Deborah Schlein *19, NES

Near Eastern Studies Librarian, Princeton University Library
Mentor, GradFUTURES Graduate Alum Mentorship Program
University Administrative Fellow Alum

Deborah Schlein is the Near Eastern Studies Librarian at Princeton University Library. She received her PhD in Near Eastern Studies, also from Princeton, in 2019, and then spent a year as a Provost's Postdoctoral Librarian Fellow at New York University. In her day-to-day job, Deborah works closely with faculty, students, and researchers whose interests in the Middle East, North Africa, and the larger Islamic world lead them to Princeton's strong Near Eastern Studies collections.

"When I was a graduate student at Princeton, I knew I wanted to be a librarian, but I had to figure out how to get library work experience and learn more about the library world. Most of my successes, whether in finding work at the library or gaining a better understanding of various library fields, came from reaching out to librarians, asking them about their career journeys, and learning from their advice. This outreach approach prepared me to be better equipped as a librarian candidate, and it can work for other professional fields as well.

As a graduate student I was a University Administrative Fellow in Special Collections at the University Library. As an alum and now a staff member at Princeton, I serve as a GradFUTURES mentor to graduate students. My connections with GradFUTURES came about because I was looking for a space where I could learn and grow my interests in seeking a job outside of the professor track. GradFUTURES offers this and more to its graduate students.

Reaching out to people in the field or profession you're interested in is always a great way to learn. It can be intimidating e-mailing someone you don't know to learn more about their work or their job, but most of the time people are very happy to answer questions about what they do. So my advice is to always err on the side of "send the e-mail." If they don't respond, at least you've tried. But if they do respond, you're making great connections and learning new things, and that's the goal."

I have participated in the following GradFUTURES Programs:

Yes, I am open to being contacted by a Princeton Graduate Student for an informational interview!

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