By: Nick Ducharme
Florida Chapter, STC
April was an especially busy month for our chapter calendar. We hosted not one, but two innovative programs that I am incredibly proud of!
Chapter Meeting: STC Florida Chapter Open Forum on Technical Communication
On the evening of Thursday, April 18th, STC Florida hosted its first ever fully virtual chapter program. We have taken note of the success of our monthly virtual networking meetings, and so we decided to turn one into a full program. Attendees from across Florida and beyond filled out a survey to provide us with conversation topics, which gave us the opportunity to lead an extended discussion about technical communication that was tailored to the needs of our community. The conversation ranged from personal career advice for technical communicators to long-term chapter planning. From the chapter’s annual employment meeting to future regional conferences, the lively discussion sparked engaging discussions on where we see the chapter going in the coming years.
Long-time chapter member, veteran, and firebrand Dan Voss marvelled at how the chapter has grown to embrace technology as a way to connect with members across Florida and have the conversations that matter. It was an experimental format, and my hindsight verdict is that we should definitely consider repeating it. Stay tuned!
Chapter Workshop: Visualizing Your Career in Technical Communication
On the morning and afternoon of Saturday, April 27th, we had another chapter first: a half-day workshop that encouraged both in-person and virtual attendees. Bethany Aguad and I hosted the event from the new technical writing lab at the University of Central Florida, which also enabled several students to attend in addition to mid-career and late-career practitioners. Attendees filled out a career interest survey, which enabled us to create personalized reports that matched each person’s interests with key words from real tech comm job opportunities in various career tracks that were open across Florida. We discussed some of these tracks, as well as job search and placement strategies, before splitting off into pairs for a resumè peer review. In-person attendees were invited to continue discussions with us at a restaurant after we departed the lab, which led to some additional lively professional topics.