Writing Centers (and scientific writing)

Recently I have been investigating ways I can diversify my skill set (part of this career unknown thing). One of the more obviously necessary examples is effective writing. This blog meets this goal in one way, but as I have chosen to use a pseudonym,  I need additional examples to attach to my real name. I was also discussing science journalism/writing/editing (I know, broad sections) with a mentor recently. We were also brainstorming about the careers available to masters level candidates compared with PhD level candidates. I am definitely in an information gathering phase of this, so if you have some helpful resources, PLEASE, put them in the comments 🙂

In any case, one of the common denominators in these types of careers is previous experience. Specifically publications. I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it before, but my lab doesn’t have a stellar publishing record (I did choose it for other reasons. Another day another post). I’m hoping to get one or two papers out before I graduate, but likely I will get those papers after I leave this position. So scientific publications are going to difficult to show evidence of before I matriculate into a new position. A mentor suggested submitting a piece for the campus newspaper. I’m still brainstorming that one out. I also write a second blog, that is attached to my name, but the topic follows a hobby, not science.

While the publishing dilemma isn’t solved with this particular path, consulting at the writing center might fill in the ‘experience’ gap should I decide to apply for some media fellowship/internship after I defend. I have the application open on another tab, where I have been slowly adding in the relevant information. However, I am a little nervous about the position. The application is definitely tailored to undergraduates, and there is a lot of ‘professional development’ in the fall. I worry that it will be more time then I have available. Honestly though, this is always my concern with new opportunities and I manage to make it work.

Working at the writing center will be interesting. I have helped lots of peers and students edit many documents, especially technical writing. It will be interesting to be in a paid environment completing these tasks. Hopefully when I turn the application in, I will hear about an interview, and then its on to my boss for a letter of recommendation. Have any of you had good or bad experiences working for the writing center (particularly as a graduate student)?

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