Junior Morgan LaMonica talked with 2017 English alum Elizabeth Mayer about her route to finding a dream job, the importance of getting teens into libraries, and the process of preparing for interviews with Dr. Snyder in ENG 331 Design Your Career. (Elizabeth is pictured above at the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum where she got her start via an internship.)
Morgan LaMonica: What were your plans post-graduation while you were still in school and how much did you stick to that plan? How much did it change?
Elizabeth Mayer: While attending Stevenson University, I became interested in museum studies through my internship at the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum (pictured above). I was particularly interested in the cataloging aspect of the profession. My post-graduation plan was to land a job working in that field. However, museum jobs are hard to come by especially if you don’t have your Masters. I began applying to museum internships earnestly, but to no avail. It became very clear that I would have to get my Masters, so I started exploring other career options because I wasn’t sure if I wanted, or was ready, to go back to school. I applied to several library positions in Harford County, but didn’t have any luck. That is when I ventured out to other counties.
ML: How did you know you were in the right career? Did you ever have doubts?
EM: When I came across the Young Adult Library Associate position at the Chesapeake Branch Library, I felt that I found my dream job. I have an Associates Degree in Secondary Education and always had a passion for YA literature, so it seemed like a perfect fit! The first week or training at the Elkton Branch was pretty intense, so, of course, I had some doubts about the job. However, when I started working at my assigned branch and began interacting with the teens in the area, I knew that it was a perfect fit.
ML: Did you have plans to pursue higher education (Masters, PhD)? If so, how did you and what was the time frame?
EM: Currently, I am enrolled in a Masters program and I anticipate graduating with a MLIS in May 2020.
ML: How did you get to where you are today? Who did you talk to and what positions did you have before getting to where you are now?
EM: I feel that I worked extremely hard to get where I am today. I didn’t have the typical college experience like most of my friends had because I started at a community college, transferred to SU as a commuter, and worked almost 30 hours a week. I spent a lot of time having discussion with my friends, family and academic advisor about what career paths I would be happy in. Dr. Snyder helped me with my resume and cover letter for the Young Adult Library Associate position at the Chesapeake City Branch Library. I was later promoted to a full-time position at the Rising Sun Branch. I truly feel that the Design Your Career course prepared me for the interview process for both positions. I was also extremely fortunate to have two really incredible advisors, George Budelis for HCC and Dr. Aaron Chandler for SU.
ML: Are you at your dream job?
EM: I truly feel that I am at my dream job! I get to create and implement programming for ages 11-17 that varies from STEM to Fandom programs. Next month, I will be hosting an after-hours Teen Night where teens are invited to come to the library to play board games, video games, and hang out. At the end of the night, we will serve pizza and cookies and test their knowledge with pop-culture trivia. I truly enjoy being a teen advocate because, surprisingly, not many people want teens in libraries. It’s important that we captivate this audience because they are the future of libraries.