University of Texas Arlington #ELGLInspire Speaker: Manya Shorr

Posted on February 19, 2020

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#ELGLInspire is coming to University of Texas Arlington on February 19th! Learn more about our event speakers in these brief profiles, and connect with them before and after the event! To find information about all of the speakers, visit the #ELGLInspire homepage.

Manya Shorr

Library Director, Fort Worth Public Library

What was the very first paying job you held (that you paid taxes on)?

Page (basically, I shelved books) in the rare books room at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. The Huntington Library is well known among researchers of western history.

What was your: undergraduate institution? Graduate institution? What was/were your degree(s) in?

University of Oregon, 1993

BA in English, minor in Women’s Studies

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2004

Masters of Science (Library)

University of Texas, Arlington, Current

Masters of Public Administration

What class(es) (if any) are applicable to your job today?

I think all education gives you a context for the work that you ultimately end up doing but honestly, I learned most of what I know on the job.

What book are you currently reading? Would you recommend it?

Big Wonderful Thing by Stephen Harrigan. It’s a history of the state of Texas. I would recommend it, although it is a bit dry.

What’s the best networking advice for job seekers you’ve heard or shared? 

Networking is all about relationship building, so don’t be afraid to share personal things about yourself. For someone to buy into your message, they’ll want to like you as a person.

What’s the fastest way to NOT get a job or internship with you? (e.g. what should potential applicants avoid doing if they were to ever interview with you for a position).

Don’t tell me why the job is good for you (such as “I want to live in the area” or “I’m ready for a promotion”). Tell me why I can’t possibly operate without you on staff.

Why should an undergraduate student consider a career working in local government?

Government work is not for the faint of heart—it requires what I call “radical patience” with all the bureaucracy of pace of change. But at the end of the day, you are making a difference in the community you live in and the people you care about. What could be better than that?

Do you have a work or life motto? What is it?

Practice radical patience and focus on the long view. Nothing happens quickly in government but it does happen and it’s important to celebrate the successes as they happen.

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