By: Alex Garcia
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC
Hello, and welcome to my first column as President of the Orlando Central Florida Chapter of STC. My presidency is the pinnacle of over 12 years of service to the chapter. A little professional history: I started college as an aerospace engineering technology major who always felt comfortable writing. I took my first Technical Writing class under UCF Professor Mary Ellen Gomrad and soon after declared a minor. Eventually, I took on Technical Communication as a double degree.
I spent my formative professional years as an engineer on the ground systems of the Space Shuttle program at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). In the back of my mind, I always knew my time at KSC would be short-lived (President Bush had already announced the Space Shuttles would retire in 2011). Throughout my entire tenure at KSC, I stayed active in STC Orlando, and worked it into my five-year plan. I knew that if I put in the work and grew my professional network, it would be easier to transition from engineering into a full-time career in Technical Communication.
So, between 2006 and 2011, I served in the following roles within the chapter: Mentorship Co-chair (mentees), Hospitality, Mentorship Co-chair (mentors), Jaffe Award Chair, and finally, your editor here at Memo to Members. My plan worked when in April 2011, I badged out of KSC for the last time, and 12 calendar days later, I reported to work at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control as a Sr. Contract Proposal Editor. I worked contracts for Lockheed Martin for about the next year or so, which led to a full time, direct, position I enjoy to this day. All thanks to my network here at STC.
So, Alex: What’s your point?
As with any organization, you get out what you put in. I hope to see you at meetings and socials, developing your network and helping to grow this great organization.
A little teaser for next month: Over the summer, the Orlando Central Florida Chapter of STC graciously accepted the Suncoast Chapter’s (Tampa Bay Area) decision to fold and merge into our community. This is bringing a lot of changes: some awesome, some challenging. There is a lot of work behind the scenes to make this merger as smooth as possible. I know in my heart that this chapter (whatever shape and name it takes on) will be stronger than ever.
Until next time,