I had built a career in marketing before I decided to enter into this MLIS journey after being inspired by a friend who was in the program, and with every class, I’ve become more convinced that I have found my calling. Because I was balancing full-time work and family, I only took one course at a time throughout the program, supplementing with a one-credit mini-course as I was able. After only two semesters in the program, I applied for a job as a Digital Asset Manager at the University of California and was selected for the job. Being able to apply what I was learning in my coursework in real-time on the job was utterly invaluable and I feel I grew a great deal during this time. Additionally, the work I was engaged in at that job was also able to supplement the coursework, and I found that quite a bit of the evidence I gathered within my competencies drew from the work I did as a Digital Asset Manager. 

One of the most challenging courses I took in the program was also the most rewarding. I learned so much in INFO247 Vocabulary Design, not only in the materials delivered, but also about myself, and other people when I was working in a difficult group. I loosely went through the path of digital curation, but I also completed the courses necessary for the Advanced Certificate in Digital Asset Management, because I thought at the time it would be my path forward. I no longer work as a Digital Asset Manager and have changed the type of work and the type of company I work for, but I still passionately build systems that deliver information assets to users, in tune with the discoverability and findability of those items. I take great pleasure in cultivating and honing the metadata that captures the facets of those assets and leveraging them to create meaningful and streamlined experiences for my information community. 

At the urging of the same friend who inspired me to enter into the MLIS program, I became involved with the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), the Visual Resources Association, and then later the SJSU Student Chapter of ASIS&T, as an officer in each of those organizations. The experiences of serving on those committees and attending events and conferences were amazing introductions to the larger community of information professionals and really cemented for me that I was entering into a profession and not just training to do a job. It’s a heady feeling to feel connected to a mission and a community of peers committed to delivering that same mission. I anticipate being heavily involved with these professional associations in the future. 

My strengths lie in having a keen eye on the user experience in information delivery, copyright considerations and the management of visual resources, maintaining specificity while engaged in lengthy, mundane tasks, and finding strategic solutions to simplify workflows and communications. 

The future for me as an information professional will likely lie in private companies or within higher learning institutions, but likely not as a traditional librarian. I am passionate about the preservation and management of archival visual resources and the delivery of those resources to provide access to the public while still preserving their intellectual property rights. The juxtaposition of protection and access is fascinating to me and I enjoy helping to guide users on how to thread that needle, building resources, and documentation to enable them to be self-reliant and confident in their decisions. 

I feel incredible gratitude to the instructors at the School of Information and the students I worked with during this time of learning and growth. The exercise of compiling the evidence to support my proficiency in the core competencies was illuminating, and being able to reflect on the work that I did during this time shone a spotlight on what a transformative experience it was for me.  I look forward to my future growth as an information professional because I am confident in the foundation I stand upon with my MLIS from San Jose State University.