Ron Oppenheim '17LS Works as the Corporate Archivist for Liberty Mutual
Ron filled us in on managing the repository of Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Why did you choose Simmons?
I chose Simmons for its strengths: the program, the alumni network, the faculty, and its mission and dedication to the profession.
What was your favorite course and why?
LIS 440 (Archival Access & Use), largely due to the strength of the professor, Kathy Wisser. A true leader in this field, she instills a palpable enthusiasm for all things archival and gives a solid theoretical foundation while always keeping a keen eye on practical application. She instills a respect for established methods while encouraging us to challenge them in the pursuit of excellence.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming student?
It sounds corny, but believe in yourself and challenge yourself. This is a great environment to step out of your comfort zone. You have the support of a genuinely nice student body, a welcoming and invested faculty and administration, and the safety net that is the classroom. Go for it.
What are you doing now?
I am the Corporate Archivist for Liberty Mutual Insurance. I manage the repository of 105-year old company with 50,000+ employees across the globe and deal with all aspects of their cultural history, from preservation to acquisition, from high-level strategic planning to detailed processing work.
How have your studies at Simmons prepared you for your current work?
Simmons SLIS gave me a knowledge of the underlying theories of library and information science to understand the “why” of this work. This is in addition to numerous opportunities—both in and out of the classroom—to apply this theory in a practical environment, i.e., the “how” of this work. All along, I built my confidence in my abilities through supportive mentors and advisors, and through collaboration with students, many of whom are now professional colleagues.
Did you work while you were in the program? If so, how did you balance work and classes?
I worked full-time and took mostly one class a semester. To balance life, work, and school I had to be judicious with how I meted out my time. Thankfully, SLIS scheduling, curriculum, and professors are attuned to this balance and made being a full-time employee/part-time student a much easier process.