Kickstart Your Career with Membership in a Professional Organization – SJSU | School of Information

Published: April 29, 2024 by Aryn

San Jose State University’s iSchool has 13 recognized student groups with the
goal to create community among individuals interested in similar
career paths. Most student groups also include a professional
counterpart that, in turn, can offer student memberships at a
discounted rate, giving you an opportunity to “try out” the
benefits of membership while still in library school. 

These organizations provide access to networking opportunities,
mentoring programs, conferences, publications, and continuing
education courses just to name a few benefits. But on a deeper
level, joining these organizations early can signal to potential
employers you’re serious about the information services
profession and that you want to learn from others outside of the

Student Chapters

Within each student organization, a student-led board is elected
each year to plan programs, keep an updated newsletter, and
provide regular blog posts on topics relevant to the
organization’s goals. You can read about
the importance of using Alt-Text for Patron Accessibility
the ALASC’s blog, practice conversational
with REFORMA, and even learn about the
world of video game archiving
with SAASC. 

Networking on a Larger Scale

Each organization meets on a regular basis with their members,
providing an opportunity to network with other iSchool students.
While it is free to be a part of any of these student groups, by
choosing one or two professional groups of interest to join under
a “student” membership allows you to access an even wider network
of information professionals. Remember, all INFO200 students are
provided with membership to one professional organization of
their choice for a one-year term. Even after this has lapsed,
student memberships in professional organizations are
significantly cheaper than standard memberships but provide the
same benefits including access to conferences, mentorship
programs, and career-specific literature. Most organizations
include topic-specific “Roundtables” or “Working Groups” that are
only open to members – like award selection committees, advocacy
groups, and more.

Getting involved in a professional organization at any level
while still completing your studies can open up potential career
paths and contacts. So what are you waiting for? Check out SJSU’s
student organizations and their professional counterparts below:

Society of
American Archivists, Student Chapter 

Professional Counterpart: Society of American Archivists

Special Libraries
Association, Student Chapter

Professional Counterpart: Special
Libraries Association

Library Association, Student Chapter

Professional Counterpart: American
Library Association (ALA)

The Association
for Information Science & Technology, Student Chapter

Professional Counterpart: The
Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T)

Student Chapter

Professional Counterpart: REFORMA

Two More Things…

Here are a few job opportunities that might be of interest!

Remember that internships can be an especially valuable part of
your learning experience at the iSchool while also helping you
when it comes time to look for jobs. Learn more about the
iSchool’s internship program here,
where you can check out the INFO 294 Student Handbook as
well as the Internship Sites

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