Lorrie McConnell is a student of the Master of Professional of Professional Writing (MPW) program at Chatham University and a Technical Documentation Designer within the Education team for Netsmart Technologies, living in Pittsburgh. A few decades removed from her undergraduate Business Administration degree from Slippery Rock University, she enrolled in Chatham’s MPW program in the Spring of 2017 and is expected to graduate Summer of 2019.
After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked in banking for a few years until accepting a position with a Pittsburgh based higher education software company. This was her introduction to technical writing. While her undergraduate degree taught her to think, she had to teach herself to write on the job. With the company’s products in the higher education space, Lorrie always wanted to pursue an advanced degree, but life was happening.
Eighteen years into her career she decided now was the time. With her daily work being remote (her Netsmart office is in Missouri), she wanted an online program in which she could still visit the campus. A review of the MPW program with both it’s Technical Writing and Web Content Development concentrations proved to be a great fit. These classes would allow her to balance her self-taught skills with writing industry best practices.
Each of the classes she has taken translates seamlessly to work she performs on a daily basis. Lorrie said, “I have been reading a bit about relevance. My writing needs to be relevant for my industry and clients. I am pleasantly surprised each time my coursework directly relates to a project I am completing at work or a request from a customer.”
Lorrie’s advice for individuals considering the MPW program is that it has so much to offer for non-writers as well as career writers. The projects within the classes allow learners to select the subject matter. For instance, if your comfort zone is education, nursing, or technology, you can apply the writing principles discussed in the class to that subject matter.
“The best thing about the MPW Program at Chatham University is the more I read and study, the more my mind opens. I have new inspirations all the time for better ways to approach my work as well as new ideas for how to deliver content to my end users. These inspirations would not have happened without the MPW program.”