I am originally from the East Kootenays of BC (Kimberley), but moved to the lower mainland 20 years ago to attend UBC. I have a BA (Hons) in English Literature and though it was my intention to continue on to grad school and become an professor, after 4 years of academia it was abundantly clear to me that this was not where I belonged. I did not want to be shut up in a room all day with books writing papers. My class was also full of people who I perceived to be much better at the whole “creating an interesting thesis and being able to defend it soundly.” And many of my classmates did go on to grad school and are busy writing those brilliant theses.
My issue was that I both loved to write and wanted to work with people. Writing is a typically solitary pursuit, so this presented a quandary in terms of what to do for a living, but somewhere along the way I discovered technical writing, which seemed to be a good marriage of those two things. I did a certificate in tech writing at SFU’s Harbour Centre, and then a couple of years later I went to Douglas College to do their Print Futures program. This program no longer exists as it has been integrated into the communications department, but when I did it was a diploma specializing in writing, editing, research, and design.
Print Futures is the best education I’ve ever had because it was so applied. At the end of the program, I felt like I could have gone into any workplace and written anything asked of me. I was hired in my last semester as a technical/marketing writer for a small start-up and spent the next 10 years working for corporate software companies.
During this time, I eventually realized that I wanted to get into corporate training, and was able to integrate that into some of my technical writing positions. The stereotypical profile of most tech writers is that they are very introverted and want nothing to do with talking to people. My personality is unusual in that profession because that’s what I wanted to do more than anything.
So I made an effort to transition out of tech writing and into training, which is when I first started taking courses in the PID program. After I completed the first three courses, life took over and I was unable to make time to complete it. But those classes did give me the foundation of curriculum design and in January of this year I took on a full-time contract as a curriculum designer at Stenberg College, based in Surrey.
An internal permanent position was posted at the college and I am currently Stenberg’s Manager of Educational Delivery for Combined/Online Programs. Essentially what this means is that I manage the online instructors.
This course is extremely relevant to my role because even though I am not an instructor, I am in a mentorship position for the instructors I manage. I want to be able to share ideas with them and inspire them to instruct their classes in ways that result in maximum engagement for their students.