STC Education Liaison Update

My name is Martin and my role at STC Alberta is to create a mutually beneficial relationship with post-secondary institutions that offer technical writing, information design, or technical communication courses. I’m hoping that new graduates will embrace the benefits of the STC membership. Every chance I get, I promote the programs and networking opportunities available to graduates and current students. I’m starting with Mount Royal University (MRU), where I graduated from with a communications degree in Information Design in 2013.

On April 15th, I represented the STC Alberta chapter at the Portfolio Showcase Event. Senior students from the Information Design program displayed the accumulation of four years of academic work during this evening event. Usually, professionals in the communications sector come out of the woodwork to scout for new talent, so portfolios have to be clean and professional. Some of the work looked really sharp as work samples were set into “mock ups” that presented it in photo-realistic scenarios. Employers like this technique because it helps them visualize what the graphic or writing sample will look like when in use.

In case you didn’t know, information design takes technical writing to amazing levels using the principles of graphic design, desktop publishing, and information architecture. It’s the first program of its kind in western Canada, starting in the fall of 2008 at MRU.

At the last Wine and Cheese night, two MRU students volunteered their time to show us their portfolios. Imagine being a young student presenting your work in front of well-seasoned professionals. It took a lot of guts and they pulled it off so well that we decided to host a program night about how to build your own portfolio. It’s your single most important self-marketing tool and our volunteer presenter, Patrick Brooks, showed us just how far you can go to make yourself stand out from the competition.

On November 27, 2014, I attended the Information Design students’ launch of CAKE Magazine. This 93-page academic publication represents the fruit of three months of work in the Document Production class led this year by Dr. Richard Erlendson. In small groups consisting of writers, graphic designers, event planners, publicists, and desktop publishers, the gestalt of the students’ talent was clearly demonstrated.

I was lucky enough to obtain an issue. Students wrote topics that include wayfinding, typography, legibility, and information overload, and how these issues manifest in modern digital and print communications.

It was a busy year at MRU and we invite you to check our Events page as we frequently promote MRU events. You might be surprised at what’s up and coming in communications.

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