Headshot of Amelia Kolosseus Craig ’06MS

Amelia Kolosseus Craig ’06MS on International Organizational Development

Can you tell us a bit about the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)?

ECLAC is part of the United Nations Secretariat supporting Latin America as its economic commission. My colleagues work closely with regional governments on cooperative goals and carry out research studies about social, economic and environmental policies. I currently work in ECLAC´s headquarters in Santiago, Chile. There are smaller offices in different parts of the region, and I worked at one in Mexico City for four years before coming to Santiago. 

Tell us about your role.

I lead all the local learning activities and performance management as well as collaborate closely with global Learning Managers all over the world. Some of our learning activities include an extensive language program that teaches the six official UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian) and one important regional language, Portuguese to internal employees and some local embassy personnel. We run the training parts of new technology implementations in the organization such as a new Enterprise Planning System (ERP) or knowledge management platform. 

In Performance Management we teach sessions about goal-setting, giving and receiving feedback, and work closely with managers and staff to make the evaluation process useful to everyone. One of the most interesting parts of my work is identifying knowledge gaps in the organization and designing effective and creative ways to meet those learning needs, perhaps with an online course, coaching or a mentorship program. My passion is to see staff continue to learn and grow throughout their careers at the UN.  

How did your time at Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) prepare you for your current work?

As far as the coursework, the "Management," "Evaluation of Information Services" and the "Usability" courses have served as an important base that I've built on throughout my career. Also, during my studies, I worked at the SLIS Tech Lab and supported the Learning Management System (LMS). Having a background in technology support has helped me in all of my post-masters jobs. And lastly, by having Simmons SLIS located in Boston—where great minds converge—I was able to build a strong network and know-how that I've relied on ever since. 

What advice would you give to current students?

The UN is cutting back on libraries, a global trend that is probably more pronounced in international contexts than the US with its long library history. Case in point, my library position in Mexico City was cut after I moved to Santiago. Considering that, if you want to work internationally, I'd recommend developing a wide-range of knowledge and skills and not label them as library-specific for your job hunt. Show your strengths and the impact of the work that we do as knowledge professionals. 

Photo courtesy of Amelia Craig. 

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