Andrea Kampen German and Slavic Studies Alumni
Briefly, tell us about your job. What do you find most rewarding? What are your greatest challenges within this profession?
I currently work in the Library Archives and Information Management field. I am drawn to this field because I enjoy connecting people to the information they are looking for. Whether it is a book to read for leisure, a relative’s records in an archive or connecting a researcher to articles published in their subject, it is incredibly rewarding to use search skills to empower people in their learning. I enjoy considering the challenging questions surrounding the topics of information access, privacy and articulating the importance of libraries and memory institutions.
What experiences and activities helped you to map out your career pathway?
During a project in my undergraduate degree I was tasked with finding a review of a film from the 1930’s. I visited the mircofilm section of the library and had the most incredible librarian help me find my resources. During this experience I realized that the hunt for information could be a career. Information can be conveyed through so many different ways – image, text, audio -and having a second language can impact how the content of the various mediums is perceived. My undergraduate degree in German prepared me to think critically and creatively and gave me an opportunity to develop my soft skills in a supportive and challenging environment.
As a student, did you see yourself in your current career? What stayed the same and/or changed?
I decided early in my undergraduate degree that I wanted to pursue a Master in Library and Information studies. This program doesn’t require a specific undergraduate degree, which allowed me to focus my undergraduate experience to prepare me for further education and career.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing a degree in german and slavic studies?
I would encourage people to think beyond the work/travel or literary opportunities that the German program can offer. Getting a degree in another language can impact how you understand the world around you and can increase sensitivity to other cultures but also help you gain access to information that may otherwise have been imperceptible.
What job search advice do you have for students and recent graduates?
Build relationships and do not discard opportunities that may not seem to directly fit into where you think you’re going. Down the road that professor or peer you connected with may have the connection to bring you closer to your goal. The job market is difficult and thinking creatively about how the skills you learn in your undergrad can be applied is going to make you a strong scholar and employee.
Tell us a fun fact about your career path.
A fun fact is that I have no idea where I’m headed next!