Elysia is a recent Master of Information Studies graduate (U of T, Faculty of Information, June 2010), who specialized in the library and information science stream. Prior to attending the iSchool, Elysia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Religion & Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has always enjoyed organizing information – even before applying to the iSchool and entering the workforce – whether that passion was manifest in categorizing collections of books and photos or colour coding calendars. When she enrolled at the Faculty of Information in 2008, Elysia had every intention of obtaining a graduate degree and developing the professional skills required to become a dedicated academic librarian. But after learning more about specialized collections and attending a panel discussion featuring professionals in “alternative information careers”, she became increasingly intrigued by the world of libraries and information centres that provide specialized resources and services to users.
During her time at the iSchool, she completed two practicum placements – one at Our Ontario, drafting a marketing plan for the “Collections” service, the other at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she designed a “Library Catalogue and Resources” eLearning course to assist articling students and legal secretarial assistants in using the library catalogue and resources to conduct legal research. Before starting at Egon Zehnder, Elysia worked as a Co-op Student in the Records & Information Management Office at OMERS Administration Corporation. Prior to that, Elysia held roles at Research In Motion and the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, and volunteered extensively with The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.
Currently, Elysia is Research Analyst at Egon Zehnder International Inc., one of the largest privately-held executive search firms globally, with 63 offices in 37 countries. She conducts business research and analysis for business development projects and executive search assignments, in liaison with consultants, research associates and administrative staff in the Toronto office and with colleagues across North America. This year, Elysia is also thrilled to be part of SLA Toronto Chapter’s Executive Board as Programming Director, planning events that cater to the diverse professional interests of the chapter’s members.
Elysia started at Egon Zehnder in April 2010, as Records Management Analyst, after meeting one of the firm’s Senior Researchers at the iSchool’s Annual Job Fair & Networking Event. Although she had never considered executive search as a career option, the industry sounded intriguing, and Elysia welcomed the opportunity to work at Egon Zehnder as a new professional challenge. The role allowed her to expand her skill set while encouraging her to contribute her knowledge about information management to the organization. Between April and January, she addressed a three-year candidate file backlog to improve accessibility of records, created a records retention schedule and started to develop a records management policy, setting out guidelines for imaging paper records and the process for authorized records destruction.
In January 2011, Elysia transitioned to her current Research Analyst role. This role involves investigating candidates’ career backgrounds, updating and coding records in the firm’s global relational database, and collecting company information about revenue and executive compensation. She enjoys the firm’s fast-paced environment, the dynamic nature of the search industry, the diverse perspectives of staff with expertise in various areas, and the range of practice groups in which the firm specializes, from financial services, human resources and industrial, to information technology, communications and sustainability. Working for a globally-distributed organization is also an exciting opportunity to learn about what offices around the world are doing, and to interact with colleagues in various locations. Elysia appreciates working in a smaller office setting where everyone knows each other. This environment also offers a greater variety of responsibilities, including media monitoring, database administration, research, records management, digitization, and circulation.
For students interested in special libraries, and professional development in general, Elysia can’t say enough about networking. It’s something we all hear about constantly, but the benefits are endless. Join associations, go to events, speak at conferences, attend conferences, write publications, take part in “information interviews”, share ideas, challenges, and goals – you never know who can help you make those ideas happen. Joining SLA is an excellent way to facilitate connections between students and information professionals who can provide insight about what it’s like to work in the field, and share their knowledge. LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly helpful online networking tool, which can add to a professional, polished online presence. Continuous learning is another passion of Elysia’s, and something that is invaluable in establishing a rewarding career.