FTC Lays Plans for an Exciting Year of Expanded Educational Opportunities
By: Andy Romero
Greetings Technical Communicators:
My name is Andy Romero, and I am the new president of the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) club at the University of Central Florida. I am a junior majoring in English and specializing in Technical Communication. In addition, I am a College Work Experience Program (CWEP) student employed part-time at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control as a technical writer.
The other FTC officers this year are Nicole Garcia, vice president; Nicholas Mina, treasurer; Carolynn Torres, secretary; and Emily Wells, student co-manager of the FTC and STC student mentoring program. (For details on this highly successful 15-year program, see Emily’s article in this edition of MtM.)
The FTC leadership team’s focus this year is to provide technical communication students with opportunities to polish their skills and to increase their career opportunities within the profession. The student mentoring program and the traditional FTC/STC meeting at UCF in January remain key elements in this initiative, but the leadership team has added a third element this year—a new educational program to be implemented at regular FTC meetings.
The new educational program introduces students to modern technical communication technologies, strategies, experiences, and career opportunities within the field. We kicked off this initiative on October 20 by bringing in two professional technical writers from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, including MtM editor Nick Ducharme, who graciously volunteered to talk to information technology and technical communication students about their day-to-day activities as technical writers and to let them know what to expect when working for a major company within the defense industry.
The information and tips our speakers provided ranged from how to land your first interview to software applications that can help you get ahead of the game as a technical communicator. The IT students and FTC members gained insight into professional career development. They plied the presenters with questions ranging from recommendations on style sheets to various types of technical communication positions. The students also shared their personal working experiences and how they learned to become better technical communicators. We thank our speakers again for being our special guests and taking part in this insightful meet-up.
Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, we plan to continue to host professional technical communicators ranging from programmers to document designers, to discuss career opportunities and provide insight into the various spheres of technical communication.
Also on our agenda this year is to offer FTC members (including student mentees) the opportunity to publish unique and informative pieces on designated technical communication topics in Memo to Members, as well as to become more involved in the Orlando Central Florida STC community. Furthermore, we plan to offer workshops to show students how to create a LinkedIn account and develop an online portfolio that showcases their skills, academic credentials, co-curricular activities, and leadership experience to potential employers.
On the recreational side, we are laying plans for a bowling night and other social activities outside the university. Our goal this year is to concentrate on increasing professional career exposure, establishing connections, and, of course, having fun in the process.
This year, members of FTC are reaching out to each other and creating new friendships. The purpose of our new initiatives is not only to help students become more knowledgeable about—and better prepared for—the diverse career opportunities within technical communication, but also to make connections within the UCF Technical Communication community, within FTC, and within STC.
I am eager to continue as president of FTC. Our leadership team has great expectations for the future growth of our organization, and we are committed to make our vision a reality.