MMLIS Graduate Profile & Testimonial: Trista Tabanico | USC Library Science Degree Online
USC Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

MMLIS Graduate Profile & Testimonial: Trista Tabanico

Trista Tabanico, MMLIS '20

An essential element of USC Marshall's MMLIS program success is the supportive community fostered among its alumni around the world as a part of the Trojan Family. These dedicated professionals fuel the impact and influence of our online program.

Meet Trista Tabanico (MMLIS '20). In the Q&A below, she shares what made her choose USC for her LIS studies, her best experiences studying online at USC, and her advice for future students.


What initially sparked your interest in library and information science?

I spent much of my time growing up in libraries. During this time, I realized that I had a great affinity for information and research. When I was earning my undergraduate degree, I knew that I wanted to get into librarianship so I had several informational interviews with librarians all over Southern California. The best advice they had was to set myself apart and find a way to open more doors within the field.

What made you pursue the USC Marshall MMLIS program in particular?

With all the information that I had gathered, I went on to research the best online library schools in the country. In this search I came across the Masters of Management in Library and Information Science degree here at USC. I was very interested in the management aspect of this program and found out it was the only program in the entire country that came out of a business school.

How did USC assist you in transitioning into the program, or support your career aspirations as a student?

When I expressed my interest in this program, an enrollment advisor reached out to me who was very informative and supportive. They helped me through the application process and even proofread my application essay. I was so proud of that essay! I even won a first semester scholarship for that essay.

What was the most memorable experience or learning from your USC studies?

This program was very team based and every semester required us to work with different people. My first semester I was team leader of an international team as we had classmates in China at the time. During my time at USC, I learned so much about effectively collaborating on projects and I also made several lasting friendships that showed the true spirit of being a part of the Trojan family. Another memorable experience was being elected president of the American Library Association Student Chapter. I got to lead and work with an amazing committee and we accomplished so much in the year we were in the chapter. We even won an award for a book drive that we arranged. It created some truly great memories!

How did your degree from USC Marshall's MMLIS program influence your current work?

I already worked in public libraries before I began my degree journey. However, I was promoted to librarian only five months after receiving my degree. I was also able to expand my skill set to include project management and data analysis due to the courses that I completed. Due to the virtual status of the program, I was also more equipped for telecommuting in the light of the pandemic, and was able to easily adapt to working at home and creating virtual content to teach and present at work. I love being able to apply what I learned in this program in so many aspects of my career.

What advice do you have for students who may be interested in following a similar path to yours?

I have actually already inspired several colleagues to enroll in this program! One will be graduating this semester. I encourage it because this program is so diverse. Yes, you learn all the quintessential information that you need to know about librarianship such as collection development and cataloging, but you also learn about business leadership, statistics, and project management. My advice is to find a program that is going to provide you with the skills to succeed in librarianship and also allow you to branch out. Librarianship is a wonderful combination of research skills, customer service, and inspiring information. If you are interested in any combination of these then USC is the place for you to hone the skills that you will need to fit into any library setting, and I wish anyone aspiring to these career goals all the best.