This posting finishes up the profile of our graduate writing for an industrial and construction supplies company. She is full of praise for her course work at Slippery Rock, both in the public relations and English writing program. The reader may be tempted to write that off as the expected from someone so immersed in public relations work, except it comes across as truly heartfelt. To some extent it also echoes the sentiments of the technical support writer featured in our previous writer profile.
Through answers to several of the questions a picture emerges of the subject’s writing process. She writes ideas on post-it notes but will commit them to her computer as soon as she can. “I love my laptop computer—I can’t go without it. … I hate piles of notes in my desk. I feel like my mind isn’t clear.” When she composes she does so primarily using Microsoft Word or Excel. In keeping with her concern about “overusing” words, she leans heavily on her dictionary and “my favorite, the thesaurus.” For “each marketing piece” she will seek out “all the eyes” she can get when proof reading.
Her responses to the questions regarding what she uses or recalls from her undergraduate days, and how she researches, were characterized by praise for her education and contained no substantive or specific criticisms or suggestions. The subject apparently kept some books she had purchased for courses and still uses them “as points of reference. They are valuable to me and my work.” Her favorite classes, she said, were those where she got to ask questions and do research, and since that response came to question #9 the inference can be drawn that she believes emphasizing such work would best prepare someone for her current writing practices. “I tell people when I get on my creative kick—just let me go—I am almost spewing out ideas and thoughts … that is my favorite part. I hold my writing classes very dear to my heart because I love to write and get to do so in my job.” For the projects that require research it is generally a group effort, but the subject also appeared to associate research with questioning, decision making, and taking risks. “The world wouldn’t be where it is today (not counting the economic crisis) if people all over the world didn’t take risks.” Research helped in figuring out whether taking the risk would be beneficial to the overall enterprise.
Apart from writing classes, the subject added that she uses “a lot of my PR knowledge for planning special events and carrying out major company projects.” That was under question #7 and following immediately under #8 she wrote: “Honestly, not to be sappy … But I think about my teachers and mentors from SRU all the time. I wouldn’t be where I am today [if] it weren’t for them and their encouragement and support.” Regarding the research process she had to learn after graduation, the subject restated that her company “likes to do things their own way internally. I have learned what ________ has taught me—some good, some bad.” To sum up, this independent corporate culture has been a boon for her in terms of forging a career in marketing and public relations, but the subject also appears to be at a stage where her confidence and sense of accumulated knowledge is leading her to seek some stretching of what she finds confining in the culture. Her last sentence, following the one about the “bad” and “good” she had learned with the company, reads, “But in the end I feel I owe my success and confidence level to the great education from SRU!”