When I first came to Carolina in 2004, I hadn’t heard of Information Science. Little did I know that I was already designing information systems. I had a keen understanding of technology, but always in the sense of how it could help people work smarter. In each of my part-time jobs, I found myself improving processes and helping others learn computer applications. When I read about the Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS) program in UNC’s Undergraduate Bulletin, I knew I’d found my major.
I took an internship at IBM between my junior and senior years and learned more about Information Architecture and User Experience Design. Immediately following that summer, I took an intern position at Capstrat in User Experience Design. Following my senior year as an intern, I took a full time position at Capstrat. As a Lead UX Designer, I had the pleasure of directing Capstrat’s redesign of UNC.edu. It was a job I was meant to do, powered by a love of Carolina and a strong education at SILS. Capstrat also allowed me to continue my education, and I worked part-time to complete a Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree from SILS in 2012. Armed with a new degree, I spent three years at ChannelAdvisor as a UX Designer and Product Manager, where I was able to focus my time on one product and learn inner workings of the rapidly changing e-commerce industry.
I also took an interest in an emerging field, the digital afterlife, exploring what happens to personal, digital collections once the owner passes away. That led to the creation of my blog, The Digital Beyond and a book, Your Digital Afterlife (New Riders Press, 2010). My work in this field led to interviews and appearances with numerous media outlets including The New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s Fresh Air, and The Atlantic, as well as speaking engagements at SXSW Interactive, the Internet Archive, and the Library of Congress.
In 2016, I launched Evan Carroll and Associates, a consultancy aimed at helping companies understand how to use technology, data, and analytics to connect with the hearts and minds of their customers to drive both loyalty and advocacy.
I also published my second book, Blue Goldfish (9 INCH Marketing, 2016). My co-author Stan Phelps and I collected over 300 examples of companies that are effectively using technology, data, and analytics to benefit customers, rather than simply sell products. Instead of taking a technology perspective, we took a business perspective, so that anyone who wants to understand how to implement similar programs in their own company can find ways to do it.
SILS positioned me for success in all of these endeavors. I especially enjoyed the small class sizes at SILS, with direct access to my professors. SILS truly has an expert faculty, and they’re personable and approachable, to boot. What I've learned from the study of information science is a part of my work every day. I highly recommend SILS to anyone considering a career in business. I wouldn’t trade my time at SILS for anything—even another National Championship.