions in the higher paying organizations. This was especially noticeable in the other agencies, where women's starting salaries ($47,163) were 12.8% below those earned by their male counterparts ($53,178). The exception appeared in special libraries, where women ($45,606) have achieved salaries that are 17.8% higher than men ($37,482), as well as the average starting salary for all women (11.1% higher).

Despite the salary differentials, in 2006 men did not experience the stellar salary growth of the previous year. The average starting salary for men grew only 2.5% from 2005 compared to a 4.3% rise the year before. They experienced unexpected success in public libraries, where salaries rose by 4.7%.

Regional boom or bust?

This year's sleeper was the Southwest. With the inclusion of LIS programs that had not participated in the previous year and an increased number of respondents, salaries and placements showed health across library types. While placements across Texas were high, there were more in Colorado and Utah than have been reported in past years, making up a combined 17% of the total placements in the Southwest in 2006. Women in the Southwest experienced enormous salary growth, up 11.3% to $39,793; men's average annual salaries rose by 9.5% to $40,587. Similarly, salaries for jobs in public libraries, school libraries, and special libraries had spectacular jumps.

In special libraries, average annual salaries grew to $40,167 from $32,800 (approximately 18.3%). Even though the actual number of placements remains low, reported placements in special libraries more than doubled among the Southwest cohort. Another area contributing to the spectacular increases is “other organizations.? Much like special libraries, while the overall number remains small, placements increased by 51% from the previous year, and salaries went up over 7.1% to $46,221.

Salaries in the Southeast suffered (down 3.2%) while reported placements increased (up 25%). Public and academic libraries had remarkable improvements in the number of jobs reported (increases of 42.1% and 38.6%, respectively). More graduates reported jobs in school libraries in the region also, increasing approximately 35% from 2005. Possible explanations for the salary dip include the continued fallout from the hurricanes and floods that have ravished the Southern United States over the last couple of years, eliminating jobs and funding for public institutions and negatively impacting tax bases in areas where the general population has shifted.

Defining the “other?

Over the past few surveys, there has been a steady rise in the number of LIS graduates who reported placements in other types of agencies and positions outside of libraries, with a spike this year, as noted. Graduates reporting these “other? jobs have found work in nonprofit organizations and agencies other than libraries, in private industry, and elsewhere, including bioengineering and independent consulting. This has implications for salary levels for these types of agencies. The nonprofit sector has the lowest salaries (at $42,117) on the scale, while, not surprisingly, private industry has the highest (at $59,025). In a follow-up survey, those who reported employment outside of the LIS profession in other agencies said that even though they are not in traditional library jobs, they do make use of the skills and competencies gained with the degree. One graduate described himself as being employed in the computer science field but applying information science theories and information organization principles. Another related her research skills to her responsibilities as a business analyst. The general consensus was that their education is transferable and has made them more flexible and in high demand outside of more traditional library environments.

LS or IS

There has been an ongoing suspicion that there is a significant difference between salaries for those individuals who find jobs in information science compared with those whose jobs are defined as library science. The 2006 graduates were asked to explore how they define their positions in terms of either library science (LS) or information science (IS). Of the 1,551 graduates who responded to the question, approximately 72% stated that their jobs were clearly LS, 12% claimed IS, and the remaining 16% described their positions as falling into other professional areas, such as business or higher education. Perhaps more interesting, 74% of the graduates describing their positions as IS are women, refuting previous assumptions that more men were accepting IS jobs.

The IS positions ranged from knowledge management and usability testing to information consulting and digital services. However, many of the more traditional positions, such as reference/information services and cataloging, fell under the IS moniker as well. Perhaps this is a function of the individual LIS program's philosophies (being an “I? school or an “L? school) rather than a function of the job itself. It may also be a product of the type of agency in which a graduate is employed, though many IS graduates landed in traditional library settings.

More significant than job title is the impact an IS or LS designation had on salaries. The average annual starting salary for graduates who identified their jobs as IS was $48,413 compared to $39,580 for LS jobs (an 18.2% variance). Salary differences were even more apparent when comparing women to men. In 2006, women who reported salaries for IS-related jobs had an average annual starting salary of $46,118, while men received $55,423 on average.

Is the master's enough?

A random sample of LJ survey respondents were asked to participate in a very brief follow-up survey. Among the questions, they were asked to discuss the challenges they faced in finding their first professional LIS position. The most common issue reported was finding a job when they had only limited professional experience in libraries. Being in a profession with many career-changers (approximately 51% of graduates said LIS was not their first professional career), many LIS graduates bring unique and specialized skills on their résumés. However, despite extensive backgrounds in other fields, they had difficulty convincing employers that their lack of practical library experience would not inhibit their job performance. This might explain the increasing number of temporary professional positions that LIS graduates reported as a way to gain experience while seeking permanent professional employment. This challenge may also be seen in the length of the job search. Graduates agree that students need to make the most of every opportunity to volunteer in libraries and other information agencies as well as seek out fieldwork and internships that will provide additional experience.

