Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 35: Of Madness and Midterms

Today was the dreaded database midterm. Dreaded for good reason. Particularly with the database disaster of Monday and Tuesday leaving me with exponentially less time to study than I would have liked, I don't feel that I did particularly well on the midterm.

I feel like I passed, or at least I hope I did, but I don't think I got the higher marks that I feel I am accustomed to. Which has the overachiever in me fuming a little, but the oft-repeated lesson of library school is smothering those flames as best it can. Today's lesson has been repeated by many people; students, professionals, today more than any other.

Lesson 35: Grades don't matter.

As long as you pass, and don't flunk out of the program, no employer is going to care whether you got a D- on a midterm, a C on a cataloguing quiz or even if you got nothing but As across the board.

When we finish school, our diploma says the words "Master of Library and Information Studies". It doesn't then finish with "... who got nothing but Bs the entire time, what an unremarkable and average student". Because outside of academic institutions, grades really don't matter.

I've even started hearing a new variation on this lesson, saying that specialization doesn't really matter. Yes, choosing archival studies over knowledge management will leave you better equipped to become an archivist, but if when you leave school you realize that what you really want to do is be a knowledge manager in a corporation, what is it that your diploma says?

Ultimately, this program will have us prepared to be any kind of information professional we desire to be. We'll also leave with a few specific tools of the trade from our chosen streams, but in the end, all skills are transferrable.

It all comes down to marketing.

1 comment:

  1. re: Grades, they certainly haven't mattered thus far in my career. It's worth noting, however, that academic libraries often ask for your school transcripts and therefore must, one assumes, have some interest in the grades their potential hires receive. That DB class was one of only two classes that brought down my GPA at McGill. It can be a doozy.