Professional Development

Myles Cryer discusses his poster

MTPC graduate students can enjoy a range of activities that provide opportunities for professional development, including academic and industry conferences and opportunities to network with people in industry.

April in Auburn (AiA)

At April in Auburn (AiA), Technical and Professional Communication faculty and students team up with the Birmingham, Huntsville, and Atlanta Chapters of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) for a day-long meeting. The most recent AiA took place on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Events included:

  • Keynote speaker: Dr. Carlos Evia (Virginia Tech).
  • Poster presentations by current MTPC students (and posters on display throughout the day).
  • A tour of the new CLA research facility LUCIA (Lab for Usability, Communication, Interaction, and Accessibility) and demonstrations of the lab's resources, including Perception Analyzer and Morae.

AiA is as much about networking as it is about sharing research and experience. AiA brings together industry professionals, technical communication scholars, and graduate students who are approaching the job market.

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Conferences and Publishing Opportunities

Whether students are headed to work in industry or academia, conferences are an important part of their professional development, in part for the knowledge they build by attending sessions. Furthermore, any conference that allows students to present their work in a talk or poster session helps them to build a professional reputation. Academically-oriented students can receive feedback to help them turn their work into publications. Industry-oriented students can establish connections for the job market. Graduate students in the MTPC program (as well as prospective MTPC students) should go to Facebook and "Like" the Auburn University MTPC Program to have access to our Notes (where we list conference CFPs and job opportunities) and to our status updates.

Society for Technical Communication Involvement

Technical and Professional Communication faculty and students have developed associations with the three regional chapters of our most important professional association, Society for Technical Communication (STC).  The regional chapters are located in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Nashville. These chapters are very supportive of the MTPC program at Auburn and provide students with numerous opportunities. Through STC participation, one student acquired an internship in Atlanta, and another student found a job opportunity in Nashville. Also, a number of positions in Birmingham have been filled by MTPC students through their involvement with the STC.

Active involvement in the STC allows the MTPC program to stay current with regional activities, participate in meetings, and gain business contacts in the surrounding areas. Some recent field trips have included visits to Atlanta and Birmingham STC meetings. The Birmingham Chapter stays actively involved with the Auburn Technical and Professional Communication programs through holding an annual meeting at the university (see April in Auburn) and providing a scholarship award.

Last Updated: April 14, 2014