Graduates were also asked to discuss what best prepared them for their first professional position. As in the past they concurred that networking with professionals in the field was key, as was active participation in professional organizations. Some found working as a graduate assistant in the LIS department or the university library invaluable for gaining contacts and experience. Graduates readily discussed the relationship of their coursework to their first jobs, e.g., taking sufficient children and YA literature classes allowed them to be versatile in serving their young constituents.

The 2006 graduates generally felt knowledgeable about the profession as a whole and the specific positions they sought. For example, one graduate who wanted to become a cataloger took every cataloging/classification and information organization class available to build a strong theoretical background and participated in supervised fieldwork, which allowed him to garner practical experience as well. Another graduate summed it up this way: “I found that employers expected you to understand what they want you to do, and the more you know, the better you'll look. In other words, research doesn't stop with the degree.?

One final challenge that several graduates discussed in the follow-up survey was related to location. Approximately 16% of the 2006 graduates indicated a move outside of their home region. As a group, graduates said that finding the ideal location, one where they were willing to move their families and where salaries were acceptable, was tricky. Searching for the right place was especially lengthy for graduates who wanted to move cross-country and for those seeking nonlibrary jobs (the elusive “other?) in nonmetropolitan areas.

Advice to future graduates

A final question on the follow-up survey—for advice they would give to future colleagues—elicited responses from the philosophical to the practical. But in general, graduates stressed a need to be able to “parlay? personal background into professional experience. They emphasized the need for experience in a library or information agency even if it's in the capacity of a volunteer or page. Additionally, they suggested polishing the professional persona before entering the job market. One advised, “Be sure your MySpace or other social networking web pages are what you want future employers to see. The first thing a department head does when she gets a résumé is google the person.? For those going the corporate route, another advised, “No visible tattoos! Before going to an interview with a reputable firm, take out the face piercings and nose rings. Dye your blue (purple, mauve, or green) hair something 'normal.' Invest in a professionally prepared résumé.? Such professionalism extends to attitude, as expressed in the final piece of practical advice the 2006 graduates issued: “Show your administration that your job is more than just a 'job,' that it is your career.?

Link to a continuation of the article that shows graphs of the survey results here.

Posted by kkowatch on October 19, 2007 at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

Employers @ SI Presentation Etiquette & Tips

This fall has been a busy time for SI Careers in terms of Employer Visits. Already, we've had Autodesk, Yahoo!, Chevron Corporation, and the American Theological Library Association. Many, many more are scheduled to come throughout the rest of October and November. Spring, I have a feeling, will be even more busy.

Since the majority of SI students are not business undergraduates, it's not a surprise that many of the MSI population are not familiar with the actions that you should take at an Employer Presentation in order to make you stand out and to network effectively. See below for tips on how to make the most of Employer Visits and Presentations at SI.

1. Ask questions. Its not uncommon for a visiting employer to ask if there are any questions after a presentation. Personally, I don't mind that there are often only a few questions after my workshops and presentations because I know that you can meet with me anytime you like with questions, but for an employer, its important that you show you are interested and want to learn more about what they have to say. Other than an interview, if you are lucky enough to get one, this is your only chance to ask those burning questions about your potential future employer. Plus, the person that asks intelligent and interested questions is the one that the employer remembers and will be more likely to slate for an interview or report back to the organization about.

Don't know what to ask? Think about the fact that you will spend more time at your job than you will awake at home. I think that that little fact should encourage you to ask questions about how and where you will be spending the majority of your time. See below for suggestions:

• What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
• Who are your main industry competitors?
• What are the company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
• How important does upper management consider the function of this department/position?
• What is the organization's plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in?
• Could you explain your organizational structure?
• How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
• Could you describe your company's management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
• What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
• What is the company's policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can keep up their skills or acquire new ones?
• What particular computer equipment and software do you use?
• What kind of work can I expect to be doing the first year?
• What percentage of routine, detailed work will I encounter?
• How much opportunity is there to see the end result of my efforts?
• Who will review my performance? How often?
• How much guidance or assistance is made available to individuals in developing career goals?
• How much opportunity will I have for decision-making in my first assignment?
• Can you describe an ideal employee?
• What is your organization's policy on transfers to other cities?
• What is the recruitment schedule like?
• What sort of questions should I expect an in interview? What sort of skills or abilities will set me apart?
• What freedom would I have in determining my own work objectives, deadlines, and methods of measurement?
• What advancement opportunities are available for the person who is successful in this position, and within what time frame?
• In what ways has this organization been most successful in terms of products and services over the years?
• What significant changes do you foresee in the near future?
• How is one evaluated in this position?

