Career Newsletter, 1/8/19


Welcome back and happy new year! With the new quarter comes another phase of recruitment. Countless organizations are still searching for their next stellar employee, and that could be you.

Chief among this quarter’s business is, of course, the iSchool Career Fair (ICF). It’s happening Tuesday, Feb. 12, 12:30 – 4:30pm in the HUB Ballrooms. This year, we’re expecting about 40 organizations to attend. Many are in tech, but there are also organizations from financial services, consulting, healthcare, and library services — you can find

If you plan on going (that should be everyone!), be sure to fill out this super-quick ICF is open to iSchool students only for the first hour, and responding to the survey will ensure we have a nametag ready for you, allowing you take advantage of the whole hour. (You will still need to bring your Husky Card.)

MLIS students can also look forward to the Library & Information Science Speed-Talks & Mingling event on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2:00 – 4:00pm in KNE 225 (the Walker-Ames Room). The event will start with brief presentations (“speed-talks”) from LIS professionals, followed by small group discussions where students can interact with the presenters more directly. And if the idea of attending a networking event is a bit intimidating, you can come to our prep session the Friday beforehand.

Last, we are piloting a few new programs this quarter, including Career Conversations (small-group career coaching sessions) and Career Exploration Trips (employer site-visits). You can find more information on these and other career events on the iSchool’s event page.

With the number of events this quarter that include a networking component, we’re focusing this newsletter on how to explain your degree to prospective employers.


Explaining what you’re studying at the iSchool can be challenging. Tell someone you study here and you could get any number of responses — questions about how your major differs from computer science to confused looks about when Apple released a new product. Information science and management are nuanced fields and not always well understood by the general public.

The ability to explain your degree can not only help satisfy inquisitive friends and relatives, it will allow you to better convince employers you’re the right person for the job.

General approaches (all iSchool students)…

“I’m studying the relationship between information, technology, and people. My classes are in [computer programming, website development, knowledge organization, etc.].”

“My degree is interdisciplinary — we learn from professors that come from a range of industries, like technology, psychology, business, and education.”

“I’m studying how information is used by people and organizations, and how it impacts social and technical problems. This quarter, we’re [analyzing social behaviors in networking, creating websites that help English-learners find information about UW resources, studying the role of libraries in developing nations, etc.].”

An Informatics student might say…

“My degree is preparing me for a job where I design and build technology that makes information more accessible.”

“Informatics is an interdisciplinary program that dives into areas like computer science, sociology, design, and information management. I’m pursuing the human-computer interaction concentration with the hope of finding a career that lets me work on improving the usability of tech products.”

From former Program Chair Scott Barker and former iSchool Dean Mike Eisenberg:

“Informatics is a high-tech, high-touch field that uses information and technology (computers, devices, the internet) to make things better — at work, in society, and individuals’ lives.”

An MSIM student might say…

“My master’s degree is in information management, where we cover key areas like leadership, professionalism, information technology, ethics and policy, and problem solving. My specific focus is in [business intelligence, data science, user experience, etc.], which involves studying…”

“I’m studying information management and specializing in data science coursework. Data scientists use the scientific method to create meaning from data. Have you ever been shopping on Amazon and noticed the ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ section? The website automatically makes these suggestions based of the findings of data scientists who have studied customers’ buying behaviors.”

From a former MSIM student:

“My degree will help enable me to be armed with the requisite skills and knowledge needed to work in technology management and consulting.”

An MLIS student might say…

“I want to be a librarian, and my program helps me develop the requisite skills and obtain the necessary accreditation.”

“My degree focuses on the ways people create, capture, change, and share information. We take classes focusing on the ways we do this with both physical and non-physical information.”

“In class, we look at the ways people analyze, classify, and protect information. In the real world, these concepts apply to things like organizing websites, smartphone apps, databases, and collections of books or artifacts.”

A PhD student might say…

“My PhD is in information science, where I study human involvement with information, and the social and technological implications. My specific research area focuses on…”

From a current PhD student:

“I often start by saying that we are very interdisciplinary. ‘We have humanists, social scientists, scientists, engineers, designers, etc.’ Giving examples of research projects has helped a lot. And I admit to using the ‘We look at just about anything, with an information lens’ line.”

These are mostly informal talking points but they can be the basis for a more in-depth, technical explanation you provide to an employer. If you need help developing your pitch, feel free to reach out to one of our career advisors through iCareers appointments or drop-in hours. This quarter’s drop-in hours are the same as last, 2:00 – 4:00pm on Tuesday and Wednesday.

We’re also curious to hear from you — have you found a way to explain your degree that’s particularly effective? Let us know via email (!



iSchool: More info and registration via iCareers

(Missed a workshop? You can review our recorded sessions online.)

UW Career & Internship Center




  • Voice UX Design Intern (Summer 2019), Mozilla; iCareers ID 8376
  • Data Analysis Intern, Seattle City Light; Handshake ID 2300801
  • Digitization Internship, Densho; iCareers ID 8387
  • 2019 Montana SHRAB Student Archivist Program; Montana Historical Society; iCareers ID 8385
  • Software Developer, Epic; iCareers ID 8321
  • Entry-Level Software Developer (Financial Services), Capgemini; Handshake ID 2301969
  • Software Development Engineer in Test, Philips; Handshake ID 2301491
  • Operational Risk Manager, City of Seattle; iCareers ID 8377
  • Collection Development Librarian, Whatcom County Library System; iCareers ID 8374


Questions or feedback? Contact us at | iCareers

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