Making Noob Opportunities

A stellar 12 months has whizzed by, during which time RIMPA has gone from having limited entry-level resources, programs and networking opportunities, to offering students and new professionals coveted volunteer placements to gain valuable insight into the profession and to mix with industry experts at the Victorian State Seminar for the second year running!

Partners in crime, Lydia Loriente (ARIM) and Emma Harding (ARIM), wanted to make the most of their memberships, but as new professionals, found existing RIMPA resources and opportunities — while thoroughly impressive and comprehensive — to be somewhat overwhelming, and even intimidating. There was no induction, no tips on how to get started, and no chances to chat with and obtain guidance from experts, or even connect with others in the same boat.

“I did not understand how to maximise my membership benefits” Emma Harding

“I wanted more preparative opportunities or chances to try and potentially fail in a supportive environment”. Lydia Loriente

You know what they say, Gandhi or otherwise, “Be the change you wish to see”. The new professionals took action, and RIMPA Noobs was born. One year on — with the support of the Victorian Branch Council — the networking group has created a number of opportunities for students and new professionals to connect both with each other and experienced mentors, either through events (the Noob Night series, or ConnectMore events with ALIA and ASA), and volunteering prospects, while being provided with writing opportunities and more. They have even expanded by recruiting fellow Noob, William Kyrou, and are looking to build capacity by engaging with more interested Noobs going forward.

Lydia Loriente summed it up nicely:

“We want to continue this and build on it, working towards a more structured and routine induction and professional development program for people entering the profession. We also want to give students and new professionals a voice and more visibility, by encouraging them to write articles and blog posts, to attend events, and even present. This benefits us Noobs, but it benefits the entire profession too. It ensures that new practitioners are supported and resourced to be the best they can be, that they have exposure to leadership opportunities and experiences that will, in turn, build capacity within the profession… and within RIMPA”.

The hope is that those engaging with Noobs now, will go on to become high achieving mid-career professionals, who will support the new generation of Noobs coming through by becoming mentors themselves, providing resources, and ensuring the R in GLAMR is well-represented and promoted.

If this year’s four successful applicants of the Victorian RIMPA State Seminar Student/New Professionals Volunteer Program are anything to go by, the future is in good hands!

Two volunteers, Susannah Tindall and Michelle Page-Cook (ARIM), have happily shared their insights into the 2017 Victorian State Seminar, so please sit back and immerse yourselves in their experiences and take advantage of their tips!

Susannah:

I was extremely excited to be chosen as a volunteer for the 2017 RIMPA Victorian State Seminar. As a new professional to the industry, there are never too many events that can be attended, and volunteering gives a chance to be introduced to such a huge event while still gaining experience and exposure that complements our studies.

Our team of volunteers on the day consisted of Nicole Gauci, Roxanne Baum and myself. We unfortunately missed regional representative Michelle Page-Cook who was unable to attend on the day. As volunteers, our main responsibilities surrounded greeting and checking in people in the morning, as well as providing technical assistance to the presenters and live-tweeting the event for those who couldn’t attend on the day. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out #RIMPAVic17 for a recap of the day!

The schedule included presenters from across our industry, as well as from the major event sponsors.

A personal highlight was learning about the new technology ‘Blockchain’ from Stephen Crockett of Westpac Bank. This was something I was aware of, but lacked understanding of how it really worked and applied to our industry. I found it extremely interesting to see how this system, which was developed with records specifically in mind, will actually apply to our industry, and how we could use this technology in our own workplace.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the presentation from Lina Patel from Code for Australia, where she introduced the idea of ‘Unlikely alliances’. My table and I had a fantastic discussion around where we had forged such alliances in our own workplaces, and why they are necessary for supporting records management across organisations. We collectively decided records management is everyone’s responsibility, not just our own as specialists, and as such we must ensure that everyone in our organisation is aware of their responsibilities and how these can be achieved.

I strongly recommend students and new professionals consider volunteer positions for events such as this. They allow an introduction to some of our big, industry-wide events and give a chance to learn valuable skills and information, while still interacting with delegates from a myriad of organisations across Victoria.

Being so new to the industry and having only worked in one area, I found it interesting and valuable to hear some of the issues that others experience in their organisations and how this differs from my own experiences.

I also highly recommend having some business cards available — these are handy not only for networking, but there are plenty of door prizes from the vendors on the day!

A huge thank you goes out to my fellow volunteers, RIMPA Noobs, and the RIMPA Victorian Branch for organising such a fantastic, insightful day. I cannot wait for next year — especially since winning a free ticket to RIMPA’s 2018 Victoria State Seminar!

Susannah Tindall is a new professional in the records and information management industry. She undertook postgraduate study in 2016, completing a Graduate Diploma in Information and Knowledge Management at Monash University, specialising in records and archives. She has since completed two short-term contracts through the University of Melbourne with The Melbourne Dental School and the School of Psychological Sciences. She has also gained experience through volunteering at the Public Records Office of Victoria, and now through the RIMPA Noobs’ State Seminar Volunteer Program. Susannah has been a Records Officer for Monash University since April 2017.

Michelle:

I applied to be a 2017 RIMPA State Seminar (Victoria) Student/New Professionals Volunteer, and although I was successful in my application I was not able to attend on the day due to circumstances out of my control.

My reason for making an application was to be involved and assist at the Seminar and to broaden my network of recordkeeping professionals in both regional and metro areas.

Initially I was unsure about applying to be a Volunteer due to the time and distance of travel required on the day of the Seminar. Travelling from Sale in Gippsland by bus and train is a 6 hour return trip. Prior to submitting my application, I advised that I would only be available for the duration of the Seminar and not outside those times and I was still encouraged to apply.

RIMPA was very accommodating and not only accepted my application, they adjusted my start time and volunteer tasks to suit the times that I would be available.

My advice to any regional or rural RIMPA members is to have a go! Put your hand up for events and volunteer roles and don’t be afraid to ask for flexibility due to the distance you have to travel.

I would like to encourage and support any ideas for RIMPA events in regional areas. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any ideas big or small that could make a difference to regional and rural members michellep@wellington.vic.gov.au

Lastly but most importantly, I would like to say a very big WELL DONE and THANK YOU to the 2017 RIMPA State Seminar (Victoria) Student/New Professionals Volunteers Nicole, Roxanne and Susannah for their efforts at the Seminar and give my apologies for not being there to assist.

Michelle Page-Cook (ARIM) recently completed a Diploma of Recordkeeping and became a Certified Associate Member of RIMPA. She is very passionate about good recordkeeping and has a special interest in Archives. Michelle is the Senior Information Officer at Wellington Shire Council. She has worked in this role for nearly 7 years and been employed at Council for 13 years!

Want to get in touch with RIMPA Noobs or get involved?

Visit #VoiceBox!

Like what you read? Give RIMPA Noobs a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.