Of course, your own original questions are the best, especially those that show you have done research on the company and demonstrate your sincere interest.

(Questions adapted from Career Services at Virginia Tech and Career Consulting Corner)

2. Turn your computer off. There is nothing more rude than showing up at an employer presentation and visibly (and audibly) typing and burying your nose in your laptop during a presentation. These employers often fly across the country to tell you about their employment opportunities, at great expense, and the least you can do is give them your full attention for an hour.

3. Attend the presentation. Even if the organization isn't recruiting for a position or function that you are interested in, if you are interested in working there, attend the presentation. Meeting with any recruiter or employer is the best way for you to get an "in" to the company. They may not need or specifically want you in their department, but they can go back to their colleagues that might be interested in your skills and tell them about you. It’s also a good way for you to learn some of the insider information about the organization or interviewing that you could not possibly get from any other source. And, you can get a business card to follow-up with and to request for a referral to someone that is in the department or area of your interest.

4. Research the organization. I think that the points that I stated above should give reason why this is important. Research helps you ask more intelligent and directed question, shows the recruiter or presenter that you have initiative, and it will give you a foundation to the information in the presentation so that all of the information that is provided isn't overwhelming. Research will help you make a more educated decision on whether or not the company is a good fit for you.

5. Lastly... don't let the presentation make or break your impression of the company. Sometimes, presenters aren't the best seller of their own company. Personally, I'm a bit mystified by the lack of presentation skills of presenting employers but still, it’s important to look beyond the recruiters' presentation abilities and see if the values, function, and career opportunities from this organization are ideal for you. Focus on the content and not the presenter, as they are often only one in several thousand employees! Luckily, this isn't usually the case, and often the representatives from the company that come to SI do a terrific job of selling their organization, which in the end, only makes it harder for you to make a decision!

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me. ~ Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on October 16, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

ASB Experience featured on the National Administration of Archives and Records Website!

Check out the 2007 Alternative Spring Break participants who worked at that National Administration of Archives and Records (NARA). NARA loves that UM-SI sends them students for spring break and as a result, they provide an excellent experience during spring break that has turned into an internship for more than one SI student! We're looking forward to sending more UM-SI students to NARA in 2008.

Posted by kkowatch on October 12, 2007 at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

Time Magazine Article: You Are Not My Friend

An interesting essay from one of my favorite columnists, Joel Stein. As usual, he has an original take on something -- this time it's a topic that I thought would be fun to share with you all.

You Are Not My Friend By JOEL STEIN

In the pre-internet days, neither of us would have even thought of calling each other friends. We'd have called ourselves friends of friends who met once and yet, for some reason, kept sending each other grammatically challenged, inappropriately flirty letters with photos of ourselves attached. Police might have gotten involved.

But now we're definitively friends, having taken a public vow of friendship on friend-based websites, wearing metaphorical friendship bracelets on the earnest Facebook, the punky MySpace, the careerist LinkedIn and the suddenly very Asian Friendster. As if that wasn't enough friendship for you, some of you have also asked me to be friends on the nerdy Twitter, the dorky-élitist Doostang and the Eurotrashy hi5. You message me and comment about me and write on my walls and dedicate songs to me and invite me to join groups. More than once you have taken it upon yourself to poke me.

This is hard to say to a friend, but our relationship is starting to take up too much of my time. It's weird that I know more about you than I do about actual friends I hang out with in person--whom I propose we distinguish by calling "non-metafriends." In fact, I know more about you than I know about myself. I have no idea what my favorite movie or song or TV show is. Last I checked, they all involved Muppets.

Also, you're a bit aggressive in our friendship. Would a non-metafriend call me up and say, "Hey! Guess what? I have a bunch of new pictures of me"? Or tell me he'd colored in a map of all the places he'd ever been? Or inform me, as Michael Hirschorn did in his Facebook status update, that he "is not making decisions; he's making surprises"? It's as if I suddenly met a new group of people who were all in the special classes.

The horror is, I can't opt out. Just as I can't stop making money or my non-metafriends will have more stuff than I do, I can't stop running up my tally of MySpace friends or I'll look like a loser. Just as money made wealth quantifiable, social networks have provided a metric for popularity. We all, oddly, slot in at a specific ranking somewhere below Dane Cook.

