On the 9th of November on the University of Delaware’s campus, a group of presenters arrived to speak about technical writing, the work, and the industry. Among them was Colin Peterson, a student of Drexel University and member of our Philadelphia Metro Chapter of STC. A member of the Admin Council, Peterson assists with academic outreach and already has experience in the industry. A former intern for Harris Publishing who worked on a variety of engineering industry specific magazines, he knows what it feels like to work and to write for a job.
That was one of the secrets he, and five others, shared to the students at the talk. He “helped get the idea out to students that on a writing job, it helps to be an expert in your industry and to know your audience through what information they would like to see from you to help them use their products.” With an associates degree in diesel technology, Peterson knows what professionals in the industry would want to know, as his love of diesel engines and cars has propelled him to his chosen field in Technical Communications. The students also asked about where to find opportunities for careers, a common refrain from young professionals. It can take a great deal of bravery, as Peterson is aware—he drove over 2,000 miles to Idaho for the opportunity to intern for Harris Publishing, something he is very proud of.
Of course, Peterson is still a student himself. While a speaker, he listened to his peers and colleagues, and during the talk even he learned some things. His confidence in his skills grew, as well as his assurance that “one of the keys to success in the technical writing field is being conscientious and knowledgeable about an industry.” He even learned of new places to look for a career in technical writing, as well as tools on job search sites to help him in the future—a future we at STC-PMC are happy to help him reach.