Library and Information Science alumna Maeve Dwyer ‘18G found that her preparation at St. John’s University led her to a career path she wouldn’t have been able to predict when she started. In July 2018, Ms. Dwyer began working as a research consultant at J. P. Morgan Chase’s Brooklyn, NY office. In this position, she conducts qualitative research assisting investment bankers to find information on companies and markets of interest. Despite not having a background in finance, Ms. Dwyer was recruited for the position through LinkedIn because she held a library and information science degree. “The recruiter was looking for potential employees who were willing to learn on the job, she said. “Once you learn how to conduct research, you can apply those skills to gain knowledge in any field.”
Ms. Dwyer, who grew up in Northport, NY, majored in Creative Writing as an undergraduate at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she looked for opportunities that would allow her to pursue an interest in libraries as public spaces. Her search led her to the Master of Science program in Library and Information Science at St. John’s.
“I came to St. John’s because of its welcoming atmosphere,” said Ms. Dwyer. “The professors are here to help you find a job that matches your interests.”
In her first semester in the M.S. program, Ms. Dwyer took Archives and Records Management with Associate Professor Christine Angel, Ph.D., and developed an interest in archives and museums. “Dr. Angel’s class showed me a different side of what you could do with library science,” she said.
During summer 2017, Ms. Dwyer completed an internship in MoMA’s library department, which is open to the public but used primarily as a staff resource. MoMA’s competitive internship program selects approximately 30 interns per year, and Ms. Dwyer was the only intern in the library department, working with a staff of 12 MoMA employees. She assumed duties as a library page for the institution and completed a special project cataloging Latin American artist styles. For the project, Ms. Dwyer drew on knowledge acquired during her Metadata for Information Professionals course and gained practical experience navigating the MoMA library’s various organizational systems.
The following spring semester, Ms. Dwyer completed a for-credit internship at the Museum of Natural History working one-on-one with an archivist in the museum’s anthropology archive. As part of her responsibilities in this position, Ms. Dwyer wrote biographies for contributors to the archive and prepared files to be converted to an online archive format, a project that entailed metadata and tagging work. She also arranged, described, and created a finding aid for a special James Ford collection for the museum.
“The two internships added an experiential dimension to what I was learning in the classroom,” she said. “They also complemented each other in that one focused on library operations and the other focused on archival work.”
While a graduate student, Ms. Dwyer also held a non-academic (administrative) graduate assistant position in the St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s office under the supervision of Associate Dean Joyce Lawlor. In that capacity, Ms. Dwyer helped Dean Lawlor maintain records for the Liberal Arts Faculty Council and conduct independent research on alumni for College success stories. “My work with Dean Lawlor gave me a good footing in getting this position with Chase by enhancing my coursework with hands-on research experience,” she said.
Ms. Dwyer shows that skills and knowledge in research, along with a robust spirit of inquiry, can lead to success in any field.