I'm sure social networks serve many important functions that improve our lives, like reconnecting us with old friends and finding out if people we used to date are still good-looking. And social networks all have messaging functions, which would be an excellent way to send information if no one had invented e-mail.

But really, these sites aren't about connecting and reconnecting. They're a platform for self-branding. Old people are always worrying that our blogging and personal websites and MySpace profiles are taking away our privacy, but they clearly don't understand the word privacy. We're not sharing things we don't want other people to know. We're showing you our best posed, retouched photos. We're listing the Pynchon books we want you to think we've read all the way through. We're allowing other people to write whatever they want about us on our walls, unless we don't like it, in which case we just erase it. If we had that much privacy in real life, the bathrooms at that Minnesota airport would be empty.

And like the abrasively direct ads for tinctures and cleaning products at the beginning of the advertising age, our self-branding is none too subtle. We are a blunt lot, in our bikinis and our demands that our friends go right now to check out our blog postings. We've gone 40 years back, to sales tactics predating irony, self-deprecation and actual modesty. We are, as a social network, all so awesome that we will soon not be able to type the number 1, because we will have worn out the exclamation point that shares its key.

Until we can build some kind of social network where we can present our true, flawed selves--perhaps some genius can invent something that takes place in a house over dinner with wine--I say we strip down our online communities to just the important parts. With enough venture funding--by which I mean the volunteer services of a dude who knows how to build a website--I hope to launch on which users are allowed to submit only their name, their occupation, a photo, the square footage of their home and a list of any celebrities they happen to know. Then other people can vote, on a scale of 1 to 100, on how awesome they are. At the end of the year, the ones with the most points are made homecoming king and queen, which, if I remember correctly, should immediately send their scores plummeting. If nothing else, it should finally rid us of Tila Tequila.

Posted by kkowatch on October 12, 2007 at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

MSU Knows "Why a CIO May Soon Be At the Helm of Your Company"

If you've done a good job of keeping your records up to date at your undergraduate alma mater, you should probably receive at least one publication about what all of your fellow alumnus are up to. I received a Broad Business Magazine from my alma mater, Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business (BA in Policy in Applied Economics, for anyone that is curious!) and it had a terrific article entitled, "Why a CIO May Soon Be At the Helm of Your Company" that I wanted to share with you all. In this article, they identify seven major Chief Information Officer (CIO) roles that could be categorized in two categories: the traditional Infrastructure Management and Soft Skills-Oriented Management. The soft-skills roles include the utilization of good foresight, communication, teamwork and leadership.

Four different roles were identified:
1. Integrator: CIOs lead the enterprisewise digitization and integration of processes, information and decision support so that the firm can effectively leverage enterprise information technologies (e.g., CRM, business intelligence).
2. Organizational Architect: CIOs develop an organizational model that is appropriate for their firm’s priorities and expectations about IT management.
3. Relationship Architect: CIOs form collaborative networks inside the enterprise to help synchronize business and IT management initiatives. At the same time, CIOs develop sourcing networks through vendor relationship management. They use these relationships to go beyond access to cost-effective IT applications and services, to help firms gain access to valuable new IT skills and knowledge.
4. Business Strategist: CIOs act as innovation catalysts and work with their business peers in discovering opportunities for leveraging IT in innovative business models, customer relationships and the pursuit of agility.

Tradition CIO roles include utility provisions, educator, or information steward.

I thought that it was good news to see that the rest of the world is recognizing that the role of information is soon going to be the shaping factor in many organizations, even over that of the responsibilities related to that of the traditional executive officer. This article may help you to see and shape your future career path so that it can ultimately lead you to one of these positions -- or something even more innovative that will evolve in the coming years.

The article can accessed here, or you can read the full text below in the extended entry.

Why a CIO may soon be at the helm of your company
by Vallabh Sambamurthy, Eli Broad Professor of Information Technology, Accounting and Information Systems Department, Eli Broad College of Business

Vallabh Sambamurthy, Eli Broad Professor of Information Technology, Accounting and Information Systems Department, and his colleague, Ritu Agarwal, University of Maryland, published “A Roadmap for Effective CIOs? in the December 2006 issue of Information Week’s monthly magazine Optimize.

Sambamurthy is also the executive director of the Center for Leadership of the Digital Enterprise (CLODE) at the Broad School, an intellectual infrastructure of research projects, databases and case studies that focus on the strategic needs of an innovative corporation. He recently was invited to be a panelist on the topic of “Collaborate to Innovate? at the prestigious INFOCOM conference in Calcutta, India, recognizing his work in bringing academia and IT industry leaders together to promote research projects. You can probably remember when a chief information officer (CIO) was the person in your organization who ultimately made sure the company’s computer network was up and running, and that you and your coworkers could rely on that system to consistently perform key business processes. In itself, maintaining — and continuously upgrading — costeffective, efficient technologies for large, complex enterprises is no small challenge. But today’s CIOs are becoming much more integral to the success of their organizations and will be expected to take on increasingly visible and demanding leadership roles in the near future.

