Career Newsletter, 1/22/19


A networking event can be overwhelming, and preparation can help (see article suggested by The Muse). Whether you plan to attend the iSchool Career Fair (ICF), Library & Information Science Speed-Talks & Mingling event, or another professional event/conference, you’ll want to prepare before showing up.

To help you do so, we have several upcoming events aimed at providing you with the skills you need to stand out:

Below are some tips from the career team to help you make a positive impression with professionals.


Having a compelling introduction is key when preparing for networking opportunities.

Interactions can be fast-paced, and the ability to talk about yourself succinctly yet substantively is important.

To prepare, we recommend crafting a 30-second summary of your core attributes and interest areas. The intro should cover three areas: who you are, what skills/experience you offer, and the types of opportunities you’re seeking.

In developing your intro, it can help to start with that last part. Are you going to ICF in hopes of landing a UX internship? A full-time taxonomy position? Anything that’ll allow you to develop your technical skills?

Having a specific goal in mind will allow you to pinpoint what aspects of your background and skillset to include in your introduction to employers. Here are some examples:

“Hello, my name’s Jane and I’m a senior in the Informatics program, focusing on human-computer interaction. My internship last summer helped me strengthen my HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills, and I’m looking for full-time opportunities in UX after graduating in June. Could you tell me about the types of opportunities your organization might have available in the coming months?”

“Hi, my name’s John and I’m a first year MLIS student with an interest in digital asset management and knowledge organization. I’ve been able to pursue these interests as a student assistant at the UW Libraries, and am currently looking for internships for this upcoming summer. Are you seeking any interns or part-time employees for June through September?”

These examples include pertinent information without overwhelming with irrelevant details. The point of your intro is to interest the employer in further conversation — not recite your resume.

We also recommend tailoring your content based on your listener. If you know a certain organization particularly values experience, think about mentioning multiple internships you’ve had instead of listing all your specific skills. Or if you’ve heard an organization prioritizes community engagement, highlight your time volunteering.

You’ll also want your intro to sound confident and authentic. Practice your intro beforehand until it sounds more conversation than infomercial. This video gives a good demonstration of what it’s like to speak with recruiters at a career fair. If you need help developing your intro, feel free to reach out to one of our career advisors through iCareers appointments or drop-in hours. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Career Newsletter, 12/10/18


Congratulations on reaching the end of the quarter, Huskies! Whether this was your first quarter or last at the iSchool, the upcoming break is an important time to rest, recharge, and reflect on your plan moving forward. We hope you’re able to read that book, watch that series, or spend time with those people you’ve been missing.

A lot of iSchool students are still searching for post-grad jobs and summer internships. That’s totally normal, and we’d urge anyone in that situation not to stress. The standard job-search stretches out months, and involves dozens of applications and multiple interviews. If you are still looking, below are some tips and considerations to help you stay focused on landing your desired opportunity.


Past results from our internal surveys have shown that only about one in four iSchoolers accept a job in the fall. Additionally, in an internship/directed fieldwork survey we’re currently conducting, nearly 60% of students have reported they didn’t receive offers until the period of March – May. Many employers prefer to hire students/soon-to-be graduates on an ad-hoc basis, approximately one or two months before they’ll be available.

Winter quarter is packed with career events and is a great time to continue searching, whether it’s online or through events. Upcoming career fairs include the iSchool Career Fair (2/12), Diversity Career Fair (1/30), and Winter Job & Internship Fair (2/14). For details and the full list of upcoming fairs, check out the UW Career & Internship Center’s events page here. iSchool workshops will be posted on iCareers sometime before the start of the quarter. Continue reading

Career Newsletter, 11/27/18


Some of you have recently received, or on the cusp of receiving, offers for post-grad jobs and summer internships. While this is understandably exciting, it’s important to not let the emotional relief of receiving an offer lead to any hasty decisions.

Before accepting, consider all facets of the opportunity — pay, location, start date, job autonomy, professional development, etc. — and consider how they play into your values, goals, and well-being. Consider negotiating if there’s anything with which you’re not satisfied. (Even if you are relatively pleased with the offer, respectful negotiation will still ensure your compensation package is commensurate with the value you’re bringing.)


Negotiation, particularly with regards to salary and benefits, is fundamentally about ensuring your skills, experience, and education are fairly compensated. You deserve to be paid for the value you provide a company. Add to that, negotiating up front (that is, after receiving an offer but before committing) is not only easier than doing so after starting a job, it also helps make sure you aren’t caught off guard by any potentially unsatisfactory conditions of the position.

There’s more to negotiation than short-term satisfaction, too. As this blog post from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School notes, negotiation can set you up for long-term success:

“Instead of looking at the job you’re applying for as a final destination, think of it as setting you up for the next job and perhaps the one after that, Lax advises. This shift in mindset will allow you to notice the advantages of negotiation in helping you gain the tools you need to grow and thrive. These tools might include a strong support staff, training, or a job title that will set you up for a future career goal.”

Slide from Negotiation & Decision Making Workshop Continue reading

Career Newsletter, 11/13/18


The process of searching for a job or internship is long and often arduous (and can feel especially so this time of year, with the declining weather and short days).

That said, employers are looking for talent throughout the year, and many of our students secure opportunities after the new year. Many employers even prefer to hire students/soon-to-be graduates on an ad-hoc basis, approximately one or two months before they’ll be available.

The job search is a process of finding the right fit, and that may take time. You shouldn’t feel discouraged by some initial setbacks, nor obligated to accept the first offer you receive. Instead, accept the first offer than aligns with your values and priorities. (For more tips on negotiating and deciding on offers, check out a recording from last week’s workshop here.)

As you continue with the application process, here are a few strategies to avoid burnout:


As with anything, successfully navigating the job-search process takes consistent, concentrated effort. Attempting to finish it all in one fell swoop will leave you overwhelmed. Instead, set out incremental goals that, in total, will result in securing a professional opportunity. For example, start by committing to 30 minutes of researching jobs and companies each day. The next week, focus those 30 minutes each day on drafting your application materials and iterating. Keeping your goals manageable will give you a steady stream of momentum.

Slide from Mingling for Introverts Workshop (recording). Continue reading

Career Newsletter, 10/29/18


The start of the year is a great time to explore future pathways. Your academic and professional endeavors at the iSchool can help prepare you for a variety of next steps. Below are some tips to help you find out what you’d like to do after graduation.


Understanding yourself and your interests can help you pinpoint the type of career in which you’ll thrive.

Start by thinking about what you enjoy, what you do well, and what you find meaningful. Then, try to brainstorm some jobs that hit on all three of these criteria.

The UW Career & Internship Center’s Career Guide provides some helpful exercise to explore your strengths and connecting those to careers (pg. 6 – 11).


Micro-testing pathways allows you to learn more about your interest in various jobs without committing to anything permanently. Some ways to micro-test:

  • Set up informational interviews. These reverse the roles of traditional interviews, allowing interested candidates to ask current employees about their organization and/or specific positions. Informational interviews can equip you with information you may not be able to find via public resources, giving you a level of depth and confidence in your career search. To learn more about informational interviews, consider joining us for the Mingling for Introverts workshop, or read our tips from a past newsletter.
  • Doing freelance work gives you real experience without the pressure to take on a long-term obligation. Common freelancing projects include writing, programming, web design, and Excel. Upwork is a frequently used site connecting freelancers to customers.

Continue reading