Faces of UMSI: Miriely Guerrero

After graduating from Florida International University, Miriely Guerrero worked for Fox Latin American Channels in advertising, but “I couldn’t stand the messy shared drives, so I ended up spending a lot of time trying to fix them,” she said. “At the time, I didn’t know it was a job, that you could actually have a career in records management.”

Miriely has been an organizer and a planner since childhood. She remembers meticulously cleaning her closets and has been working on a recipe book for the past three years, adding, “I’ve only cooked three things out of it. It’s the process of creating it that I like. That’s really what I enjoy: organizing, planning, and fixing things.”

Miriely believes attending UMSI has been one of the best decisions of her life so far. It was not easy convincing her close-knit family that she should go. “My mom is Cuban, my dad is Dominican, and my mom was not happy to see me move so far away,” she said, “but UMSI gave me a full scholarship, so she couldn’t object.”

Prior to moving to Michigan, Miriely had never lived outside of Miami, Florida. “Since moving to Ann Arbor, I’ve discovered a lot about myself, how to value myself and not sell myself short. For instance, I didn’t think I could teach myself SharePoint. It’s horribly difficult, but I’m figuring it out and, I’m, like, wow!” said Miriely. “There have been so many opportunities like that, chances to figure out what I’m good at. Even just relating to people, I honestly never felt like I fit in Miami. Here, I’ve found my niche. It’s people at UMSI that I relate to.”

Miriely graduated from UMSI with a concentration in Archives, Records Management and Digital Preservation in 2013. She sees her primary function in records management as making other people’s lives easier by keeping information consistent and up-to-date. “What do we need to keep, what do we get rid of, and how can we make it easier to find things? That’s what I ask. An archivist examines something and asks, ‘What does this say to people in the future?’ I want to set things up so when the archivist gets to that giant box of stuff, it’s easier for him.”

Miriely has had several unique opportunities as a UMSI student, including volunteering at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum where she developed a better workflow system by taking paper records, such as planning guides and educational materials, and putting them into a digital database. She then recruited volunteers from UM’s student chapter of the Society of American Archivists to finish the project.  “By the end of the summer, the botanical gardens should have all of their records digitized,” she said.

Last October, Miriely traveled to the Authority on Managing Records and Information (ARMA) International convention in Las Vegas to present her poster on Preserving Removable Media. At the 2013 ARMA, she will present on implementing SharePoint from the ground up. Over the last three months, Miriely has been working for UM’s Department of Radiation Oncology as the SharePoint consultant. The system she’s creating will help connect the main office records to affiliate clinics. “Access to the right information can essentially save lives,” said Miriely. “The classes I took on information gathering, records management, graphic design, information architecture, interviewing, they’ve all helped. There’s no way I could do my current job without them.”