A First-Timer’s Summit: Why the STC Summit Now?

Today we introduce our second regular guest blogger, Danielle Villegas, also known as TechCommGeekMom. Danielle is attending the STC Summit for the first time this year, so we’ve asked her to blog about her expectations and excitement approaching the Summit, plus her experiences at the Summit.

Why the STC Summit Now?

Everyone wants to belong somewhere and feel included. In the last year or so, I felt that need tugging at me professionally. I initially heard of the STC through my professor and mentor, STC Fellow Dr. Nancy Coppola of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). I had originally signed up to do a graduate certificate in Technical Communications Essentials there, and she exposed me to the STC through STC publications she used for several class assignments. I found after one semester of this program that I loved it enough to transfer my credits into NJIT’s Masters of Science in Professional and Technical Communication (MSPTC) program. Little did I know how much that program would change my life! I graduated almost a year ago, in the spring of 2012.

Towards the end of my studies, I knew I needed to be more active in finding other technical communicators in my area, if for no other reason than to network and figure out what the job market was like in my area. The natural choice was that I should join the STC at the student member rate while I still could, and see what it was all about. While I do belong to NJIT’s student chapter, I also needed to get involved with a regional chapter. Since I live in New Jersey, my choices were either New York or Philadelphia. Since it’s a little hard for me to get to New York sometimes, I decided to choose Philadelphia. I’m glad I did! I can’t get out to the regular meetings as much as I’d like, but I was lucky that STC Associate Fellow Barrie Byron hosted a chapter holiday party in December 2011, as she lives only twenty minutes from my house. At that party, I began to meet other tech comm professionals, including others who worked locally as well. Since that time, I’ve tried to keep in touch with some of those people, and Barrie has been kind enough to take me under her wing.

Taking those first steps with my STC membership were the first steps into joining a group in which I could begin to feel like I belonged. This is my first year as a “young professional,” so I knew I needed to branch out more. As a result, I’ll be attending my first STC Summit this year, which I suspect will most certainly be a time to feel more included than ever before! Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about my anticipatory thoughts leading up to the big event. I can’t wait!

Danielle M. Villegas writes the blog TechCommGeekMom.com. She is graduated with her MSPTC degree from NJIT in 2012, and is currently a Web publishing consultant for BASF North America.

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