We know this from the research we have conducted over the last five years into the emerging roles of CIOs: Surveys, case studies and our observations of model “digital? organizations all indicate that significant transformations are taking place.

From facilitator to leader
In a recent article published in a practitioner journal with my colleague Ritu Agarwal from the University of Maryland, we identified seven major CIO roles that could be categorized in two ways. In the first category are the standardized functions of utility provider (think infrastructure), educator and information steward. These are familiar roles and they will continue to be important to organizations. The second category of roles is the newer, more visible roles that are emerging. These roles may require an entirely new skill set, sometimes referred to as “soft skills,? including good foresight, communication, teamwork and leadership. In this category, we observed four different roles:

Integrator: CIOs lead the enterprisewise digitization and integration of processes, information and decisionsupport so that the firm can effectively leverage enterprise information technologies (e.g., CRM, business intelligence).
Organizational architect: CIOs develop an organizational model that is appropriate for their firm’s priorities and expectations about IT management.
Relationship architect: CIOs form collaborative networks inside the enterprise to help synchronize business and IT management initiatives. At the same time, CIOs develop sourcing networks through vendor relationship management. They use these relationships to go beyond access to cost-effective IT applications and services, to help firms gain access to valuable new IT skills and knowledge.
Business Strategist: CIOs act as innovation catalysts and work with their business peers in discovering opportunities for leveraging IT in innovative business models, customer relationships and the pursuit of agility.

Our research shows that while most CIOs were uniformly effective in the first category roles (utility provider, information steward and educator), there were striking differences in how well they performed in the second category roles (integrator, organizational architect, relationship architect and business strategist).

CIO with a CEO perspective
Given that the leadership imperative for CIOs is one of assuming a transformational leadership mantle as opposed to being a transactional leader, the current weakness in soft skills is a serious gap in the profession going forward. Many organizations, recognizing this, are investing significant resources in helping to build stronger leadership capability in their CIOs.

Firms need CIOs that:

Understand the business in the same manner as the CEO, and are able to assume profit and loss responsibility. The good news is that CIOs are already in a unique position to understand the drivers of operational excellence in their firms.
Exhibit leadership not only in IT management, but also in persuading, negotiating and driving business change. This involves envisioning new business innovation opportunities, convincing and energizing executive peers about their perspective and negotiating resources to implement the vision.
Can be the face of the organization to customers and other business partners and are able to carefully craft, manage and nurture these extended organizational relationships over time.
To be effective in these roles, CIOs will need to balance their IT knowledge with strategic business knowledge, and they must have strong interpersonal communication skills along with political acumen. They must develop rich professional networks both with key business executives as well as with CIOs of peer companies and the senior executives of key IT vendor and services companies.

But the competitive landscape won’t allow CIOs, future CIOs and their firms to gradually evolve the skills they need. Instead, those of us in business schools are equally challenged to support the development of today’s information systems managers into CIOs, as well as prepare tomorrow’s CIOs from current students.

Preparing CIOs
For business schools, our findings about the emerging roles of the CIO have significant implications. The CIO position is as important an organizational position as other C-level positions. Successful CIOs are likely to emerge from the business ranks of their firm as long as they are savvy about the use of information technology in the business process and strategy. Therefore, educational programs that emphasize the integration of business processes and information technologies are needed. We also need to help develop an appreciation of the business value of IT and along with this, governance structures and processes for IT are needed.

Ideally, business school students who have a strong understanding of key business processes and the strategic role of IT will be better prepared for a CIO career path in the future. Executive education programs are needed that provide opportunities for information systems professionals to develop strategic foresight and business insight as well as leadership, communication and influence skills.

At the Broad School, there are several initiatives and capabilities in place to facilitate the emergence of the nextgeneration CIOs. Historically, we have strong programs in teamwork (including the Team Effectiveness Teaching Lab), negotiation, influence and leadership.

Additionally, the Center for Leadership of the Digital Enterprise (CLODE) partners with CIOs and other senior business leaders in collaborative research on issues of importance to CIOs and their peers. Finally, we are launching weeklong executive education programs (“Converging Business and Technology Management?) in collaboration with the BTM Corporation to provide IT leadership perspectives to information systems professionals and business executives. Such programs will be vital to the nurturing of next-generation CIO leaders.

