This week I will have to write a little less the work I am doing for my internship, and a bit about some of the skills I have learned during my time in the MLIS program, and in this short while as an intern.
Sometimes life throws you these weird little hints that someone is looking out for you. I returned from a stressful trip to Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, just in time to catch a presentation by my friend and SJSU alumna Elizabeth Borghi at the Library 2.014 online conference. Her presentation was titled LIS Skills Outside the Library which focused on how to market library skills in other career paths. I found her presentation touched on some things that I have experienced in my internship, mainly that as a library professional, we can expect to have to wear many different hats. Because our skill set translates well to other fields (“everyone needs a librarian”) we should remain open to all the opportunities that present themselves.
The following afternoon I had a job interview. This job I had originally applied for about six months ago; however the company was in such a need to hire extra help that they did not even have time or manpower to sit down and interview me at the time. Now a wholesale flower nursery does not seem like a place where library skills can be honed. Nor does the idea of being a salesman seem to be my dream job. Thinking about what I’ve learned, I decided to approach this with an open mind. What did I discover? This is a family owned nursery, doing things in a very old-fashioned way for decades. However, technology has finally forced their hand to upgrade their systems for ordering, billing, inventory, and customer interaction. I pitched myself as Social Media Intern. I focused my interview on the skills I could provide this company: the knowledge of how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to provide customers with up-to-date images of items in the inventory. The ability to connect with users via Skype so that the cross-country communication could seem more personal. Also the ability to use these skills to follow trends in the marketplace so that key decisions could be made at a faster pace to keep up with the industry.
I guess all of that worked. The company is currently taking advantage of down time to upgrade their computers and office space. In a couple weeks I will begin this new job, and hopefully be able to show the flower industry just what a librarian can do.