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Subject:Re: a few questions From:"Lindamood, Brad" <blindamood -at- DCA -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 24 Feb 1995 10:09:26 EST
The most important thing you need when you graduate is not the knowledge of a
specific tool, but more the willingness to learn. It is practically impossible
to learn all tools for all possible job openings, but it is more realistic to
learn a _few_ tools very well and transfer that knowledge to other environments.
For example, learn Word 6.0 (since you have access to it) inside and out,
including how to set up style sheets, how to do common page layouts, how to
index, etc. Once you have mastered those capabilities in that tool, it will be
relatively easy to transfer that knowledge to other tools you may come across.
I would then do the same with other types of tools. For example, one publishing
tool, e.g., Pagemaker; one graphics tool, e.g., CorelDraw; etc. (Even though the
lines are blurring between word processors and publishing packages, it is still
important to understand the difference. FrameMaker, for one, definitely crosses
into both arenas.) In addition, read as many periodicals as you can to keep up
with the times; the market is changing daily, so it is important to continually
research new developments. For example, you should be familiar with the
capabilities of tools such as Adobe Acrobat and how to use the Internet to your
advantage (which it seems you've already begun to do).
Otherwise, it seems you're on the right track. I think in this field most people
understand that the majority of your learning will come on the job, especially
since most schools don't yet have technical writing programs. Just approach it
with the right attitude, and you'll have no problem convincing someone to give
you an opportunity!
My questions for today are:
1. I have been reading about software that I have never heard of before, and
I am afraid that the software that I have learned on isn't going to make me
marketable when graduation rolls around in December. So, in your opiniions
will Word 6.0 and Microsoft publisher help when I hit the real world? Or are
there others that I should have a general understanding of?
2. Are several internships and courses that were high in copy editing,
layout, and researching enough experiecnce to go along with an English major
and Science&Technical writing minor?
If you couldn't tell I'm starting to get very nervous about graduating, and I
would love some advice from the pros.