A big project for the Outreach team this quarter is reaching out (like we do) to every corner of the university, and one of our goals in doing this is to let writers in all majors know that we are a wonderful place to work. As we planned how we would approach this goal in our weekly Outreach team meeting, Eric H., the Outreach GA, and I had the idea of asking the team more about their majors and how working at the UCWbL had an impact on their field of study.
Andra R.: Working at the writing center has allowed me to become more attuned to writers’ specific needs based on the assignments I’ve had to provide feedback for the past quarter. In studying both Political Science and English and preparing for a legal degree in International Law, I think it’s crucial to develop strong writing and communication skills that accommodate to the interests of clients that come to see me. My services are meant to help discover what the writer is struggling with, as well as address multiple ways to approach improving each piece based on the writer’s ability. Discussing such topics that are primarily client-oriented allow me to use my writing expertise to best help students help decide how they want to improve their own work. Similarly, being able to communicate, advise, and maintain good rapport with other legal clients is expected in my field, and my writing appointments provide a helpful parallel in developing these necessary skills!
Bethany S.: As a public relations student, many internship applications have the requirement: “You must be obsessed with grammar.” Thankfully I am due to working at the UCWbL. I had always enjoyed English classes growing up, but working here has provided me with the resources and opportunities to build upon my interest in grammar and really get to know many concepts inside and out. When I see a writer having trouble with commas or verb tense, I often provide them with a helpful resource to explain the concept to them. By reading through different resources and explaining them to writers, I’ve learned so much about grammar that I’ve been able to apply to press releases, media alerts, and pitches. In addition, the UCWbL has various inservices focusing on more challenging aspects of grammar and writing that have really helped develop the professionalism of my work, which is super important in the PR field.
Cesar Z.: Working at the UCWbL has been such a rewarding and fun experience for me thus far. This is my first year, but in the short time I’ve been here, I’ve gotten to know a lot of the awesome tutors I get to call my coworkers. Engaging with people at every shift makes this job feel like one that matters; you get to walk into the office and knowing you’ll help people make progress with not just their writing, but their ability to write as a whole. As a psych major, I’m so very interested in what makes these human interactions meaningful and productive to both the tutor and the writer. I look forward to learning more about the writers at the school, the UCWbL and it’s bigger purpose, and myself as a writer and a tutor as I continue to work here.
Gia Z.: As a PR major, organization and public speaking is something that is critical for my future. However, it’s also something I have never excelled at. Presenting ideas was always an anxiety-inducing event filled with rambling and tangents until I figured out the point I wanted to make. After working at the UCWBL, not only have my organizational skills enhanced dramatically, but presenting my thoughts is something I now do on a daily basis. Collaborating with my peers has improved my focus and allowed me to feel more comfortable with teamwork and sharing my opinions.
Katie O.: No historical research project I have ever done has been completed according to plan. I cannot have a set expectation going into a history project; just like I cannot have a set expectation for my appointments. What I have learned from being a writing center tutor is adaptability. I get multiple prompts a day from the writers I meet with and have to come up with feedback, and strategies quite quickly. When I do historical research, what I find often changes the course of my projects. Working at the writing center has equipped me with the skills to handle that situation smoothly.
Krystal E.: I love working at the writing center because it gives me a new perspective on my own writing. Through being a peer tutoring and working with writers as they develop a thesis and a structure for their papers, I notice myself thinking more critically about what I’m saying and how I’m saying it. As an English major, this is especially helpful for writing long research papers. It’s also been helpful for me as a reader. I’m constantly reading for my English classes, and working at the UCWbL has made me more critical as a reader. I think that comes from working closely with various structures of writing on a daily basis. Working at the writing center has also opened me up to different genres of writing that I wouldn’t normally encounter. For example, last week I worked with a writer on a lab report about snails and the thickness of their shells. Although she just wanted to look over her lab report for grammar, it was refreshing to see a different type of writing and to learn from a writer in another discourse.