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College of Information and Communications

iSchool hosts panel on information science careers

In February, the iSchool welcomed Jared Stephens (‘19 information science minor) and Kaitlyn White to speak on a panel about starting a career in Information Science. Stephens is a senior business specialist at Unum Group and a current UofSC MLIS student. White is a campus recruiter with Capgemini in Columbia. iSchool undergraduate lead Darin Freeburg moderated. The panel covered questions on how COVID-19 has affected the work environment, opportunities for Information Science students, advice on getting started in the workforce and more.  

On working amid a pandemic, White and Stephens acknowledged that shifting to a virtual environment created some challenges getting work done, but it was not all bad. Both panelists noted a favorable adjustment in the ways employers view remote work and think this will continue past pandemic-times.

Of course, students have the internship and job market in mind, too. Both White and Stephens assured participants that companies see a great deal of value in students who can communicate effectively and are passionate about technology. Stephens encourages students to know when to push people’s buttons —in a good way. He says that “being confident enough in yourself to contest ideas” is a skill that will help students lead change in their future organizations.    

Panelists were also asked to give a piece of advice to students looking to join the workforce. “Information Science is a great field to be a part of because in every single industry there is use for people who can understand, analyze and translate information and data,” said Stephens. White encouraged participants to “make all the connections that you can,” saying networking is the key to getting further down your desired career path. She also advised students to "have an entrepreneurial spirit" and "understand what you want and the path to get there so that others can help you along the way.”

White and Stephens spoke about their passion for what they do and how they knew their positions were the right fit. White expressed her love for getting students into the right job and seeing them gain a passion for the work. She says that her team is another reason she feels her company is the place for her. "Building relationships outside of the standard 8-5" makes it worth it. Jared shared that his love for problem-solving encourages him to do well in his position and continue to find the best solutions for his company. He says he knew he was in the right place when he woke up excited to tackle a new day's problem.

The panel is part of a series of CIC Career Month events that will culminate with the Career Fair on February 17. 

Elle Boyle

Elle Boyle

Elle Boyle is a social media intern for the College of Information and Communications. She is a junior information science major with a minor in applied computing. Upon graduation, Elle plans to pursue a career in technology. 


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