Since 2001, Obershaw has worked in the Business Information Services group at Morgan Stanley in Japan. For the last few years, he has mainly concentrated on tech, media and telecoms industry research. "Our group has four centers around the world that allow us to cover our global businesses at any time of the day," he explained in a recent interview. "Being located in Tokyo, our primary clients are in Japan and Asia, but we also help out with after hours requests from Europe and North America. The work is really fascinating and always changing. I could be researching the household asset distribution across countries in Asia and then switch to researching the iPhone supply chain."
Obershaw's work has changed since he became the manager of the Business Information Services group in Tokyo. "I'm not doing much research now," he said. "Instead, I've been concentrating on vendor management, working with client business units and coordinating the local team."
When asked what was interesting about his experience working in Japan, Obershaw explained that - although his corporate position doesn't allow much interaction with the local Japanese library community - he has found language overlaps particularly interesting.
"One fascinating aspect of working in a global company in Japan is that for any source there is in English, we have a similar source in Japanese," he said. "The librarian in me loves to compare the differences in how the systems are built and present information."
When asked how SILS prepared him for the work he has done and is currently doing, Obershaw responded by emphasizing that SILS helped him develop skills such as thinking objectively about information, analyzing the user community and positioning himself and the services he provides in order to bring the two together.
"Students are exposed to these ideas in every class," he related, "which helps to build a well-rounded foundation of professionalism that can be adapted to any environment. The program also has a good mix of theory and practice. Gaining exposure to a variety of information professionals helped me to understand the opportunities available and to define my own career ambitions."