From Ivory Tower to Corporate America

Hello, and welcome! 

My name is Valerie Robin, and you have reached my blog, TextPlus: a record of my brand new life as a technical communicator in corporate America. 

At the moment that I am writing this introduction, I can't say for certain where this blog will lead. Three months ago, I had no idea I would leave academia to work in corporate America, move across town, and start collecting data so I could create a data visualization of my commute home from the office every day. 

To get you oriented, here are 5 things you need to know:

1. In May 2016, I completed my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. This means that I am qualified to talk on an expert level about really interesting topics such as how persuasion and argumentation work, how to best present an argument, and why good writing takes a lot of revision. 

2. I specialized in digital media, visuals, online writing, and contemporary rhetorical theory. This means I can talk a long game about how the Internet is NOT destroying our brains, zapping our attention, or causing world catastrophe. And I can make some really interesting arguments about economics and capitalism that you never really wanted to hear in the first place. 

3. I never expected to become a technical communicator (also commonly called technical writer) for any amount of time. I have no idea how long I will be a technical communicator. I am not trained to be a technical communicator (though that is quickly changing). 

4. Technical communication (also called technical writing) is a sub-discipline of rhetoric and composition, and I use some of my fancy PhD training on the job. It's exciting. 

5. I am surprised, shocked, and awed over the incredible amount I am learning in this new corporate ecosystem which is turning out to be just short of nothing like I expected before I arrived my first day on the job. 

Join me, as I explore what I am learning - but don't come here seeking gossip. I will not talk about the company I work for directly, name names of people I work with, and I will make up completely fictional examples to explain theories or provide illustrations. 

Instead, I will talk about work I have done, techniques I have tried (failures AND successes), research I have conducted and my thoughts, and practice visuals or illustrations (except branding) while learning new skills and tools. 

Learn along with me as I teach, learn, and build my way from the Ivory Tower into Corporate America.