Posted by kkowatch on October 01, 2007 at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

ARM Students Field Trip: 2007 Chicago Archives Fair

2007 Chicago Archives Fair
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Newberry Library, 60 West Walton, Chicago, IL 60610
10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Chicago Archives Fair introduces students, educators, historians, and genealogists to primary source materials preserved for use in area museums, libraries, universities, historical societies, and associations. College and university students looking for research seminar paper topicsand elementary and high school students seeking ideas for Chicago Metro History Fair research projects are especially welcome. Researchers will be able to talk to archivists about their collections, schedule research visits, learn about the online Chicago Area Archivists Repository Guide, and hear expert tips about archival research.

Participating Repositories: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Chicago Public Library Special Collections, DePaul University, Evanston History Center, Frances Willard Historical Association, Illinois Labor History Society, Illinois State Archives, Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center, National Archives and Records Administration, Newberry Library, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, Rush University Medical Center, Schaumburg Township District Library, Special Collection Research Center - University of Chicago, Southeast Chicago Historical Society, University of Illinois at Chicago, Women and Leadership Archives - Gannon Center, Wood Library - Museum of Anesthesiology

This event is free and open to the public. No prior registration is necessary. Co-sponsored by the Chicago Area Archivists (CAA) and the Chicago Metro History Education Center.

Visit the CAA website for more information and to download a free flyer:

Posted by kkowatch on September 26, 2007 at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

LIS Students -- Looking for a Mentor?

I came across the following on a couple of the LIS listservs that I subscribe to. This mentoring opportunity comes from the New Members Round Table (NMRT) divison of ALA. Although the deadline is posted as September 21, they are still accepting applications. ~Kelly

Looking for a Mentor ? We Can Help!

Have you been a librarian for 5 years or less? Do you sometimes feel you have professional questions to ask and no one to direct them to? Do you find yourself wondering, in the midst of hardcore budget season, or in that massive collection development strategy meeting...What the heck are they talking about? Well, through NMRT's Mentoring Committee, help has arrived! Here's your chance to meet a new librarian ally, and to have someone to ask about all those questions you can't really ask!

The NMRT Mentoring Committee will pair up "newbie librarians" with "seasoned vets" as part of our Career Mentoring program that will last from October to July. Conference attendance is not required. Membership in ALA is required, and NMRT membership is encouraged. Applications are due September 21. *** STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

If you are interested in additional information or would like to be paired with a mentor, please complete the online application at

Veronica L. C. Stevenson-Moudamane; MSLS , MA
Crystal Renfro
2007-2008 Co-Chairs NMRT Mentoring Committee

Posted by kkowatch on September 25, 2007 at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Students Join the SI Careers Blog

This term, we will be having several current SI students join me as guest writers on the SI Careers Blog. You can see below the first of a three part series by Pieter Kleymeer. Keep an eye out for other SI Students who will be writing about their summer internship experiences, job searches, or whatever else they want to share.

If you would like to be a guest writer on the SI Careers Blog and have a great or interesting story to share about your summer internship or job search, let me know at I'd love to hear both the good and the bad, your struggles and successes! Job searching isn't easy for anyone and if you don't mind sharing your interviewing woes or the decision-making factors that went into your choosing an internship, we'd love to have you contribute to the blog. Thanks... Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on September 20, 2007 at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

Have You Considered Your Soft Skills Lately?

People that come to SI for school are here because they want to gain technical skills -- hard skills -- that will get them the job that they want. This goes for everyone -- librarians, archivist, social computers, information policy analyst. Everyone. So, when you leave SI to find your first real information job, or when you are in search of an internship, you know that just about everyone that you are competing against for a job or an internship has the same technical skills as you – because they are your classmates. So what makes you different? Your soft skills.

Have you even considered your soft skills lately? Does everyone even know what soft skills are? As a career counselor, I probably toss those words around too much because it’s my industry lingo. Soft skills are those “other? things that make you a good worker: communication, effectiveness, attention-to-detail, just general likeability. I found a couple websites that list soft skills:

What Are Soft Skills? by Kate Lorenz, -- list top ten soft skills for managers
What Do Employers Really Want? Top Skills and Values Employers Seek from Job-Seekers by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. and Katharine Hansen
6 'Soft' Skills You Need for Success by Rukmini Iyer

These articles will give you some ideas of what soft skills are out there -- think about which ones you possess -- and which ones you don't and could be working on when you are doing group projects or working at your internship this summer.

