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SIM’s diverse student body comprises a variety of geographic, academic and professional backgrounds. SIM is a collegial environment where long-lasting friendships are formed; your classmates become your colleagues as you move from the classroom into the work world.

Take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way (Diana Castillo)

Why did you choose Dal and SIM?

I had been considering pursuing a MLIS for a while before I applied to Dal. I’ve always loved libraries, and working in a non-profit made me realize how valuable information management is in every field. Dal’s program combines my interests in public policy with information and libraries, making it a good fit for me. My family currently lives in Nova Scotia, and after living away from them the last few years, it was nice to move closer to them.

What has been your favourite course and why?

So far, my favourite course has been Information in Society. Being able to discuss the various ways we see, use, and process information in our daily lives was incredibly valuable, and it allowed us to apply what we were learning to a variety of different topics.

Have you been working and/or able to take part in any extracurricular activities since starting your studies?

I currently work in the Office of Advancement helping the records management team. I also am on the board for the Information Without Borders conference as the programing co-chair, and serve on the Curriculum Committee.

What advice would you give to someone just starting the MLIS program?

Work on your time management skills! While the workload seems manageable at the beginning of the semester, it adds up really quickly and having a system in place to manage your time is essential. But also don’t forget to enjoy yourself and make new friends, as well as take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Also, it’s OK if you take a class on a particular area and find out that maybe you don’t want to go into a particular field. Finding out now is better than later.

DIANA CASTILLO

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Davis, CA

Education

BA, Smith College, 2012

Want to work somewhere where I can help people achieve their goals. (Adrienne Colborne)

Why did you decide to pursue an MLIS degree?

I wanted to learn more about the role of information in today’s world, both within libraries and in other spheres.

What is your dream job and why?

I want to work somewhere where I am able to help people achieve their own goals. This might be at a public library, or it might be in data management. I’m really not sure yet.  

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

Collegial. The teachers are all very invested in making sure we’re learning, and the other students are all very friendly and willing to have long conversations. You get a real sense that we’re all working towards and learning about the same thing. 

ADRIENNE COLBORNE

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Halifax, NS

Education

BA (Hons), University of King's College, 2016

To be part of one of the smaller "big" institutions (Brian Lesser)

How does your experience at SIM compare with previous education you have received at other institutions?

It’s great to be part of one of the smaller “big” institutions because we have the breadth of academic fields and research interests of the biggest schools, without the feeling of getting lost in the crowd. I like being part of a smaller group of students in the MLIS – it’s great seeing many of the same faces in different classes and it also helps connect content from one class to the next. I also enjoy being able to establish working relationships with faculty members.

Why did you decide to pursue an MLIS degree?

I have been working in an information setting for quite a few years now (I am currently an Instructional Systems Architect with Dalhousie Libraries), but want to formalize and refine my skills so that I can move into leadership roles in the future. I’m also taking this opportunity to discover other areas of interest and possible alternate career paths where I can apply my experience.

What has been your most memorable moment at SIM?

A memorable moment was a recent all-students meeting where possible changes to the program and curriculum were being discussed. It was great to feel that our voices and opinions were an important part of the conversation, and also that we were being trusted to help shape the future of the school.

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

Welcoming.

BRIAN LESSER

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Annapolis Valley, NS

Education

BA (Political Science), Dalhousie University, 2007

Translates into various parts of modern society and the information age (Tyler Lightfoot)

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

I did my undergraduate at the University of King’s college and Dalhousie, so I was already familiar with Dal and the campus. I started working in the Dalhousie Analytics department in 2014, and shortly after began contemplating furthering my education.  After meeting with SIM I felt very welcomed and like part of the school already.  I expressed my interests in how I saw my future and the MLIS program felt like a natural complement to the work I do every day.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM? 

I would describe it as welcoming, encouraging, engaging, and helpful.  Like one big supportive family!

What particular LIS topics interest you most?

So far I am interested in all of the topics I have learned.  However, I am most interested in learning more about data science and management, data visualization, knowledge and records management, and user experience.

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

Most importantly I feel that I have been given the opportunity to become stronger in my current field, which is a field that I love working in. The MLIS program translates into various parts of modern society and has given me new insight into the way we think about the information age.  

What career plans or goals do you have?

I plan on making a career in the information management field.  My goals as of now are to expland my knowledge of LIS topics to help further the work I am currently doing to a higher level of understanding and quality. 

