Take Advantage of Opportunities for Professional Development
How are you addressing your professional development during your LIS graduate studies? Professional development is usually seen as a step that we take at the end of our graduate studies in a practicum, internship or in a paraprofessional position. While these experiences help us build some skills in the profession, we each need to complement them with professional activities throughout our LIS studies to gain competitive skills in the profession.
One of the most meaningful ways to gain experience and a competitive advantage is through participation in SLIS student groups, professional association monthly meetings and annual conferences. These events provide us with opportunities to engage with our future colleagues, network and learn first hand about trends in the field. Many of the association conference announcements are distributed through our SLIS LIST serv and some include travel awards to offset student expenses.
Like many students, I cannot afford the conference expenses, so I applied for a travel grant. A contest essay was part of the application process, which many of us are familiar with and are pretty good at writing. I am excited and surprised that I was nominated to receive the Taylor and Francis Travel Award to attend the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) conference in Austin, Texas next month. So, take advantage of these opportunities and apply for travel awards to enhance the unique abilities that you bring to the profession. Stay tuned for my post in April on my experiences at the ER&L Conference.