By Monica Sanchez
While it’s a routine back to iSchool list of shenanigans for a lot of us to complete, new iSchool students are probably a little overwhelmed by the wholly online environment and would appreciate some invaluable resources. Even if you’re a total whiz kid at technology, I admit it’s a little overwhelming to navigate the iSchool procedures and protocol all on your own, especially between work, school and family responsibilities, which never seem to end.
It takes a special kind of person with passion and laser-focus drive to be a successful iSchool student. We all have that potential, which is what led us here in the first place to start an exciting new school year online. But everyone needs a little help.
These resources should maximize that potential within you:
- Attend iSchool Orientation if you haven’t already, and get the 101 on databases, journals, books, and other resources.
- Check FAQs About Our Programs. (You probably have the same questions as your fellow classmates).
- Wondering whom to contact?
- Here’s a Registration Overview and FAQs so you can start the semester worry-free.
- Go over this New Student Checklist to double check that you’ve taken care of everything.
Before you get started on your classes and buried under a cloud of documents, make sure to also familiarize yourself with The King Library online to locate reliable research for your assignments. It’s an invaluable resource, and I’ve been able to find the majority of information that I need to succeed in group and individual projects from the King Library alone.
It’s also never too early to start thinking about which direction you want to go in your future career. In fact, reviewing career pathways now might even save you time and money! When I applied to San Jose State University, I was under the impression that my MLIS degree would only be good for working in a school or public library, but MLIS Career Pathways showed me otherwise, and Life After MARA even gave me more options to possibly consider.
Career options are endless for iSchool students. It just takes a little digging and research, which is what we’re best at, to uncover the long list of opportunities available to us after we graduate.
Now that you have a better idea about which career pathway you might want to focus on, you need to know which classes to sign up for as you prepare your class schedule for Fall 2017 and beyond. Get all core classes out of the way first (MLIS core classes or MARA core classes), so you can take fun, career-goal electives like technology intensive courses.
- Review APA Style before you get started on any assignments, especially for Info 203.
- A major problem that online students typically have is that they feel disconnected and isolated from their professors. The majority of my experience in iSchool with professor communication has been overwhelmingly positive. Professors at SJSU iSchool emphasize the value of communication. Connect with faculty and your future professors here.
- Use Blackboard Collaborate IM to connect with classmates for group projects, which can be logged in as work for your e-portfolio through screenshots or date and time stamps.
- Make sure to get all contact information from other group members, including cell phone numbers. Sometimes, sending a text is just faster than waiting on an email response.
Discover what’s happening with iSchool students and faculty with the iSchool Newsfeed. Learn about exciting opportunities such as “iSchool Students Gain International Experience through Librarians Without Borders.” When you encounter something exciting related to iSchool or achieve success, then you can share your news too!
Subscribe for one of iSchool’s blogs to receive up to date subject-specific information. For instance, the iStudent blog will share relatable topics of interest such as “A Week in My Life at ALA Annual Conference.” Stories on the iStudent blog typically show students what to expect from a career that involves MLIS or MARA.
*Written for San Jose State University iSchool Blog