General Goals for my Graduate School Tenure

Back in August, 2012, I wrote a post over at Hack Library School called “Rounding Third: Goals for the Home Stretch.” I talked about what I’ve learned, where I’ve come, and what I hope to accomplish by the time I graduate. These are the goals I outlined for myself.

  1. Have at least one published article under my belt by graduation. This has been a goal of mine since I started grad school. I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it until recently though. All through my first year of school, I didn’t have enough experience yet to have anything to say. Now, I am almost certain I can have an article published by graduation.
  2. Attend a conference related to data / digital curation as a poster or a paper presenter or as a panel participant. I already have some ideas here. I am planning on proposing a poster session at the ASIST Digital Libraries Special Interest Group session and another at iConference 2013.
  3. Continue to build my knowledge base on data curation, research data management, and repositories.
  4. All while doing the preceding three items, maintain focus on my elective courses. Looking ahead, I see all kinds of activities I’ve signed myself up for. On top of that, I have a 20 hours/week work requirement for my assistanship. I need to make sure classes don’t fall by the wayside.
  5. And last, but not least, get a job. There have been many data curation jobs coming across the wire lately, and I’m sure the number will only increase over the next year.

So far, I think I’m doing very well at meeting these goals. Here’s what I’ve done towards them, numbered according to the goals above:

  1. I have published a review of the DMPTool website in Public Services Quarterly. It’s not a peer-reviewed article, but who cares? It’s a publication.
  2. I’ve presented posters at conferences and will present more next year. I’ve also given a lightning talk and was invited to be a panelist at the Data Curation Profiles symposium at Purdue.
  3. I’ve continued to build my knowledge of data curation and expand my skill set. I’m planning on learning Python next semester so I can add that skill to my resume.
  4. I think I’ve done a good job of maintaining focus on electives, though this semester has been busy. I hope to come out with all As again this semester, even with all the travelling I’ve done.
  5. I haven’t accomplished this goal yet, but I’ve applied for five positions as of this writing. Each looks like a great opportunity, and I’m sure I would be happy at any of them. I’m still hoping University of Tennessee has a job opening that I can apply for soon, but I’m not putting all my hope in that.

In all, I am very happy with my progress in graduate school. It’s funny, because I never excelled in engineering like I am in the information science world. I think it has alot to do with my interest. If I’m interested in a subject, I give it my all. I never gave engineering my all, so I just coasted along for so many years. Information science, and data curation in particular, excited me, so I’m eager to do whatever I can to excel.