Several weeks ago, I took a walk across campus to SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to visit an iSchool alumna – Julia Allis, who graduated with her MS in Information Management in 2012. Julia came to the iSchool after earning her Bachelors in English from Penn State, and during her time here, she also earned her Certificate of Advanced study in Information Security Management.
Julia has been the digital media associate at ESF since August 2013, where she manages digital media and ESF’s extensive video collections. She has been able to tie in both her undergrad and graduate degrees with this job, as a lot of the storage and management aspects of her role include – our favorite! – database management. She was well prepared for this role, and it has helped her advance her career with more responsibility.
“I was recently handed the reins of our news and events system here at ESF, which I certainly wouldn’t have been qualified to take over had I not had a strong background in MS Access,”she told me.
Something else that speaks to her talent- she’s currently the only full-time social media employee on campus. She focuses on upper level strategic communications, campus-wide, and has created metadata schemes for her office’s organizational efforts.
Besides her database course, she mentioned one of our professors of practice, Dave Dischiave, and his System Analysis courses.
“Information Systems Analysis should be in everything. I think that everyone should make that class and the skills learned a part of your daily life, a part of how you work and approach tasks,” she told me. “His business strategy course has allowed me to participate and contribute at a higher level here at ESF.”
Looking forward, Julia thinks that she’d really enjoy staying in social media. “I love higher education because I like the sense that I’m contributing to society. Staying in social media or moving laterally would be an intriguing and fulfilling future for me,” she shared.
As we parted, Julia left me with some advice for recent graduates: “When applying for a job, have a sense of what it can do for you, but also what you can do for it. We are happiest in jobs that we can contribute to. Take all of your experiences into account when looking for a job, because all of your experiences are valuable.”