It is my pleasure to introduce Lynn Nickels, a co-editor of the Lines & Letters newsletter (among other things as you’ll read below). Lynn is a kind, intelligent, and driven individual that actively participates in the NEO-STC community. If you haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with her, you now have the opportunity to get to connect! Without further ado, I present to you Lynn in her own words:
My motto has been, “Never put all of your eggs in one basket,” and this has held true as far as my career has gone – not by choice, but by necessity. There have been many twists and turns along my career path, with some roadblocks and a few dead ends thrown in just to keep me on my toes. But, for the most part, my career has proved to be interesting and exciting!
Had you told me that I would see Australia and Singapore in my lifetime, I would have said you were crazy! But last year, I had the opportunity to speak at a Marketing Conference in Asia Pacific and was able to do just that. My technical background came in very handy, as one of the panels I was invited to participate on centered around the topic of the technical expertise needed nowadays by marketing communicators to navigate the complex tools and software we all use, today. This trip was truly one of the highlights of my career!
Another highlight has been realized just recently. About three years ago, I moved into the Marketing Dept. from the Technical Communications Dept. at Rockwell Automation. I also have a great love for journalistic writing and have found myself missing that. Fortunately, over the past year and half, I have been able to combine all three types of writing via Technical blogging about the product launches I’m responsible for. This, for me, has been a writer’s dream come true!
If I could do it all over again, though, I would have to admit that I would do some things very differently. I didn’t go to college right out of high school. A college education wasn’t something that my parents put great value in. In fact, I was the first college graduate in my family. So, for me, I ended up getting a late start and was in my early twenties before I had the opportunity to go to college. I was already married with a 2-year-old son, and this made it very challenging. Getting as early a start as possible, with as little responsibilities as possible, is very important! Another tip—be true to what you love to do and make a career out of it. This also wasn’t possible early on for me. Finding myself as a “30-something,” divorced, single parent, my reality was having to take a job more out of necessity than because I had a true passion for the role.
Fortunately for me, during my second round of college, which happened in my mid-thirties, I was introduced to STC. I was majoring in a Technical Writing program at Youngstown State University, and joining STC as a student was highly encouraged. I became the president of our Youngstown State University Student Chapter, after about a year, and held that role for two years, until I graduated.
When I joined the Technical Communications Dept. at Rockwell Automation in 2008, I was encouraged to re-join STC as part of the NEO chapter. Because of the support that Rockwell Automation provides its employees, I have been afforded the opportunity to serve on several committees within our NEO-STC Chapter, from Programs, to Academic Relations, to the Lines & Letters Newsletter. I have been able to present a webinar at the STC national level and have been a NEO-STC monthly programs presenter.
My formal education and my education in life have prepared me for my career. The book knowledge acquired in school and the work experience gained at different companies have made me flexible and open to learning new roles. My life experience has taught me to work hard for what I really want to do and to roll with the punches when things don’t turn out as I might have hoped or expected.
Something interesting that people who don’t know me wouldn’t know, is that while in college and for a while after college, I was an entertainment writer. I have met some interesting characters, to say the least! My very first interview involved having dinner with a band from the ‘80s, Thirty-eight Special. I was a nervous wreck, but the guys were very hospitable and down-to-earth! I once flew on the YSU Football Team’s private airplane at the invitation of then-Coach Jim Tressell. I climbed onto George Clinton’s tour bus to meet him in person after interviewing him over the phone—that was truly an odd experience, especially since I had mistakenly thought he was former President Clinton’s saxophone-playing brother. That, he was most definitely NOT! Upon leaving, I went to shake his hand, and in return, he grabbed my hand, turned it over and licked it! He was, in actuality, The Atomic Dog. I attended an after-party with the famous, or should I say, infamous, band Loverboy; was invited to join Boy George’s group backstage; and was offered a job as a tour manager for the group Color Me Bad. My last interview with a “famous” person was over the phone with actress Linda Blair of the well-known “Exorcist” movies. Linda now runs a pit bull sanctuary in California.
My hobbies include photography, graphic design, educating young people about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers, and playing with my beautiful grandbabies!
Lynn Nickels with introduction by Sara Buchanan