UNT Tech Comm Alumna Lindsey Pherson is a documentation and training development manager for Securonix. She visited Dr. Campbell's TECM 2800 class on the profession last spring and participated in a client project with a group of undergraduate and graduate tech comm students at UNT New College in Frisco during Maymester.
Career in Cyber Security Documentation
Pherson writes procedural training documents for Securonix software. The company analyzes the activities of cyber-security threats and creates systems that detect potential threats before they are carried out.
"We spend a lot of time learning, researching, and reading at Securonix. It's so important to take time out to do that," said Pherson.
Pherson employs a combination of persuasive and instructional writing in her documents to explain and sell the company products. Her bachelor's degree from in tech comm and her experience with physical security systems (ex: department store security tags) uniquely qualified her for the position.
"I recognized their tools and immediately could relate to the interviewers," said Pherson. "I feel like I was the first person who interviewed at Securonix that already understood what the product did."
When she started at Securonix, her greatest challenge was working with subject-matter experts (SMEs). She recalls receiving "convoluted paragraphs" lacking key details.
In response, Pherson went directly to SMEs and to see the processes in person. This strategy and the understanding of code from tech comm courses helped her communicate with them more effectively.
Pherson mentioned that UNT Tech Comm prepared her for the content and challenges in her career.
"It really put me ahead of the competition," said Pherson.
She credits her academic experience with her ability to learn new software. Pherson only lamented being unable to learn MadCap Flare (now taught in some TECM courses).
Advice for Tech Comm Students
Pherson advises students to apply for jobs that catch their eye, even if they feel less than fully qualified.
"They wanted someone with 3-5 years of experience, but I decided to apply anyway. I learned that people are only ever looking for about 50% of what they're asking for." said Pherson.
She also explained that applicants must adapt their skills, cover letter, and resume to the position.
"In this tech comm program, you can be a tech writer, a proposal writer, a web designer, or even a content strategist." Pherson concludes, "You can be anything. You shouldn't have just one cover letter or resume."