From the Editor’s Desk

Emily Wells

Technical Communicators of Florida and Beyond,

Welcome to the beginning of spring! A lot is happening in our world right now, but we’re not going to let that stop us from connecting (albeit, in a much more virtual manner).

This month, we have our annual employment panel. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, and for the safety of all our members, this meeting and all future meetings will be 100% virtual until such time as in-person gatherings are once again safe. For more information about this month’s meeting, visit the RSVP page.

In addition to our chapter meetings going virtual for the time being, STC has made the decision to transition the 2020 face-to-face Technical Communication Summit & Expo to a virtual conference format this Spring. For more information, visit the STC Notebook.

Finally, just like last month, we have another first-time MtM writer! John Clement recaps and shares some behind-the-scenes takeaways he learned from both helping plan and attending our annual joint meeting with the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) club at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

That’s all from me for now. I hope to (virtually) see you at the meeting.

Catch you on the flip side,

Emily Wells
Communications Chair
Editor, Memo To Members
newsletter@stc-orlando.org

Get Hyped for this Month’s Meeting!

Annual Employment Panel

Join the STC Florida Chapter on March 26, 2020 as we welcome a panel of hiring managers, recruiters, and professionals who interact with Technical Communicators on a daily basis.

Agenda
6:15pm – New Member Orientation
6:30pm – Networking and Refreshments
7:00pm – Program begins

Come talk to a panel of experts about working in the Technical Communication field. Everyone is welcome! Ask questions from the experts on:
· Interviewing
· Resumes
· Career Advice
· Mentoring
· Work Samples/Portfolio and more…

Come prepared with your questions and hear stories from the ground floor of the hiring process. This panel will not only benefit early-career technical communicators, but those with experience as well. It’s always a good idea to sharpen your interviewing skills, you never know what the future holds.

Panelists’ views are their own and do not necessarily represent those of their employers.

We will be charging the following rates for this meeting:

-$6 for STC Orlando Central Florida Chapter Members (part of Society for Technical Communication membership, not membership of this meetup group)
-$12 for all other attendees

The same pricing applies for online attendees. Visit our Meeting Payments page for details on how to pay ahead for the meeting and receive the call details.

This year’s panelists include:

Patrick Green

Patrick Green is a Lockheed Martin (LM) Technical Publications Manager who works at the Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) Training and Logistics Solutions (TLS) facility to provide high quality technical publications for the products developed at this site.  Patrick moved to Orlando in 2014 when he started as the Technical Publications Manager and now oversees a team of 14 writers who develop a variety of publications.  Prior to this he worked at the LM RMS facility in Syracuse, NY as a Logistics Project Manager where he was responsible for all logistics products for various ground-based radar systems. In addition to these two positions, Patrick has been a technical writer and customer trainer while at LM.  Patrick is also a retired Marine with over 21 years of service.  Patrick is a graduate from Columbia College and holds a BS in Business Administration and Human Resource Management.

 

Jack Molisani

Jack Molisani is the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in technical writers and other content professionals: http://ProspringStaffing.com

He’s the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement, which hit #5 on Amazon’s Career and Resume Best Seller list.

Jack also produces the LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Tech Comm Management which will be in Portland this October: http://lavacon.org

February Meeting Recap

Annual Future Technical Communicators (FTC)/STC Meeting: Recap and Takeaways from the FTC President

By: John Clement
Student Member

Florida Chapter, STC

Hey! My name is John Clement, and I am the current president of the (FTC) club at UCF. After undertaking the role at the beginning of this year, I was thrown straight in to organizing the club’s (rapidly-approaching) largest event of the year. It was a great learning experience I would not replace as it placed me in the position of asking myself what I would want from this meeting so I could help turn that into a reality for others.

On Thursday, February 20th, FTC joined with the Society for Technical Communicators (STC) Florida chapter for its annual joint meeting. This year, we reprised our Career Paths Presentation from the previous year but with new faces. Six professional technical communicators, attending either in-person or online, each gave a presentation on their occupations and answered questions from the audience. The range of disciplines and backgrounds the panelists came from was a boon to have as students were able to hear from both new and experienced technical communicators working within different disciplines. The panelists were:

  • Kelley MacEwen – Sr. Information Developer at Appian
  • Melissa Rios – Integrated Product Support Manager at L3 Harris Technologies
  • Delroy Thompson – User Assistance Designer at SumTotal Systems
  • Gail Hart – Marketing Communications Manager at Comprehensive Health Services
  • Tyler Dick and Madeline Park – Technical Communicators at Universal Studios

Each presenter gave a thorough presentation covering what they do now, how they got there, why they love it, and what helped them along the way. Each presenter also provided their contact information and the best places for students to reach out to them.

After the panelists concluded their career presentations, students asked questions such as how tech comm skills could be applied to other disciplines, thereby extending the discussion and giving everyone in the room additional and insightful information great to keep in mind as prospective technical communicators. On top of all that, students had the opportunity to network directly with the professionals after the event. For example, the panelists from Universal Studios had an internship position open and encouraged the students to talk to them about it to learn more and even apply.

This year’s Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship recipients were also recognized at the meeting: myself and Tamatha Hazen, who was not able to be present. In memory of Melissa, we in the room joined together in a moment of silence after I lit a candle in respect to her.

Speaking personally, it was very satisfying to see how the event turned out. The turnout put the room at full capacity; there were approximately 40 attendees, which was stunning. We had put a lot of work into advertising the event to students, but even then, our expectations were happily exceeded.

The fact that it could directly help others is all that matters. It is safe to say that each of the attendees came out having either learned something new, made a new contact, or became firmer in their understanding about the tech comm field. Organizing this event was an experience I would not change anything about as it developed me in numerous ways from leadership skills to task management to student outreach. I could not have done the least of it without the help of my FTC leadership team and those at STC who gave me the resources and information I needed to get the event off the ground. The positive results that arose from the event were the fruits of our labor. I am very excited for what I can continue to do in and through FTC moving forward.

Side note: As part of a project for my English class, I produced an infographic summarizing a few of the panelist’s presentations from this event. Check it out!

All the best,

John