Work Terms: City of Abbotsford
2019/20 iSchool MAS Co-op Student of the Year
Excellence in the Workplace
During her term as a Records Management Co-op Student for the City of Abbotsford, Arika primarily worked on tasks related to the City Electronic Document Archival and Retrieval System (CEDAR), which is one of OpenText’s Enterprise Content Management Systems. These tasks included developing and launching a CEDAR User Satisfaction Survey, facilitating the flagging of vital records in the system, as well as liaising with departments and researching software to create an application programming interface (API) business case for the system. On top of working on CEDAR-related tasks, Arika also developed and updated a number of guides, procedures and policies.
Amongst her many achievements, what particularly stood out was Arika’s creation of a workflow design in CEDAR for electronic records destruction. This workflow included testing the destruction process, drafting email templates, managing notifications to departments, developing training materials and working with OpenText on best practices. In the words of her supervisor Kathleen Brow, Arika completed all of her assigned projects with an “exceptional work ethic, high productivity, innovation, initiative and collaboration.”
Beyond co-op experiences, Arika’s exploration in records management extends into her active participation in the community. At the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA), she has volunteered in assisting with the development of event logistics and has served as a Communication Representative of the organization at UBC. Not only that, but most recently at ACA’s annual international seminar, she delivered a presentation titled Exploring the Future of Disaster Archives: Perspectives from the Great East Japan Earthquake Archives. Aside from her continuous involvement with ACA, she has volunteered as a First Nations Public Services Secretariat and is currently a member of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators.
Co-op: Journey from Classroom to Co-op and Career
Through co-op, Arika was able to effectively apply what she learned in the School of Information to the workplace. For instance, having learned the importance of risk management in her IT Security, Information Assurance and Risk Management course, she suggested creating a vital records list and protocol as part of Abbotsford’s Risk Management Policies and Procedures. Given what she learned from iSchool’s First Nations Curriculum Concentration, Arika took the initiative to extend retention schedules of First Nations agreements and protocols. As the documents had exceeded their initial retention schedules of eight years, they were supposed to be destroyed this year. However, Arika thought that such information would be valuable in the future as part of reconciliation efforts and therefore negotiated with the office of primary responsibility to extend the retention schedules to twenty years. At the same time of deepening her understanding of MAS coursework, her co-op work term with the City of Abbotsford thus enabled her to gain confidence, develop skills, and advance in her career goals of becoming a records manager.
About the iSchool Co-op Student of the Year Award
The Arts Co-op Program’s Student of the Year Award recognizes two co-op students in UBC iSchool (Library, Archival, and Information Studies). Two annual awards of $1,000 are available: one to a MLIS or dual student (who used their MLIS background on the co-op job) and the other to a MAS or dual student (who used their MAS background on the co-op job).
These annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in all aspects of the UBC iSchool co-op student’s performance, including academics, the workplace, and professional/community involvement.