2016 iSchool (SLAIS) MAS Co-op Student of the Year – Honourable Mention

Rebecca Willmott received an honourable mention for the 2016 iSchool (SLAIS) Master of Archival Studies (MAS) Co-op Student of the Year Award. Rebecca was recognized for her work term as the Co-op Student Archivist with the Government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development. Manager Jennifer Mohan explained that Rebecca’s “personal and work contribution was equal to, or exceeded, [what is] normally expected of a permanent employee with many years of experience in the workplace.”

Excellence in the Workplace

In Rebecca’s co-op position, she appraised an impressive amount of more than 2,600 boxes of records from the BC Enterprise Corporation, a crown corporation. Rebecca drafted an ongoing records schedule, which included recommendations for retention and final dispositions. It was a huge undertaking for a student, as Rebecca had to create an ongoing records schedule for an organization that did not have a defined appraisal policy. Rebecca’s manager, Jennifer Mohan, commented that Rebecca was a “valued team member” who was “well liked, and respected by the staff in her immediate work unit and by the management staff she interacted with during her co-op term.”

Throughout Rebecca’s work term at the Government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development, she relied heavily on her studies at the iSchool@UBC. For example, she used her notes and basic instructions from her Management of Current Records and Selection and Acquisition classes to assist in the creation of the Ongoing Records Schedule. She also found that her training and experience with the provincial government’s Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) played a critical role in her success for the course Records in the Digital Environment and in Digital Preservation. Rebecca found that her co-op experience “provided a rich context” for the courses she is currently taking.

Rebecca has been actively involved in the archival community. As Secretary for The Association of Canadian Archivists Student Chapter at the University of British Columbia (ACA@UBC), Rebecca was heavily involved in planning and delivering the Symposium, where many professional archivists attended. She was also a mentor in the ACA@UBC’s mentorship program, and with her experience working at the provincial government, Rebecca is much more comfortable with her knowledge of the archival profession.

Reflecting on her experience, Rebecca believes that she has been able to showcase her “ability in the world of archives” in a professional setting. Working for the provincial government has been a dream come true, and working in records management was an “amazing learning opportunity.” Rebecca was able to learn from her supervisor and attend professional development opportunities, which has been invaluable for her when defining her career goals. Overall, Rebecca is looking forward to specializing in records management, and the co-op program was the first step to the beginning of a promising career.

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