SIM is a collegial environment where long-lasting friendships are formed; your classmates become your colleagues as you move from the classroom into the professional world. Our diverse student body comprises a variety of geographic, academic and professional backgrounds. Every student has a story; read a few of them below.

Explore the menu on the right to learn more about our students, Dalhousie campus life, and living in Halifax.

Courses and assignments use applied knowledge for real life applications (Daryl Atkinson)

Why did you decide to pursue the MI degree?

I have worked in public and academic libraries over the last eight years, starting as a student assistant at Mount Allison University’s R.P. Bell Library and working my way up to full-time staff at Dalhousie AC’s MacRae Library. Both of MacRae’s current librarians earned their MLIS part-time from Dalhousie, and they encouraged me to do the same. My wife is a librarian, our friends are all librarians, my colleagues are librarians, so I figured I should be one, too!

What is your dream job and why?

I absolutely love teaching. I’m hoping the MI program will open a door to becoming an instructional librarian at Dalhousie.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

It feels very comparable to my previous schools in terms of instructor-to-student ratio, which I like a lot. Classes seem relatively small and there’s a lot of opportunity to get to know professors and for them to get to know you. The same goes for classmates. I find it very relaxed and friendly. Instructors are easy to talk to and willing to help, and people have built all kinds of social spaces to connect with one another, even when COVID keeps us all miles apart.

What were your expectations for the study program, and how have they been met?

I expected this to be a professional program that caters to people in all stages of their career, and so far it’s been meeting those expectations. Course content and assignments lean more towards applied knowledge, making it easy to know how to use it in real life applications.

What do you do outside of class?

Cater to the wishes of a tiny tyrant. My son is nearly two and much of my time is spent with him and my wife. Otherwise, I enjoy cooking, gaming, watching TV, and painting model kits.

DARYL ATKINSON

Master of Information Candidate

Hometown

Ottawa, ON

Education

  • BA Honours (Psychology), Mount Allison University, 2015
  • Advanced Diploma in Human Resources Management, New Brunswick Community College, 2017

The SIM faculty is the most amazing, supportive, considerate and motivating group of educators (Razia Choudhury)

Why did you decide to pursue the MI degree?

The MI degree has a very dynamic curriculum that allows international students like myself to tailor the courses to our career interests. I am a Data Scientist by profession with high goals in the data industry of Canada. I decided to pursue the MI because of the mix of technical and management courses. For my career benefit, I have been involved in more of the data-centric courses while aiding professors in data science research projects.

What is your dream job and why?

My perfect career can be visualized through the positive impact I leave on my company’s goals, product improvement, and client needs as a Data Manager. Proper alignment of technology solutions with managerial proficiency will pave the way for my efficiency and accomplishment as a professional. The MI degree is a vehicle to achieve those goals.

How does your experience with the MI degree at Dal compare with previous education that you have received at other institutions?

The SIM faculty is the most amazing, supportive, considerate and motivating group of educators I have come across in my whole academic career. My experience in Dalhousie could not have been this exhilarating if not for the SIM management and professors.

What do you do outside of class?

I love fashion, adventures, exploring, hiking, patio-hopping & hanging out with friends.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

SIM is a positive learning environment space providing enough room for community building and engaging in fun activities.

How does Halifax differ from your hometown?

Halifax is the perfect little place for students to have fun outside of class. It is a happening place allowing newcomers like me to learn about the Canadian culture. It is smaller than Bangalore both in size and population. However, I do not miss the city life much as people here are so friendly and helpful. I love Halifax.

RAZIA CHOUDHURY

Master of Information Candidate

Hometown

Bangalore, India

Education

  • Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE), Bangalore, 2017

I like helping people and connecting them with the information they seek (Vinson Li)

Why did you decide to pursue the MI degree?

I learned a lot about myself in my Pharmacy program. I learned that I liked helping people and I liked connecting people with the information they were seeking, but not so much other aspects of the profession. I took a year off to figure things out, work at a used book store, and volunteer at the University library. After some research into the program and profession, I decided to apply.

