My name is Becky Banks, and I am a technical communicator. In my experience at Utah State University (USU), I collaborated with others to write proposals; design documents and advertising materials; and edit documents for content, grammar, and style. I focus on editing, but I can also generate content and designs.
My favorite part about the technical communication field is how broad it is. When I first started my emphasis, I was taught that a technical communicator simply takes jargon or technical speak and “translates” the information so a broader audience can understand something complex. However, the technical communication field is not just “translating,” technical communicators can also edit, write blog posts, and design documents.
Comprehensive Editing is More Than “Just” Grammar
When I edit a document, I focus more on just grammar mistakes. I can redesign and add written content to documents when necessary to match the purpose of the document. I make edits with the audience in mind to create a document made for its users.
At USU, I worked in the Engineering Writing Center and as a Writing Fellow for the USU. For both positions, I worked one-on-one with students to improve content, format, style, and grammar. I determined if an appointment was successful if the students left feeling more confident about their assignments. I never make a correction without explaining why.
Effective Blog Posts are Effective Advertising
Blogs are an effective way to keep a company’s website and something I enjoy writing. Blog posts are unique because they aren’t meant to be read, they’re meant to be skimmed and help potential customers find companies. I love writing blog posts because of the freedom they offer to the writer. Instead of focusing on long, boring paragraphs, I can break the information down with headings, lists, and images. I can take a topic I’m not interested in, research it, find things that interest me, and present the information effectively to make the information exciting to potential readers.
I worked as an intern at Christensen & Hymas Law Firm. My primary responsibilities included creating daily Facebook posts, running contests, and interacting with potential customers. The last few weeks of the internship, I was asked to write blog posts instead. I had never blog posts before, but I learned that I loved writing them! I can learn something new quickly.
Focusing on Technology Provides a Broader Range of Skills
Many of my classes at USU focused on learning multiple technologies. I learned how to use Photoshop, InDesign, Microsoft Office, HTML, CSS, Hootsuite, and WordPress. I used learning technologies such as Lynda and Youtube to discover how to accomplish tasks I didn’t know how to do. I know how to learn how to use new technology.
I love the technical communication field, and I am always looking for new ways to gain experience and improve my skills. I can create, write, and edit.