Re: On Summer Help

Subject: Re: On Summer Help
From: "Theresa Jones" <tjones95 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 17:16:10 CDT

Barry Kieffer wrote:
I would treat a part-time, volunteer, student helper (i.e. high school
student) for the summer, as a technical writing intern - and no less.
Show them how to put together a simple doc plan. Give them some editing. Have them work a few days on updating (or starting) a corporate style guide. Give them a small maintenance project. Have them do some original writing. Allow them to sit in on engineering or core team meetings so they get a feel for the job. <snip>

I write:
Wow! This is more than I was allowed to do at my first tech writing job after I had earned a college degree and proven myself with 3 internships after college. You want to let a high school student do all of this? I'm still young enough to remember what I was like in high school and I KNOW I did not have the responsibility or the ability to do anything along the lines of what Barry is explaining here- and I graduated in the top 3% of my class. Allowing a student to write original content assumes that this student is going to be able to address a professional audience- when they have never been in a professional environment. How can they start a corporate style guide when they have never had to create a project that was not a double-spaced essay for their 10th grade english class?
I agree that you can try to give your summer helper more work than just xeroxing and filing, but remember what you are working with. You can't expect someone to produce quality work when they have no clue what it is like to even be in a work environment.

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