By Bailey Herring
When you're knee-deep in homework and reading assignments, it can be hard to look ahead towards the value of what your classes can teach you. Corbin Sheridan, a marketing coordinator and UNT alumnus, spoke with us this week about how what he learned UNT's Tech Comm program is invaluable to him every day.
Corbin graduated in 2016 with a BA in technical communication and minors in both computer education and cognitive systems. He uses his bachelor's degree in technical communication every day at Southern Enterprises, a furniture design and distribution company.
At Southern Enterprises, Corbin works as a marketing coordinator. Though he's on the marketing team, he describes his position as "three parts editor, one part content strategist."
Corbin and his team create marketing content for three different brands and he often finds himself editing the work of the team to ensure it matches the distinct voice and style for each brand.
Though editing is a major responsibility, Corbin's also optimizes brand websites for search engine optimization and implements content strategies on each site. To accomplish this, he says he leans heavily on the skills he gained at UNT's Department of Technical Communication.
"I don't think there's another discipline that gives you as broad a range of skills." he said.
Though he works as an editor now, Corbin began his undergraduate career as a computer engineering major. However, after taking TECM 1700 to fulfill his English credit, Corbin had his perspective changed, calling it a "paradigm shift" that he credits to UNT lecturer Vicki Peake.
"Up until her class, tech comm just seemed like manuals and procedures to me," he said.
After completing TECM 1700 and a particularly inspiring technical editing course, Corbin changed his major to technical communication. After the change, he recalls how friendly and knowledgeable the faculty was, and how that carried over into the student body. He got involved, recalling opportunities to work as a lab tutor and instructor for Dr. Chris Lam.
When he graduated, Corbin recalled that he had so many skills to boast about on his resume that he prepared talking points for each one. When he landed a spot with Southern Enterprises, Corbin felt he'd found a company where he could use all of his skills.
After graduation and in the working world, he thinks back fondly on his time in the Department of Technical Communication and urges interested students to give their tech comm classes a fair shot, calling it a "leap of faith."
"You have to take a step into the things that look humdrum," he said. "You go into it thinking it's all PowerPoints and manuals, but you leave the department with this colorful tapestry of knowledge."