If you are my advisee, let me offer some general guidance for you as you enter the iSchool and start to navigate course selection and career planning.
- It is really worth your time to read the student handbook and familiarize yourself with the iSchool website. Most questions about student regulations and expectations are answered there.
- There are no right and wrong courses to take. Each of you is an individual with your own aspirations and goals so don’t become locked into thinking you must have X or Y course in order to succeed. This is almost never the case.
- Take your core class early, if you can, but don’t panic if you miss it first time around. Ideally however, don’t wait until the last semester to take it.
- My Understanding Users class is an orientation to user-centered design thinking that is relevant to any professional career you wish to enter. Yes, we cover lots of UX but it’s a broader user-centered class for all information professionals. Yes, you are welcome in it, there are no pre-requisites or expectations for technical or research skills. You will learn as you go.
- You can learn a lot from other students, from the events outside the classes, but if you really have a question about a class, ask the faculty instructor directly – they are all happy to help.
- You don’t need special permission (or even mine!) to take a class. There are regulations on the number and level of outside courses you can take (see the handbook) but within the rules, you have many choices. I can advise but I don’t dictate. Ultimately it’s your education.
- The time goes quickly – take advantage of everything this school offers by making the effort to get to research talks, job fairs, alumni visits, recruiter visits, social events and more. Much of your professional education will occur outside of the classroom but only you can chose to receive this.
- Our program is unfashionably personal and F2F. I hold regular office hours for my students so come see me sometime so we can get to know each other.