MSc Information Management - Student Profiles

Back to previous page

Julie Eckford, Information Sharing Officer, Rotherham Social Services

My post at Rotherham Social Services as an information sharing officer is one of a growing number of jointly funded posts between health and social services which aims to facilitate the sharing of information between the hospital trusts and social care agencies. Due to the fact that this is a new post and since there have been a lot of government initiatives, there has been a certain amount of development and bedding down with the job. One of my first tasks was to identify projects that were both feasible and would be of benefit to service users and the agencies involved. The security and confidentiality of service user information is in the spotlight at the moment, and I have been involved in highlighting this issue within Social Services because government guidance tends to relate to the Health Service only. Because this information is to be shared with Social Services and other agencies within the authority it is important that we all work to the same standards. The courses I took on the MSc in information systems modelling, organisational theory, and information management and policy have been especially useful in enabling me to understand the issues involved, and have provided me with an awareness of the nature of organisations and the politics involved. It was as a result of having completed the MSc that I was in a position to get this job and begin what has the potential to be an exciting career.

Nick Fifield, Records Systems Assistant, Anadarko Oil Company

After graduating I took up a position in an oil company's Records Management team as records systems assistant. A major part of the role has been developing and maintaining current records management databases and assisting in new database design and implementation. In terms of database development I drafted an extensive document of recommendations with the aim of automating records management processes and providing a user friendly interface for end-user searching. Studying database design and information systems modelling during the course was an important factor in securing this position, providing the skills and perspective to work effectively in the job. I have attempted to implement an information system shaped by the requirements of the 'real world' situation. Prior to the course I had a year of experience in an information centre which coupled with the MSc has advanced my career.

Rob Graveley, Software Developer, Fretwell Downing Data Systems

I did the MSc in Information Management part time over two years whilst I worked in a Department of the Sheffield University Medical School as IT Co-ordinator. I found that some aspects of the course were directly relevant to some of the tasks I had to carry out in the course of my job. I was thus in a fairly unique position to be able to apply to my job, in a practical way, some of the things that I learnt on the course, as I was actually working. This at times proved to be very useful. I have since left the University and I am now employed by Fretwell Downing Data Systems, a software house based in Sheffield. I am currently engaged as a software developer within a small team on a project to build a web-based application to deliver further education based courses online via the web. The dissertation project I undertook in my MSc was directly relevant to the work I am doing now.

Laura Haddon, Faculty Team Librarian for Law and Case Project Information Officer, University of Leeds

On completing the MSc in Information Management I took up a dual role at the University of Leeds. Being a Faculty Team Librarian is the more traditional side of my role, being in charge of the law collection, managing a large book budget and liaising closely with members of the Law Department. A large (and rather unexpected) part of this role is to teach legal information skills to both students and staff within the Law Department, and to train my colleagues at the library in the use of new techologies for teaching purposes. My work on the Case Project is a much less traditional library job, my role being to promote and co-ordinate the sharing of resources with other law librarians across Yorkshire. Creating a Legal Information Gateway has been a focal point of this role and it is here that what I learnt at Sheffield has been the most invaluable - both in terms of the technical skills needed to create a site and in the awareness of issues of usability and navigation that are integral to a good site. Background knowledge gained from the course about new developments in electronic publishing have also been useful, and the research I carried out for my dissertation informs my current role both explicitly and implicitly in more ways that I can list! I can only hope that the course at Sheffield coupled with the experience gained before and after, will lead me to further jobs as challenging, enjoyable and rewarding as my current one.

Anthony Heacock, Theological Librarian, Meadville Lombard Theological School (Chicago)

I joined the MSc in Information Management part way through my PhD programme in Biblical Studies at Sheffield University, after realising that I did not want to teach. I chose that particular MSc programme because of its focus on both information studies/science and management studies, and the flexibility it offered for many career paths in business and information science. I was also lucky enough to be recommended for, and successfully awarded, a full AHRB studentship for the course. Despite my own concentration in business and computer modules, my interaction with the librarianship students in the department led me to acknowledge that academic librarianship was indeed for me. I graduated from the MSc and continued with my PhD studies, while also applying for various positions in librarianship. I applied for a job as a theological librarian at a seminary in Chicago and was offered it after the Library Director was impressed by the reputation and the content of the programme offered at Sheffield, particularly the focus on the use of information technology. Although I have only been working for two years, my workplace is already speaking of my becoming the Library Director and I was also recently recommended for the directorship of a large seminary here in the US. I am constantly using the knowledge I gained in my course at work, and would highly recommend the MSc in Information Management to anyone that wishes to get a professionally-accredited degree with flexibility for many different careers.

Dale Moore, Information Specialist, Business Link London East

After graduating I decided to move to Norfolk to live and work, and after applying for a number of jobs I found work via an agency within the Computer Services Department of a local company. The post was more IT than information oriented and after this short-term contract expired I went to London and registered with some further information agencies. Following a brief contract with the BBC World Service (Information and Archives Department) the agency found me a permanent post at Business Link London East. My official title is information specialist and my responsibility is to develop a business intelligence service to the in-house personal business advisors. Hard work but very enjoyable. I feel the course at Sheffield has prepared me well for my current task as it introduced me to a broad range of skills necessary for work in a fast moving business environment. Most of the modules I took were useful, although the one that would have been most useful, Business Information, I didn't take! Lectures by visiting practising information professionals were also very helpful as it gave insight into the daily work patterns and practices of those already engaged in the front line.

Clare Sinclair, Information & Knowledge Manager, BSRIA

BSRIA is a well-regarded building services information, research, test, instruments and consultancy organisation. We're non-profit, with corporate members who have access to services including our technical library, abstracts database, publications and expertise. As well as leading on library and information delivery, I have responsiblities for delivering to external projects, including the Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). This is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, and focuses on knowledge exchange and innovation across the industry. I previously (before March 2010) worked for the research department at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), where I managed a 'knowledge communities' project for architects championed by the RIBA president. I developed an online networking platform and specialist communities for knowledge sharing, and had great opportunities for networking in the industry - I was also seconded in 2009 to the Creative Industries KTN. I worked whilst studying part-time at Sheffield, and my dissertation focused on knowledge management - so I built up valuable experience and contacts before graduating, as well as benefiting from some excellent teaching and guidance.

Tracey Vickers, Junior Researcher, Boston Consulting Group

As a researcher at BCG my role is to utilize the plethora of available sources to satisfy the enquiring mind of the management consultant. Sometimes requirements may be as straightforward as company turnover, other times the mind of the business world trips a more complicated route involving cheese and market shares. The work is interesting and varied - I have researched seven different industry areas in the past year with no doubt more to follow! But what of Sheffield in my vocational tale? Sheffield has a good reputation and my MSc got me a foot through the interview door. The courses were wide ranging and provided a valuable introduction to the everyday tools of the information profession: online sources, new media and business information. Particularly useful was the importance placed on the Internet as in my current position I am responsible for training VPs on the web. Sheffield was hard work, but it was an enjoyable stepping stone to my current career.