Technical Communication: The Day I Realized I Would Love My Career

by Denisha White

April 21, 2015

Before arriving here at Francis Marion, I always thought of writing as my best ability. It was my hobby as a kid, and it followed me throughout my life. When I attended orientation, my name tag had Political Science on it as my major, but I knew it just wasn’t for me.

After researching our English department’s website, I came across the professional writing track that I could pursue as an English major. In the beginning, I didn’t know what to expect when I chose it. I assumed it would consist of studying to write novels and things of that nature, as silly as it sounds. But in reality, it was the total opposite, and I have looked at the world of writing differently ever since.

In my opinion, the day I began Technical Communication, was the day I realized that I would love what I do. My professor, Dr. Hanson, is a great teacher and mentor who still teaches me today. Dr. Hanson’s stories about different jobs and projects she completed as a professional writer were intriguing because the world of professional writing was foreign to me.

While in English 318, we worked on a number of individual technical documents such as a set of instructions that helped the reader to complete a task. The most challenging yet most rewarding document I helped to create was the manual for The Wristblower 5000.

The creation of this document taught me how to:

  • act as a leader
  • perform as a professional
  • play the role of a team player
  • work well under pressure
  • communicate with others.

This document was created along with three other staff members: Nkili, Wade and Andrea. Although the project wasn’t for a real company, we performed that way. In the process, I developed strong relationships with others. Not only did I get to do what I love, but I also got to meet remarkable colleagues who will forever be a part of my network.

While I am past my English 318 days, I am sure there will be someone else who will enter FMU and be unsure what they want their career to be. If they so happen to choose professional writing, I don’t think they will be disappointed.

Francis Marion, in my opinion, has the best woman for the job when it comes to directing how the program is run. Dr. Hanson’s hands-on approach in English 318 was what helped me see what a day in the life of a professional writer could be like. Honestly, I love it!

In my career, I will:

  • meet new people
  • work with a diverse staff
  • communicate with people near and far.

So yes. I chose my career in my sophomore year of college, and I’m sticking with it. My advice to anyone on the fence about choosing their career would be to pay attention to the subjects that interest you most when you are in class here at FMU.

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