“I’m particularly interested in this one because SJSU is my alma mater, and I know firsthand that our career center is an excellent resource,” wrote Hiring Librarians blog author Emily Weak in the introduction to the “Library School Career Center” interview with Jill Klees, Career Counselor for the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University.
Klees talked about the School’s career development resources with blogger and MLIS student Madeleine Mitchell. The interview, posted here, covers some of Klees’ background and the many tools available to help SJSU SLIS students choose a career path and conduct a successful job search.
An experienced career coach who has worked in both academia and the corporate world, Klees told Mitchell she collaborates with SJSU SLIS instructor Jane Fisher to provide customized career resources for the library and information science field.
These include an extensive career development section on the SJSU SLIS website that covers topics ranging from using social media in a job search to advice on writing résumés and finding job leads. Klees also writes a career blog in which she answers questions from SJSU SLIS students on issues they encounter as they plan and carry out their job search strategies.
There’s also a monthly series of webcasts called Career Colloquia, in which guest speakers are invited to talk about their work in various areas of library and information science. These sessions are held online, and students can either participate live or access the recorded sessions at their convenience.
When asked if she had any advice for students using the career center, Klees said to Mitchell, "We recommend that students use our career development resources and services 'early and often.' By that, we mean that students should think about and focus on their professional career paths throughout their time in our graduate program. Don’t wait until you are graduating. Begin in your first semester by exploring the career development site and using the tools to help determine how your course choices can help you pursue your future career ambitions.”
Klees added that SJSU SLIS alumni can also use the resources available to the public on the website and take part in the career webinars at no charge. Access to a job listings database called SpartaJobs and individual career consulting is free for current students, and SJSU SLIS is also offering free one-year memberships in the SJSU Career Center for all graduating students.
Mitchell, who is in her final semester of her Master of Library and Information Science program at SJSU SLIS, wrote in an email to Klees after the interview that “it’s obvious how dedicated the career center is and what a foundational role career development plays in the SLIS program.”