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BIALL, CLSIG & SLA Europe Graduate Open Day

On Wednesday 16th April Sue Hill Recruitment (www.suehill.com) and TFPL (www.tfpl.com) sponsored the BIALL, CLSIG & SLA Europe Graduate Open Day and it was a great success. It was brilliant to see a room full of library and information graduates, post-graduates and career changers ready to conquer the sectors and opportunities available to them.  

My TFPL colleague Anne Ashdown blogged about the morning session and you can find it here https://www.tfpl.com/blog/taking-your-first-steps-in-your-career-in-library-information-management/.

In the afternoon we heard presentations from a number of library and information professionals such as Susan Ryan, Vice President at Morgan Stanley, Karen Tulett, Director at Morgan Stanley, Laura Williams, Media Manager at BBC and Maria Bell, Learning Support Services Manager at the British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics and Political Science. We also received CV, interview and Application tips from Victoria Sculfor and Suzanne Wheatley, recruitment consultants at Sue Hill Recruitment.

Susan Ryan and Karen Tulett gave a combined presentation on the banking sector. They highlighted the need for prospective library and information professionals to have particular skills relevant to the corporate world such as, market awareness, which is the clear understanding of what exists in a particular market. For instance, investors want relevant information on a market they particular interested in, so as to make clear decisions on where to invest and an informational professional would be crucial to this process. The ability to work well as part of a team was not neglected; neither were the more conventional skills such as communication and interpersonal skills.  Although they admitted working within a banking sector is not for everyone, it is rewarding and they were keen to welcome the next generation of information professionals into the corporate sector.

Laura Williams spoke on her role as an embedded librarian at the BBC in Salford and provided tips on how to be successful within a library and information capacity. As librarianship is evolving, embedded librarians look to meet the challenges posed by the digital age using their unique information skillset. Embedded librarians go against our traditional understanding of the profession, by working “in-house” providing solutions for the particular company they work for. The ascension of embedded librianship reflects the need for prospective information and library professionals to be adaptable.  Moreover, prospective library and information professionals need to be proactive, work well as part of a team and also be willing to widen their networks within the business especially because of the nature of embedded librarianship.

Maria Bell gave a presentation on legal academic libraries, the nature of her role and again provided hints to graduates interested in the sector. Maria demonstrated the change in the profession generally by highlighting how digital advances have altered the nature of the profession and even the visual appearance of librarians but also honed in on her own experience. Maria pointed out that a successful library and information professional within the legal academic industry should have an interest in law and a keenness to know basic principles so as to relay information more accurately. She also mentioned the importance in having confidence as well as strong interpersonal skills, especially in a profession that is increasingly training oriented. What was particularly interesting about Maria was how long she has stayed within the profession but how broad her responsibilities have become again reflecting the need for prospective library and information candidates to be adaptable and keen to spread their skills across multiple projects.

Victoria and Suzanne were there to provide graduates with tips from a recruiter perspective. Suzanne highlighted the fact that career fulfilment is based upon a combination of these factors: what you care about, what you are good at, your dreams and potential happiness. She also advised that the key to unlocking the answers to those questions is to identify your skills and unique selling points. Victoria then provided the keen graduates with tips on how to come across well on paper as well as face to face. She highlighted the importance of having a CV that highlights your key competencies and the relevant information an employer would want to know. She rounded up her presentation by providing the audience with top tips, such as being confident, speaking positively about yourself and others, stick to the point when answering questions, selling your skills and past experiences, always giving examples and asking questions. 

The next generation of library and information professionals need to be well equipped to face the various information challenges. They should be proactive, confident, marketable, commercially focused and above all else passionate about their vocation.

 

 - Cristine Edusi 

 

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