Alternatives to interning for entry-level TW

Subject: Alternatives to interning for entry-level TW
From: Nea Dodson <NeaDods -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 23:49:27 -0500

>But if this is the reality of environment, you may ask, how
>can a student ever expect to get a job?

Interning is great, but not always possible. For first-timers getting their
foot in the door, I also recommend creating documents on their own. Write a
how-to-do skill "x." Write instructions for using a computer (any computer)
at a variety of user experience levels. Write an outline for a course.
Write a document style guide; it will at least show that you understand what
a style guide is for, even if you've only ever applied styles to your own

I've done this to patch the gaps in my portfolio when I am working on
proprietary documents. Example: Company A hires me to design computer based
training for their house software and LAN. I can't show the work to anyone
else... but I *can* come home at nights and design a similar course to teach
equivalent skills on my Macintosh. Company A keeps its confidential material
private, but I still add a prototype CBT outline to my portfolio.

Students without a chance to intern could use the same means to create a
proto-portfolio that at least demonstrates that they can write and understand
the structure of technical documents.

Nea Dodson
neadods -at- aol -dot- com
"Science, demystified, is just another nonfiction subject."
-- W. Zinsser

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