What attracted you to Dalhousie and the School of Information Management?

I wanted to attend an MI program in Canada, but I wanted to go somewhere I’ve never been to before (i.e. not Toronto). The biggest draw to this program for me is the mandatory practicum because I believe work experience in the field is very important to solidify what is taught in classes.

What opportunities have you been introduced to since being at SIM?

I knew that data analytics was within the scope of an MI graduate, but I never thought that I’d have a chance to try it out myself. Courses and research opportunities at SIM have been a challenging yet interesting change of pace from what I typically do in the program.

What career plans or goals do you have?

My current trajectory is health science librarianship, but public or academic librarianship would also be interesting.

How does Halifax differ from your hometown?

It’s certainly smaller than Toronto, but at the same time more compact. The suburban areas of Toronto sprawl far out, so it is comforting that the limits of Halifax feel more succinct. I also enjoy how much older and historic this city feels. Finally, I was surprised that Halifax still has a good degree of multiculturalism that I was afraid I would be missing when I moved.

If you could describe Dal SIM in one word, what would it be?

Community.

VINSON LI

Master of Information Candidate

Hometown

Toronto, ON

Education

  • PharmD, University of Toronto, 2019

The MI program really allows me to curate the experience I’m looking for (Sam Schwanak)

Why did you decide to pursue the MI degree?

I was interested in this degree because it felt like the best way to push my Bachelor’s in English as far as I thought it could go. Libraries and library science also align strongly with my core personal values, and the most important thing to me is that I work in a job that will provide satisfaction and fulfillment, which I believe I can find using the skills and philosophy inherent in an MI degree.

What attracted you to Dalhousie and the School of Information Management?

I was a library student assistant for three years at the SMU Patrick Power library, and when I asked my supervisors how I could go about continuing to work for libraries they all pointed me in the direction of Dalhousie.

What particular LIS topics interest you most?

I’m most interested in social tagging, copyright culture and accessibility and diversity within both books and library systems. I’m someone who participates extensively in fan culture, specifically the creation of fanworks, and I’ve experienced first hand the ways that these curated fan experiences are miles ahead of what modern libraries are doing in terms of sharing, creating, having works that represent our diverse and unique world, and most importantly, making it as easy as possible to curate those works and experiences to find the representation one needs. This idea of fanculture is the locus around which all my other interests orbit. If I can bring to modern libraries even a fraction of the excellence of something like Archive of Our Own, I will consider myself to have done a good job.

What opportunities have you been introduced to since being at SIM?

Internships, networking, and professors doing highly relevant/’hot’ research. There is a very wide range of interests and specialities from professors in the program, which means there are a lot of options to choose from in terms of electives and reading courses. Professors are always interested in talking to you about their research, so there’s always something new to learn, and the chance for a new connection to be made.

What career plans or goals do you have?

My goal is to push whatever library I work at forward, to strive for ever greater systems of care and diversity and inclusion. I want to challenge libraries to consider their collection policies in the face of systemic cultural issues/violence and consider whether their core tenet of neutrality is truly useful, or simply another facet of harm from the dominant hegemony.

How does Halifax differ from your hometown?

Living next to the beautiful ocean is one way that Halifax differs, and in my time here, I have come down with ‘sea fever’ to the point where I don’t believe I could return to a city that is landlocked again.

What were your expectations for the study program, and how have they been met?

I came into the program expecting flexibility and a broad selection of different kinds of coursework, because the option to learn many things and constantly be adding new skills was something I required of a Master’s degree. Not only does the program have an excellent range of courses to choose from – including coding and advance technology courses, or Humanities style courses like History of the Book – it also includes the option to take electives outside the program, and the option to take a reading course on something you might be most interested in. I find the program really allows me to curate the experience I’m looking for.

SAM ELLIOT SCHWANAK (they/them)

Master of Information Candidate

Hometown

Sherwood Park, AB

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), English, Saint Mary's University, 2020