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Suiting Up in the Writing Center

April 29, 2016

What It’s Like Working in the Writing Center as a Business Major

By: Haley Robinson 

Haley1

Any time I’ve ever worn a suit to the Writing Center, this notion of how I live a “double life” is emphasized. Contrary to what people assume, I’m not an English major…I’m actually a Computer Information Systems (CIS) major and will be admitted to the College of Business at the end of this semester. Simply put by the infamous Hannah Montana, I like to think I get “the best of both worlds” as I balance my job as a consultant with being president of Women in IT Club, an active Association of IT Professionals member/future secretary, and getting mentored by the best Walka Flokka Fellow Walker Fellow named Allegra.

People often ask me how these roles are so interchangeable in my life when really all it comes down to is loving what I do, making something of the unique role I play, and doing all I can to benefit as many students as possible.

Business Writing of the UWC

Haley2

During my first semester working in the Writing Center, I was enrolled in a course focused on professional development (BUS 2000). Since I was constantly printing off handouts from this class for any client entering the Writing Center with a relevant paper, I ended up getting in contact with the BB&T Leadership Center to get permission to officially have these documents linked on the Writing Center website for everyone to be able to use them.

I’ve also analyzed data for a faculty member to present at a conference and have even presented at a conference myself on this role I play. The work we did revolved around seeing if there’s a correlation between transfer student predicted GPAs, actual GPAs, and number of Writing Center visits.

In terms of my own presentation, three coworkers and I presented on a panel called “Implementation of the Unconventional Consultant” at Southeastern Writing Center Association’s regional conference held at Columbus University in Columbus, Georgia. This was an amazing opportunity for all four of us as we got the chance to write our own OSR grant proposal, plan an entire presentation, and listen to others in the writing center community present on their own findings.

Haley3

Writing Center’s Role in My Major

If you’ve ever talked to me in person, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard me passionately talk about the people I work with or what I’ve learned from my clients in the writing center. I don’t think I fully realized how much of a role the Writing Center has shaped the way I approach my business classes until I attended SWCA back in February. Between our presentation and spending a day listening to people from a multitude of writing centers talk, I realized how much working in the writing center has taught me. By far, the top two lessons have been:

  1. The notion of having one definite solution doesn’t exist.

Just like how every client and every session is different, the workforce and even classes such as Accounting II tend to have more than one solution to things. There’s so much in life that truly depends on the individual and occasion that there’s no such thing as a surefire answer. Even things that seem as simple as a resume have a multitude of acceptable layouts and highlighted content.

  1. Love what you do and realize writing will always be a common thread across majors.

I grew up near a technology hub with a history of engineers and IBM-ers in my family, so having a business-focused technology major was a no brainer for me since I value the things that come with the field. Out of all the realizations I’ve had at the writing center, probably the most meaningful was the true power of loving what you study–this is the reason why I always ask my clients what their major is to see if it relates to the paper they bring into the Writing Center. Not everyone loves writing, but once more people realize that writing tends to serve as a method of communication in what they’re passionate about, they’re more willing to love what they do.

How the Writing Center Can Help You With Your Own Professional Writing

Regardless of your major, the Writing Center is here to help you with any type of professional writing you might be working on. Although I’m the only business major currently employed as a consultant, everyone is equally trained to help you produce the best version of your own writing. Whether it’s a resume, internship application, scholarship essay, or cover letter, we have your back.

However, if you find yourself looking for additional resources or a second opinion, I hope the links below serve you well in your professional writing endeavors:

Career Gear

BB&T Leadership Center

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