You can add different soft skills to your resume – both in a skills section or woven right into your responsibilities sections. Sometimes you will see them clearly listed in a job description as a requirement. When are you interviewing and you are asked the daunting question of "Why are you the best person for this position," it can be your soft skills -- and demonstrated examples of their use -- that gets you the job. also did an article on how you can your soft skills certified: Want To Keep Your Job Safe? Beef Up Your Soft Skills by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee. I don't think that it’s necessary to go that far right now (or maybe ever), but as you progress in your career, consider courses such as the ones suggested. It can keep you fresh and more productive, and every organization wants to hire and retain an employee that is vested in their own progression and success. ~Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on July 25, 2007 at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

Federal Jobs -- Have You Considered Going Government?

The government job sector doesn't have exactly the best rap. But there are a lot of positives in working for the government. I blogged about this very same topic after I got back from my visit to Washington D.C. in February/March for Alternative Spring Break. Out of the 16 employers I visited (of the 18 total ASB sites), half of them were government organizations. And the alumni and employees I met with were happy! Check out my blog from before on what I said about working for the government in Federal Jobs For SI Students (March 2007).

MSN posted an article this week about the Four Reasons to Work for the Government (Source). The four reasons include:

Reason No. 1: Flexible Qualifications
Reason No. 2: Pay and Benefits
Reason No. 3: Job Security
Reason No. 4: Hiring Outlook
(Click on Extended Entry for the details of each of these reasons).

My recommendation: Sign up for a job agent on and see what's out there. You might be surprised that your dream job could be in the government. If you are even more curious, email some of the SI alumni that work for the government and ask them what they think. You can find several in the Student-Alumni Network. And many people don't realize that US government jobs are global; if you want to go overseas, it's a great way to get there and they typically take pretty good care of you while you are there.

Reason No. 1: Flexible Qualifications
Years of experience can frequently replace college education in a government position. Senior level government positions may not require a college degree at all, while similar corporate positions do. Plus, the government hires people at all levels of experience and education: inexperienced high school graduates, college students, retiring veterans, GEDs and Ph.D.s. The government is also more likely to hire older qualified workers.

Reason No. 2: Pay and Benefits
Government salaries are comparable to corporate counterparts. The government offers locality pay, so your salary reflects your area's cost of living. Plus, the government is known for strong employee benefits, which are the same for every employee. They receive, among other benefits:

Thirteen sick days per year that roll over;

Ten paid holidays and vacation time that increases over the years;

Flexible work schedules and teleworking options;

Options for extending healthcare coverage to parents, adult children and other family questions.

Some agencies offer public transit subsidies, recruitment bonuses, student loan repayment and relocation assistance. The government's retirement benefits are secure, unlike the private sector. Government pensions are based on salary and years of service, and health insurance continues into retirement.

Reason No. 3: Job Security
While today's corporate jobs are more subject to downsizing, job security is one of the most noteworthy advantages of government employment. Though the government is known for its strict hierarchal structure and strict guidelines/procedures, these protocols protect your job from elimination. Thus, government jobs offer the luxury of planning for the future.

Reason No. 4: Hiring Outlook
The government is always hiring. In fact, there may be up to 18,000 job vacancies at any given time. Employees are always retiring, being promoted or moving to the private sector. So despite national trends toward downsizing and budget cuts, the government always has job openings due to turnover.

Posted by kkowatch on July 02, 2007 at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

H1-B Visa Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Remedy

I've said this before, but I read a lot of blogs and articles and newsletters to keep up with everything that is SI-related. One article that I came across recently had some surprising news about H1-B Visas, which should be of interest to all of my international readers. It also has some not so great news for our non-traditional SI students.

Alice LaPlante, a writer at InformationWeek, wrote some commentary for the TechCareers' Newsletter as she's working on a very important story for anyone working in the IT industry. The article highlights the impact of H1-B visas on the IT employment ranks and comes to the conclusion: "It's Getting Ugly Real Fast."

Ms. LaPlante shares the following:
"Although admittedly anecdotal, I keep hearing two things: first, that older IT workers, even those who have kept their skills up to date, or are clearly competent to acquire new ones, are getting the shaft in favor of younger workers. And when employers run out of young U.S. citizens to hire, they turn to the (on average) very young H-1B visa holders before they'll look at the seasoned 45-year-old Americans.

Secondly, many foreign H-1B holders are feeling a vicious backlash as the trend toward outsourcing continues, and as technology companies keep issuing their dire warnings that without more H-1Bs they'll have to send more jobs offshore. Actually, H-1B holders -- the majority of whom are Indian -- get hit with a double whammy: not only do they, on average, get paid less than their American citizen counterparts, they are often very personally blamed for keeping IT salaries artificially depressed due to what many claim is an oversaturated IT labor market. "It's gotten very ugly very fast," one H-1B holder told me."

