Alumni spotlight: Amy E. Anderson
Amy E. Anderson, MSI '06
Information Scientist, Procter & Gamble
Amy found that the School of Information provided the right mix to launch her new career.
"I think that entering this field requires a high comfort level with change and uncertainty. If you find that exciting, then UMSI is probably a good place for you," she says.
Before coming to UMSI
Amy graduated from Northwestern University with a major in history and a minor in sociology.
"I worked for a short time in marketing, but I found that I enjoyed working as a bookseller more. I wanted to take what I enjoyed about working as a bookseller (problem solving, service, learning) and turn it into a career. I was also excited to learn more about technology and how it is changing the way that we interact with information. I thought [UM]SI would be an excellent place to combine the traditional skills of librarianship with HCI," she says.
Adding experience while at UMSI
UMSI students, like Amy, often pick up valuable experience through involvement in student or community organizations. She was treasurer of the student chapter of the Special Libraries Association, was a supervisor at the Stephen M. Ross Business School library, and she taught undergraduates as a graduate student instructor in the Department of Communications. In addition, she sharpened her skills through class projects and by working with other University departments on information-related programs.
Amy also held an internship at Procter & Gamble, which later was especially valuable when looking for full-time employment as an information scientist.
"All of the — sometimes painful — group work gave me a lot to talk about during my job interview, and I think that my employer was pleased to find someone with experience in both human-computer interaction and reference. In my internship, I found myself actually referring to what I learned in the foundations courses — even my least favorite one. Because I took SI 622, I was able to organize and lead user testing for the virtual library's redesigned website."
An advantage of a large university
Something Amy quickly discovered that the wide range of activities and academic programs at the University of Michigan were to her advantage.
"U-M has everything," she says. "There are far too many colloquia, guest speakers, and events for anyone to attend — even someone with fairly narrow interests. It was exciting to be here at the start of the Google Digitization project. U-M students somehow balance strong academics with a decent social life."