Re: expectations of an entry-level writer

Subject: Re: expectations of an entry-level writer
From: Stephanie Holland <SLHOLLAND -at- MICRONPC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:49:18 -0700

Anne is right -- internships are great. Another good way for students to
get some writing experience is by working on their college newspapers.
My journalism professors made clear that we students would have a
difficult time finding work as newspaper reporters or editors after
graduation if we didn't have some writing clips to show prospective
employers. If you're not interested in working at your college
newspaper, or your school doesn't have one, volunteer to work a few
hours a week at a local business -- write press releases or office
policies and procedures -- write something.

I'm surprised by the techwhirlers who say no work experience or
internships should be required for an entry-level job. How can you be
sure someone can write -- or even *likes* to write -- if you don't have
any samples? (Yes, I realize some people might bring samples of other
people's work, but that's another story.)

Whether it's newspaper stories, press releases, policies, or
instructions, a clip is a clip. It shows a prospective employer that you
can (or can't) write -- or at least that you're interested in writing
and have tried to write. I can't imagine ever hiring someone with no
writing or editing experience and knowledge. Writing is a craft -- it's
not a position for which you hire someone and train them to do the job
in two weeks. Even entry-level people need to have *some* experience and
education or training. You wouldn't hire a computer programmer who
didn't have some experience and education, would you? How about an
accountant? Or a lawyer? Or a doctor?

Stephanie Holland
Micron Electronics (Nampa, Idaho)
Technical Communication Manager, Information Technology Dept.
slholland -at- micronpc -dot- com

>From: Anne Halsey[SMTP:JMH42 -at- AOL -dot- COM]
>Sent: Monday, October 27, 1997 6:28 PM
>Subject: expectations of an entry-level writer
Anne Halsey wrote:
>..... how can a
>student ever expect to get a job?
>Internships. Apply for 'em. Take 'em even if they pay low wages,
>or no wage at all. Soak up knowledge. Find a mentor. Find out what
>the most hated writer task is, and volunteer to help with it.

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