Featuring Andrew Gordon '11
(Profiled: December 2011)
The Masters of Arts in
Professional Writing at Carnegie Mellon was a perfect fit for me. My love for English and teaching was always centered around my love for writing. During my two summers interning at the Mayor's Office in Erie, PA, I learned a love for functional writing. I had never been trained to write brochure blurbs, press releases, and grant applications, but my experience doing it sparked my interest in pursing it further. Carnegie Mellon's program offered me an opportunity to train in style and rhetoric, document design and information architecture, and marketing and public relations, all at once. The masters degree in writing not only makes me more qualified to teach English, but it also qualifies me to work in other writing-related fields as well.
I got the idea about looking
into the Professional Writing program at Carnegie Mellon through Grove
City College alumnus and trustee Bill Mehaffey ('64).
Mr. Mehaffey sat next to my mom at a development committee meeting,
and when she said I was an English major, he told her that Carnegie
Mellon's Professional Writing Masters was a great thing to do with an
English degree. The rest was
up to me. The graduate school
exploration process was a lot like exploring undergraduate schools, minus
the input and influence of my parents.
I really had to take the initiative to further explore program
websites, schedule prospective student visits, and communicate with
department faculty all on my own.
Get out there and find the
program that best suits you.
Masters programs are different from school to school, and it is important
to find something that actually suits your skills and interests.
Format your resume in a way that highlights experiences related to
your area of interest.
I obtained a teaching
assistantship in a graduate-level composition course.
Getting teaching assistantships requires you to set yourself apart
from other equally qualified applicants.
My prior experiences of student teaching and tutoring in the Grove
City College Writing Center helped both by preparing me, and by setting me
apart from the rest of the pack.
Because I emphasized my experience in teaching writing, I was
actually selected for multiple assistantship opportunities and this
allowed me to choose which one I thought sounded the most interesting.
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