Claire Bendig (Winter 2020)
During my last quarter in the MS Technical and Professional Writing program at PSU, I had the opportunity to work with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). During my internship, I was surrounded by OHSU’s technical writing team in the Information and Technologies Department. It was an incredible learning experience to be surrounded by technical communication professionals that let me be a fly on the wall.
Some of my tasks included: editing and creating documentation for Help and How-to Articles, building a social media campaign for OHSU Invent-a-thon (a mind-mapping conference to solve medical technological problems in partnership with MIT), migrating 300+ articles from Common Spot to Confluence, building PowerPoint templates for the Information Securities team, working on accessibility with tutorial videos by building closed captioning, and joining meetings with subject matter experts to write necessary documentation about new program updates.
My supervisor’s reflection about my day-to-day tasks were, “Claire helped update website content on our intranet. She has played a major role in auditing, reviewing and editing our help documentation in preparation for migration to a new platform. She has also helped with a hackathon event our department is sponsoring, creating a social media kit for use by the project planning committee.” The internship at OHSU allowed me to explore the roles of all the ITG team members and get a better understanding of what I’d like to do in the future.
As a recent graduate, my best suggestion for students in the program is to get experience beyond the classroom setting. An advantage of getting a masters at Portland State University is its location downtown. Portland is full of start-up tech, medical, and corporate settings. If there is something specific that you want to do after graduation, don’t wait. Take the title of ‘student’ and get your foot in the door as an intern or student-worker. It is the best way to gain valuable work experience while in school.
If you have any questions about internship opportunities, reach out to the Career Center at PSU: https://www.pdx.edu/careers/home or set up a meeting with your program advisor.