Capstone ePortfolio: Joanna Russell Bliss 

Educational & Professional Goals

My education, like my career, has meandered as much as our physical location (Dallas is our eighth, and -- we hope -- final city). I went to college as a pre-med major and graduated with degrees in English and education. After a few years of teaching, I went on to earn an M.A. in English, but switched to work in marketing after being unable to find a job in publishing.

But in the last couple of years, as our moving has come to an end, I have seriously reflected, researched and talked to peers about my education and my career. To me, my educational and professional goals are intertwined. I realized in 2017 that I wanted to return, in some way, to the humanities. This led me to start looking for jobs in academia and museums after we moved to Dallas in 2018, and I found that the jobs that most appealed to me required an MLS or MLIS. I called on my network of Missouri alums to learn more, talking to multiple academic librarians in the spring of 2019 and confirming what I suspected -- that my skills and personality would work well in such an environment.

The more I explore this profession, through my classes and my internship at SMU, the more I know I want to work in an academic library. My technical skills could apply to positions in user services or digital collections; my interpersonal skills would work well for a subject librarian. I have often thought how wonderful it would be to work at a university, particularly in the last decade as I have become more and more involved with the alumni association for my alma mater. Now I am working to make that dream a reality.

I am not content to simply work hard for my grades and to succeed academically. This is why I have tried to do as much as I can through my internship, volunteering for special projects that interest me and joining committees that help me understand how to be a better librarian -- now and in the future. 
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