The only good thing that I can take away from this is that our international students have a good chance of getting employment within the technology industry -- and another good thing is that the SI salary surveys for the 2006 year thus far are showing that salaries are up, even with the economic state of Michigan. There are steps that can be taken to overcome these challenges: international students can work with SI Careers to develop a strategic negotiating plan when they are considering offers for internships and full-time opportunities in order to ensure that they are being paid competitive wages. More experienced or older students can brand their resume in a variety of different ways to highlight their cutting-edge skills and knowledge so that they get the interview that will prove them equally or more adept as their younger job contenders.

Ms. LaPlante came to these conclusions as she is doing research for another article on H1-B visas and employment. Check out the link for the rest of this article and watch this blog for a pointer to the one that she's been researching.

Posted by kkowatch on June 26, 2007 at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

News: Most Hated Internet Words

I took a hiatus there from writing for about a week or so; I am sure that many SI prospective and current students and alumni are in a similar time of life as I: I attend weddings or wedding-related events just about every weekend! I was out last week to attend my brother's Friday night wedding, which was quite a bit of fun and I had a great time explaining to many of the other fellow guests what the heck I career counsel people on these days. Surprisingly, many people still need to be informed on what an archivist does.

While we were driving home this weekend from Grand Rapids, I heard on the radio a clip about the Top Ten Most Hated Words on the Internet. As they rattled the list off, I thought, "Well, that's pretty much 100% SI!" The words included in reverse order (from ten to one): Wiki, Cookie, Social Networking, Vlog, Webinar, Blook, Netiquette, Blog, Blogosphere, and Folksonomy. By the way, what is a Vlog and a Blook? The DJ on the radio pronounced webinar "Web-in-air" the first time... I laughed about that! Anyway, this isn't really a career-development related blog; I just wanted to share this interesting list with you! I really think that SI and all of its little idiosyncrasies and terminology is really quite loveable!

A question for all of you out there: What are your most loved or hated internet words?

Posted by kkowatch on June 26, 2007 at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

Library Usage on the Rise

I grew up in a pretty small town -- about 600 people in the "village limits" actually -- so when I think about using the library, I remember it being pretty much me and Mrs. L, our town librarian as the only people in the library on some days. (Mrs. L was also the wife of the Mayor, Assistant Football coach, and my 5th and 6th grade teacher and varsity softball coach. Funny side note: Mr. L now coaches the softball team at my high school rival, which is where SI Careers associate director, Joanna Kroll, went to high school). Okay.. I've digressed... but isn't that what blogs are for?

Back to topic: When I was meeting with the staff of the different libraries of New York City for Alternative Spring Break, I must admit, I was surprised that people were lined up outside the libraries in the morning waiting for the libraries to open (it wasn't exactly warm out, either!). These places were busy! And they were busy all the time! Although, New York City isn't exactly Small-Town, USA, still, with that thought in mind, I was not surprised to see that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted an article on the rise of libraries in the United States (Source). Between 1994 to 2004, the number of visits to the library increased 61 percent! There were 2 billion visits in 2004 to libraries in the US!

The article states that the use of the Internet is one of the causes of this increase, contrary to what many say as a reason for decline. I completely believe this; how many of us, when we have recently moved and need to use the internet because our home connection has not been set up, go to the local library? And think about all of the people in our country that do not have computers at home -- or Internet connections? When they do need to use the internet, for homework, for job applications, for looking up something they need to know, they go to the local public library. With libraries doing much more than providing access to books and computers these days, I don't think that it’s unrealistic to suggest that the increase in use of libraries will continue to rise.

So, it looks like a pretty good job market for our SI future-librarians! I just thought I would pass on the good news that you are needed and will continue to be needed. ~Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on May 21, 2007 at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

SI Careers on Facebook

We did it -- we took the plunge and created an SI Careers Facebook profile. We're the first SI office to do so and we are excited about who's going to be our "friend" and how this works in getting information out to you all in better way! Log on to Facebook now and join our group! Have a great weekend, everyone. Kelly

Posted by kkowatch on May 04, 2007 at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome to the SI Career Services Blog

Hello! Welcome to the School of Information Career Services Blog. We will be using this blog to communicate advice and important career services events.

Events: Get news about upcoming career events such as job/internship fairs, workshops, mock-interview days, and networking events.

Advice: Be on the look out for helpful tips and strategies about job/internship searching, interviewing, networking, and other career related topics.

We hope this blog will be a valuable resource. Email us or leave a comment if you have any questions.

Joanna, David, and Tonya

Posted by choidh on March 19, 2006 at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)