Everyone could use a chance to strut their stuff. UNT technical communication students got an opportunity at the third annual Student Showcase.
At least 20 students presented their online portfolios to 14 industry professionals and several UNT Tech Comm faculty on Friday, April 26th. Students received critiques and suggestions to improve their work and land a job.
A group of students majoring in technical communication presented to industry pros from 10:00 to 10:45 am. A second group presented from 11:15 am to noon. A public showcase from 10:45 to 11:15 am gave the mentors a break and allowed UNT students, faculty, and friends to view the students' work.
Several students praised the showcase and its industry attendees. Givon Conner, graduating in May with the B.S. degree in technical communication, praised the unique perspective industry professionals offered.
"Our faculty at the department is great, but it's really cool to hear from people working in the field right now," said Conner. "Each mentor gave us different perspectives."
Another showcase student, Michael Pollock, shared a similar sentiment. Like Givon, Michael is graduating in spring but with a B.A. degree in technical communication.
"The industry guests helped me narrow my career focus," said Pollock. "The whole event exceeded my expectations."
One volunteer, Zohra Mutabanna, a Documentation Specialist at Systemware, Inc. in Addison said, "It was a pleasure meeting the students and reviewing their impressive portfolios."
After attending the event, another visitor, Dr. Estee Beck, Assistant Professor at University of Texas at Arlington, wrote "The students in [UNT's] program are doing amazing and awesome work, and it truly is a testament to the strong program that [they] direct and contribute to each day. I am looking forward to building connections between our B.A. minor and [their] master's program."
Dr. Kim Sydow Campbell, Chair of the Department of Technical Communication, praised the efforts of Laurel Beason, Lecturer and Director of Corporate Relations for the Department of Technical Communication, who played the central role in organizing the student showcase. Beason recruited the industry guests, many of whom already had a connection to UNT, through LinkedIn. The event also was supported by TECM staff members Lucero Carranza and Brad Davis and students Sarah Plain and Jacy Ashford.
"Laurel is a pro. She put together an event that provided significant value to our students and demonstrated the strength of our programs to alumni and external stakeholders," Campbell said.
Both Campbell and Beason received positive feedback on the showcase from its student and industry attendees. The professionals felt good about helping students in their job hunt, while the students felt equally good about receiving it.
"It's really heartening to see how many people in our industry are willing to help students out," said Beason.