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Camilla Paffey

Library Science MSc
Camilla Paffey

Camilla is studying the MSc in Library Science. Postgraduate study represents for her a gateway to a a more specialist career.

Your motivations, drivers and challenges

What was your main motivation to undertake postgraduate study?

A desire for a more specialist career. An undergraduate degree is all well and good, but postgraduate study really opens up your options and gives you the opportunity to chase a specialist career.

What were the factors that influenced your decision making when considering postgraduate study?

Three main factors for me really were location, subject specialisation and visiting the university. I wanted to study Library Science and only a few institutions offer courses in this subject. I looked at location and rankings. However, it was my visit at City that really cemented my decision to study here. The lecturers for my subject were engaging, passionate and very active in the field.

What were, if any, the main challenges that affected your decision about postgraduate study? How did you overcome them?

The biggest factor was my mental illness. I suffer from depression, anxiety disorders and other issues, which have far reaching effects on my life. I don't think I’ve overcome them, but continued in spite of them. My mental illnesses affected my decision to study at City as I didn’t want to move too far away from my home and my friends, who function as my support network.

Why did you choose City?  What made you decide City was the right university for you?

As previously mentioned, I decided based on factors of location, course accreditation (CILIP) and university rankings. The final choice definitely came from visiting the university and meeting the lecturers and previous students. They were friendly, open-minded and engaged with the subject matter.

Your student experience

What has been your student experience at City so far?

Challenging and engaging. Postgraduate study is a massive step up from undergraduate. You are surrounded by like-minded students who are excited about what they are learning and are taught by lecturers who are experts in their field.

How studying a postgraduate degree has helped you develop personally and professionally?

The course itself has been jam-packed with information, and there is a lot of work. As such, it has strengthened my self-discipline and organisational skills. My research abilities are improving and my analytical skills are growing stronger.

What skills and knowledge do you think the course has helped you develop?

I think the best part of my course is that it is very focused on theory rather than practice. As my lecturers say, library science practices develop all the time, and anything you learn will soon become obsolete as new systems and methods are introduced. As such, learning theory is definitely preferable, as it gives you the grounding in the history of information development, which helps you understand future developments. By giving us a knowledge of theory and the history of those theories, we are much better equipped to deal with the future.

What opportunities and experiences City has offered you during your course?

There have been multiple opportunities for extra learning within the course. Course Director Dr Lyn Robison organises 'After Hours' sessions where she invites academics or those working in the Information Science field to give talks about the real-world implications and practices of what we learn. I find it quite engaging, interesting and very helpful. There are also workshops organised for reading week, and the lecturers forward us any relevant volunteering positions or exhibitions that they think may be of use to us.

What advice would you give to people thinking about postgraduate study? What would you have liked to know then that you know now?

Be clear about why you are going in to it, and what you want from it. Don't go into it just because you're not sure what to do at the end of your undergraduate studies. My partner always says that undergraduate is for enjoyment, but postgraduate is for your career.

Your future

What are your career plans once you have completed your postgraduate degree?

I plan to use my master’s degree to seek employment as a professional or subject librarian.

How do you think City has equipped you for the next stage in your career journey?

Most definitely. This course is literally designed to provide the tools needed to flourish in an Information Science/Library Science environment.