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Information Professionals Advise Students At Career Summit

Texas iSchool students got “real advice from the real world” during a Career Summit led by members of the School of Information Advisory Council and other leaders in the information fields.

Beth Hallmark, the iSchool’s Director of Career Development, said that students who participated in the summit were able to interact directly with professionals representing a range of fields and perspectives, giving the future information professionals a unique opportunity to gain real-world insights to fuel their career aspirations.

“Our students are fortunate to have such committed Advisory Council members willing to donate time and expertise,” Hallmark said. “I also commend our students for making their career a priority as they also juggle the demands of our highly ranked graduate program, which requires in-depth study and understanding.”

During her keynote address, Advisory Council member Leticia Kinuthia encouraged iSchool students to draw on their sense of “can-do courage” to navigate, and remain relevant in, the information evolution. “A consistent question I encounter doing STEM volunteer activities that also came up at the Career Summit is, what is it like working in the real life and transferring the knowledge you have into the field?” said Kinuthia, a Senior Enterprise Security Architect for Acxiom Corporation. “I think the Career Summit was spot-on in addressing this. It was a case of industry professionals coming together and supporting our students envisage their future careers after graduation.”

The summit focused on subjects such as the art and science of being heard and presenting with power; how to open doors to jobs and promotions; and dressing for success. Nearly 100 students registered for the Career Summit, with 97 percent of student survey respondents reporting they would be likely or very likely to apply what they learned at the event. Students also reported learning valuable lessons on company culture, networking, projecting confidence in job interviews and preparing effective résumés, among other lessons. 

MSIS student Monica Cho said the Career Summit provided her with a wealth of helpful real-world advice from industry leaders while giving her confidence to better prepare for job interviews.

“During the networking lunch, I also had an opportunity to speak with one of the panelists, Delane Caesar,” Cho said. “Because she and I both come from a background in advertising, she was able to provide practical pieces of advice on how to differentiate myself from other information professionals. I would not have known how much of my previous work experiences could be a unique asset if I hadn't had a chance to speak with her. I was truly grateful that she took her time to share her story and inspire me to excel in the information field with my background in communications.”

Other students reported feeling “more excited and confident about moving forward in the job search” and receiving “great tips about apply to jobs and how to best present my cover letter and resume.”

The Career Summit’s three breakout panels were:

  • “Dress for Success,” moderated by Advisory Council Chair Christian Schley. Panelists were Lance Hayden, Chief Privacy and Security Officer, ePatientFinder; Caris Hurd, UX Designer and Researcher, Four Kitchens; Mike Martinez Jr., Deputy Director of Administration and Professor, St. Mary’s University School of Law; and Sandra Sweat, Senior Researcher, athenahealth.
  • “The Art and Science of Being Heard and Presenting with Power,” moderated by Advisory Council member Catherine Schneider, an independent consultant. Panelists were Lisa Cruces, Hispanic Collections Archivist, University of Houston; Randy Finch, Managing Director, Westlake Securities; and Leticia Kinuthia, Senior Enterprise Solutions Architect, Acxiom Corporation.
  • “How to Open Doors to Jobs, Promotions and More,” moderated by iSchool Director of Career Development Beth Hallmark. Panelists were Delane Caesar, Strategic Communications Consultant; Dr. Woody Davis, Senior Policy Advisor, Federal Aviation Administration; Sharon Fawcett, Retired Assistant Archivist, Presidential Libraries; Morgan McMillian, Director, Lake Travis Community Library; and Deborah Sours, Manager of Business and Legal Research Services, DLA Piper LLP.