Searching for a Persona in Higher Education

Searching for a Persona in Higher Education
Photo from amaustinportfolio.com

It's been a long journey; however, this is my last course for the M.A. program in Technical and Professional writing. I'm grateful for the time spent in this program to prepare myself for a career in professional writing. During this time, I've used many digital platforms and have written in different styles, such as academic, technical, professional, and blog-style writing.

My Professional Community 

I currently work in higher education as a career and academic advisor for students pursuing their Bachelor's degree. Over the past three years in this position, I've had to carefully think about my writing style when it comes to the end user, who is usually a college Freshman. The written information I'm providing has to be delivered in a way they comprehend, and a significant amount of that information can be complicated and overwhelming.

For example, I am teaching them about class registration, how to withdraw from a class, and what midterm grades are. For us in our M.A. program, those topics seem familiar and routine. However, each student I work with has a different learning style and may need help understanding the importance of these topics. To reach them effectively, I must put myself in their shoes when giving written correspondence.

silver MacBook showing application
Photo by Super Snapper / Unsplash

After graduation, I'm looking to continue my career in higher education, hopefully in professional writing or instructional design. To accomplish this, I want to tailor my writing, persona, and personal website to reflect someone experienced in writing with different formats. I want potential employers to look at my work and see what I'd offer as an employee.

Academic Writer Amanda

For my technical writing persona, I'd like to distinguish myself as a professional writer focusing on higher education with a persona called "Academic Writer Amanda." With experience writing in different digital formats, I'm hoping for a baseline of a persona as an academic writer; however, my portfolio can show off all the different writing styles I've achieved during my M.A. program.

Within a professional academic writer's persona, I must back up all my writing with research to remain credible. My written documents have embedded links or a work cited page to show where my research information comes from. Even if there are personal photos I place on my website, I cite them as well. Credibility is most important to students and the institution I represent when working in academics.

Creating A Digital Presence

The current domain name for my website is amaustinportfolio.com. This website reflects work completed in my M.A. program over the past two years. It conveys an academic work ethic persona since I'm currently using this portfolio to show off my writing skills to seek employment. Eventually, after my year of use of this domain, I may change the website domain name to something more blog-related and monetize it. 

During my M.A. program, I've used and experimented with many hosting sites, such as WordPress and GoDaddy. What works best for my portfolio is Wix.com. This web hosting site is clean and easy to navigate, and depending on what plan tier you purchase, tech support can help with many things, such as SEO Analytics and promotion of website visibility on Google. 

Using Wix.com for my portfolio, I can create an easy-to-navigate website featuring the top work I've accomplished during my program. I've constructed an About Me section featuring a short bio, a query form for those interested in contacting me, and my most updated resume.

Photo from amaustinportfolio.com

The project section of my portfolio includes the assignment submissions I've worked the hardest on. I wanted to provide diverse examples of my writing abilities and videos of any digital work I've created. These examples include video demonstrations, instructional design examples, personal blog posts, and academic perspectives on writing with AI tools.

Photo from amaustinportfolio.com

My Future Portfolio

As I'm currently using my website portfolio to seek employment after graduation, once work is secured, I'd like to change the perspective of my portfolio into a blog website, hoping to monetize it as a side income. The features of Wix help significantly with this, as they offer assistance with analytics, marketing & SEO, and even billing and payments if I were to add any e-commerce elements to my website, such as merchandise or digital downloads.

Photo from Wix.com

Overall, my technical writing persona will evolve depending on where my career in writing and academics takes me. So far in this course, I've discovered a great baseline on where to start on my persona and have found new ideas for updating my portfolio.

Amanda Austin

Amanda Austin

I am a passionate writing professional with skills in technical and professional writing, blogging & web design, a career in higher education, and an M.A. in Technical and Professional Writing.
Brunswick, Georgia