Julie Cwik uses the skills she learned at the iSchool in her job at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). She enjoys working in the continuing medical education (CME) field and supporting physicians. Her interest in instructional design has led her to pursue an advanced degree in learning design and technology.
Where do you work and what is your role?
As CME accreditation & certification manager at ACAAI, I ensure that all of our CME activities are compliant with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support. While I do not play the role of a traditional librarian, I am working in an instructional design capacity, which is a growing area for librarians to move into. My success at the iSchool has given me the confidence to go for another master's, this one in learning design and technology. In order to help pay for this second degree, I am currently looking for a part-time job in my local library. If you have to have a second job, being in your "happy place" is a must.
What do you like best about your job?
I like engaging with the physicians and sharing my knowledge of educational theory and practice. My mission is to help them appreciate the steps necessary to create an effective educational intervention (no easy feat). With the future part-time job, I am looking to satisfy my need to engage with a wider audience and provide more one-on-one assistance. There is nothing more rewarding than the "thank you" you receive after providing high-quality customer service.
How did the iSchool help you get to where you are today?
Library school gave me: (1) access to some of the greatest people I've ever met in life—they are great friends, great resources, and always willing to help me get to the next level in my career; (2) access to top-notch faculty who brought a variety of perspectives to the various aspects of librarianship and pushed me to challenge myself and grow; and (3) the skills I needed to succeed, such as how to do an effective keyword search, conduct a reference interview, and ensure copyright compliance. I use these skills on a daily basis in the world of CME, especially knowing how to determine customers' needs and how you can best help them. This has been invaluable in my work with physicians.
What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?
Stay strong and keep going! Find a mentor—who can help you stay strong and keep going. Dr. John MacMullen's unending support and confidence in my abilities is what made it possible for me to graduate. Also, do the reading! It may seem like a lot, but honestly, it is all relevant, and you actually will use what you read in your future library career.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Reading (that's an obvious one), learning (whether it be formal or informal education), and fishing (surf perching, kayak fishing, or float tube fishing). All of these things bring peace and sanity to my life.