To prepare for a career switch, Amy Brugmann enrolled in SC&I’s Digital Asset Management Certificate Program. Earning the DAM Certificate resulted in her recent success: the former school librarian at the West Lincoln Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska, is now a Digital Asset Management Specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In the Q&A below, Brugmann explains how SC&I’s DAM Certificate Program helped her gain the knowledge and credentials she needed.
What drew you to the Professional Development Studies at Rutgers SC&I and the Digital Asset Management (DAM) certificate program?
When I first discovered the field of DAM, I was drawn to it as an extension of my existing credentials as a career librarian. DAM, I came to understand, would augment my expertise nicely and open new career doors for me. That’s when I began seeking out the best way to begin building knowledge and credentials in this field. I don’t remember precisely how I found the Rutgers program, but I know that when I did, it seemed perfect, the only one of its kind. I liked its university affiliation and was extremely impressed by the credentials of its faculty. From a practical standpoint, the course length of six months seemed both substantive and doable. And I loved that the classes are taught “live,” by faculty with whom students have the opportunity to interact. When I was pretty sure the Rutgers program was right for me, David Lipsey and Yonah Levenson both took time to answer a few last nagging questions even before I had enrolled. That meant a lot.
Why did you decided to take the DAM certificate program?
The short answer is career change. Not radical change, as I see DAM and Library Science as companionable, but I wanted a change. I loved my work as a librarian, but I also enjoy working in digital spaces to organize and render accessible all kinds of information. I was ready to sharpen new talents and skill sets. I also like the location flexibility of working remotely, and many DAM positions allow for that, so that’s a nice bonus.
What skills and insights did you take away from the program?
Oh, too many to count! I learned a lot about enterprise organization and workflow, the organizational structures within which DAM sits and functions. I learned about innovations in the field, the pace of change, what’s on the horizon, and the bedrock matters that have held on. I learned about the challenges I should anticipate as I take on more and more responsibility for DAM in my organization. I’d say by the end of my program, my vision of DAM expanded tenfold, and that’s because I came to view DAM in larger contexts: organizational, technical, cultural, and so forth.
What professors and classes have had the most impact on you?
I’m not sure you’ll get me to play favorites! All the faculty are enormously accomplished in their fields, and I’ve appreciated each in different ways and for different reasons. Because he has served as my mentor, however, David Lipsey has certainly had the greatest impact. I’ve really appreciated his warm but clear-eyed leadership style, not to mention I believe he sits at the center of the DAM universe!
How are you applying what you learned in the program?
I’m currently working in my first DAM position at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. What I learned in the program about metadata and especially workflows helps me daily. Coming, as I do, from a background in public service, I knew precious little about how enterprises are organized or where DAM sits within them. Part of my current job involves liaising with Marketing, and from the Rutgers program I gained a good sense of how DAM and Marketing interoperate.
What advice do you have for anyone at any career level who is considering taking the DAM certificate program?
Obviously, everyone’s situation is different, and these kinds of investments of time and capital aren’t usually undertaken lightly. It certainly wasn’t in my case. But the program has put me on a new career path, which is what I wanted, and I am incredibly excited at the work I’m doing and the possibilities of what’s to come. If you decide the work is right for you, then I highly recommend the program as a way to facilitate that change. And once you’re in it, I’d say to attend every single office hour (because they’re terrific!) and talk with your teachers. They know so much and are invested in our success.