Student Organization Spotlight: The Official Association for Students of Information Science (OASIS)

November 14, 2022

The Official Association for Students of Information Science (OASIS) is a student-led organization in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information Science (SCI) that offers professional development opportunities and social events for students studying information science through the Department of Informatics and Networked Systems

OASIS was founded in early 2020 and is the only club within SCI dedicated to providing a space for students in the field of information science. Jane Reilly, the president of OASIS, was a founding member in the creation of the club, and has worked to continue growing the organization’s impact.

“The club has changed a lot since it began,” said Reilly, a senior majoring in information science and minoring in statistics and administration of justice. “At the beginning, the goal was to offer what would be most enticing to members. A lot of people at that time were stressed about finding internships, so the goal was to bring in as many companies as possible so people could figure out what path they wanted to pursue professionally.”

The club still offers many opportunities for members to learn more about the various paths available within the information sciences. A common event hosted by OASIS is “A Day in the Life,” where professionals who work in the tech industry speak on their jobs and educational backgrounds, and answer any questions that members of the club ask. OASIS recently hosted a panel that featured employees of UPMC.

A unique opportunity that OASIS offers to members is the OASIS resume book. Created every semester, the resume book is a compiled list of members and their professional resumes that the club distributes to all SCI partner companies. “The companies then have our members’ information, so if they are looking to fill a position, they can reach out directly and contact students who match the role they are looking to fill,” Reilly said about the direct networking method, which has had notable success.

Along with professional development opportunities, OASIS has grown to include more social, peer-based networking priorities. “Once the club got settled, we were able to plan social meetings and let everyone get to know each other more,” said Reilly. Common social events include casual meetings for members to enjoy food and drink while meeting each other and having the opportunity to connect and share experiences. The club’s official Slack channel also offers members the ability to connect one-on-one or in a group to give advice on scheduling or professional pursuits.

“One of our goals this year was to grow membership and active participation in the club,” Reilly said. After two years of online meetings, the Fall ’22 semester was the first time that OASIS meetings were held in person. “That really helped our goal of gathering members and making it well-known that if you are an information science major, you should join our club.”  Reilly noted that this in-person engagement, along with events like SCI activity fairs where officers can promote the club, has significantly grown membership. The club now has over 100 members.

Reilly advised that students interested in pursuing a leadership opportunity join the club. “Since OASIS is such a new club, there are so many different ways that officers can implement changes that will stick.” With the club continuing to develop, there is a continuing opportunity for officer positions to be added and filled.

To learn more about OASIS and stay up to date on upcoming events and activities, visit the OASIS website.