Q&A with Cora-Lynn Munroe-Lynds (MI’21)
Since graduating, what has your career path looked like? How has it gotten you where you are today?
My career path has not been straightforward. I fell into the position I have now after I was hired by a research firm in a position for which I was very unqualified. My boss knew he couldn’t keep me but liked my work ethic and thought I would be a great addition in the right position. Someone he knew was hiring for a library position at a policy research firm, and he recommended me. This failed attempt at working for a market research firm turned into a position at LAC Group. Coincidentally, I had applied to LAC Group previously but had not heard back. I am now working with a client to re-build their entire library from resource management to marketing plans, which are skills that will be valuable moving forward in my career.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced during your career and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was trying to find a job. Like most new graduates, I did not feel qualified for the jobs I was applying for. I would read a job description and think “there is no way I can do that” or “oh. I am not qualified”. But I was wrong! I realized that all of the job postings were asking for the same skills but they all word it differently. So, trust in your education and in yourself and you will find the right fit!
Looking at your current role and the past positions you held, what helped you to excel the most throughout your career?
There are two things to remember in order to excel at what you do. Trust yourself. You can do it! You have the skills; you just need to trust yourself to get the job done. And second, never be afraid of the challenges you face. Whether it’s getting laid off from a job that you weren’t right for or performing a task you’ve previously only done in assignments in school, these things will challenge you. I encourage you to remember these moments won’t always look pretty and may be stressful at times BUT once you’re on the other side, you’ll realize that it’s not the challenges you face that will shape your future successes, it’s how you handle them.
What advice would you give to current students attending Dalhousie?
Remember your worth. We live in a world where people sometimes try to under-value employees. Never be afraid of the conversation revolving around salary. You are just as valuable to your employer as they are to you … maybe even more valuable! When interviewing for a job, don’t be afraid to ask them the budget for your position and then negotiate your salary.
Read more about Cora-Lynn in this LAC Group blog post: Strategic planning for a research organization’s library