TYLER LIGHTFOOT

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Melvern Square, Annapolis Valley, NS

Education

BA, University of King's College, 2012

Combine your knowledge of technology, ethics, and more to succeed (Kim Mortimer)

Why did you choose Dal and SIM?

The practicum, proximity to my hometown, and the reputation of the school all played a role.

How would you describe the atmosphere of SIM?

The SIM student body is very tight knit. The professors are also very open to discussion and will offer advice on your assignments if you ask!

What advice would you give to someone just starting the MLIS program?

There’s a lot of writing, but it’s not just about words. Nor is it all about books. You need to take a very broad approach to all of the topics. Combine your knowledge of technology, ethics, and more to succeed. Also: be prepared to talk a lot in class. Some students may not be comfortable speaking out at first, but it’s a large part of class participation.

What has been your favourite course and why?

So far I’ve really liked Information Management Systems, as it’s let me use some of my past technical skills in approaching the problems. 

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

Ideally I’d be able to combine my education in physics with my MLIS work in a science-focused academic library.

KIM MORTIMER

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Lower Sackville, NS

Education

BSc (Physics), 2012 & MSc (Physics), 2014
Queen's University

Impressed with Dal alumni and faculty recognition both locally and globally (Zara Palevani)

Why did you choose Dalhousie and SIM?

I was looking for a university with global rankings and I was impressed with DAL alumni and faculty recognition both locally and globally. I already had a solid understanding of the business environment as a result of working in the field, and I was looking for a program to help me build on this. I chose SIM because it allows me to design a program that is in line with my career goals. After graduation I want to help organizations to democratize data, create data literacy, and nurture analytics knowledge and talent in Canada. 

What has been your favourite course so far?

"INFO 5570: Organizational Management and Strategy". This course introduced me to the best in strategic planning and management tools. Class discussions, readings, guest visitors, and the on-site visit taught me about management tools and strategic execution of strategies in the most practical way possible. 

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

I have served and continue to participate in various committees, events and programs on campus, including the Information Without Borders conference, SIMSA, DALConnect (a leadership certificate program), the IBM Blue Mix Hackathon, the NS Health Hackathon, and the NSCAD IDEA boot camp stipend program. I am looking forward to completing my Practicum at the NS Department of Internal Services in June. 

What advice would you give someone just starting the MLIS program?

Keep the lines of communication open and learn from faculty and students in all programs. Be open to change, don't be shy to ask questions, join associations and societies to make connections, and give back to your community by sharing what you learn at SIM (people who can advocate for, socialize and evangelize data and information are in high demand). 

ZARA PALEVANI

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Tehran, Iran

Education

BComm (Marketing/Psychology), Dubai Campus-Southern New Hampshire University/Saint Mary's University, 2008

Libraries are more necessary and vital then ever before (Rebekah Prette)

Why did you decide to pursue an MLIS degree?

Since I was a small child, I have had a deep passion for books and learning. It was these two passions that drew me to libraries. I believe that libraries are more necessary and vital than ever before and I want to foster the same love of books, learning, and information gathering that I had as a child in others.

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

I did extensive research when I set about choosing a school to complete my MLIS. What drew me to Dalhousie boiled down to two factors. First, there were numerous opportunities to gain experience outside of the classroom, most notably through the practicum. Second, during the application process the staff were incredibly supportive and willing to answer all of my numerous questions. This level of commitment and support was not something I experienced with any other schools I applied to. I knew that if they were willing to offer this level of support to prospective students, it would probably extend throughout my whole time at SIM.

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

There have been so many opportunities to become involved and gain new experiences. Currently, I have a paid internship at the Sexton Design and Technology Library. I am also the Chair of Dalhousie’s student chapter of The Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) and Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) and the incoming Academic Vice-Chair on SIMSA. I am also looking forward to completing my practicum in April 2017 at the legislative library in my home town. Additionally, the SIM Connect program has given me a excellent opportunity to meet one-on-one with a someone already working in the field and gain valuable insights. 

What career plans or goals do you have?

After I graduate I would love to work in an academic library or a special library, such as a legislative library. While I would love to move back closer to my hometown, I am willing to move almost anywhere within Canada. 

REBEKAH PRETTE

Master of Library & Information Studies Candidate

Hometown

Victoria, BC

Education

BA, University of Victoria, 2016