Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Time Management at the End of Grad School

This last semester is a particularly difficult one for graduating students, as we apply for post-graduate employment, work part time-jobs, and manage conferences/networking all while finishing up the last of our coursework at SLIS. After nearly four (!) years of being in grad school between my previous program and my current MLIS, I’ve managed to get a pretty good idea of how to create and stick to a set, effective schedule that works for me. Even so, during this semester it’s taken a lot of hard work to find the right balance! Here are a few tips on time-management that I can offer as someone who’s currently working and searching for long-term employment while still in school.

  1. Write down your schedule! This can take whatever form works best for you, but I use a combination of a planner, my Calendars app, and written task lists in both my laptop’s Notes app and a notebook to make sure I’m completing everything I need to do and sticking to all my deadlines.
  2. Talk to and keep in touch with your bosses, professors, and mentors as much as possible. They’re a great support network for you as questions come up about the application process, a great sounding board for hearing about someone else’s experiences entering the field, and will appreciate good and open communication throughout this busy time as things come up last-minute or become difficult.
  3. Spreadsheets are your friend, especially for job applications. While I apply for jobs, I like to keep an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet of each application, its deadlines and relevant information, and links to the posting’s webpage/application portal so I can keep all that information in one place. It’s an easy tool for me to track my own progress, and makes it easy to provide recommenders/mentors/professors with all that information if and when they need it.
  4. Make sure you make time for non-work related activities! Spring in Boston is full of exciting events, and it’s important to make sure you’re fitting in time for fun in whatever form you prefer to de-stress. I personally like to take advantage of the many outdoor spaces Boston has to offer, whether I’m just taking a walk after work or going for a longer walk/hike. My favorite places to take a break from all my work are the Jamaica Pond’s walking trail, the Arnold Arboretum, the Charles River Esplanade, and the Boston Common, all of which are beautiful spaces no matter the temperature.
  5. Take consistent, dedicated time to de-stress and slow down, and don’t be afraid schedule it into your week if your schedule makes it difficult to find an opening. It’s great to build up your resume with a lot of different jobs, activities, and events, but none of it matters if you don’t have time to recharge and face those commitments as the best version of yourself.