MLS Alumna Takes a Less Traditional Route to Success
Kent State School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) alumna Colleen Meeker never considered her position in knowledge management to be a non-traditional role for a master of library science (M.L.S.) 1994 graduate.
Upon graduation, Meeker began working as a business researcher for Ersnt & Young LLP, EY Knowledge, a global professional services firm, before moving into the specialization of competitive intelligence.
Now, as a program leader on strategic initiatives, Meeker oversees transformation and improvement projects on behalf of the largest functional team within EY Knowledge, Strategic Market Intelligence (SMI). SMI consists of more than 350 professionals in 25 countries, who provide research, analysis and market intelligence.
Meeker calls professional services “an industry of ideas.” Because EY provides expertise and advice to its clients, the firm relies on its Knowledge organization to connect its professionals to each other and to the right content within a world-class knowledge and collaboration environment.
Having worked in EY Knowledge SMI since 1994, Meeker has served various roles in management and program development. And after two decades in the field, Meeker, now based in Minnetonka, Minn., has witnessed the transformation of knowledge management in this digital age.
"The explosion of digital and mobile and social collaboration technologies has created a resurgence of knowledge management,” she said. “In this collaborative environment, the lines are blurring quite a bit. We are in a real period of rethinking what knowledge management means.”
Throughout her career, Meeker has been an active contributor to professional association activities at the national and local levels with volunteer efforts, presentations and articles related to knowledge management and competitive intelligence.
Meeker, who additionally holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Kent State and received her Knowledge Management certification in 2008 from the KM Institute, sees a direct correlation between the steps she’s taken in her career and how her M.L.S. degree has armed her to be successful.
“My (M.L.S.) degree gave me the right skills and credentials to join a world-class global professional services firm,” she said. “It served as a foundation for me to grow my career and take advantage of the opportunities available to me over time.”
Meeker said the skills she learned and honed in Kent’s program continue to help her today. "Whether focusing on strategy, organizational design or program management, I continually apply research skills, drive for findability and accessibility, critical judgment of sources and resources and a relentless curiosity to know that are foundations of this degree,” she explained.
For students pursuing degrees in library and information science and knowledge management, Meeker advises to “take advantage of the benefits of your degree and the certification it gives you, but don’t let it hold you back. Think of it as competency and draw on all of the skills that you learn through both your undergrad and graduate degree. Pay attention to your personal brand — don’t let labels get in the way. Be bold in seeking out the places where you add value, and don’t get hung up on where a person with a library degree is ‘supposed’ to be.”