Sara describes herself as a “new professional” in the technical writing industry. “I received my first professional job as a Technical Writer at LCS (London Computer Systems) in February 2015. LCS develops the property management software, Rent Manager, for which I create the help file documentation. My previous jobs were get-me-through-college positions that you can see on my LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/sbuchanan24. The only job of note was my contract position at Telesis in which I had to acquire a security clearance; it’s a scary process for the timid, young me. I had to be interviewed by a federal official and was asked random questions such as what was my alcoholic drink of choice. I assume my answer was correct, because I obtained my security clearance for the three-month contract.”
Sara says she has been aware of STC since she was an undergraduate taking professional writing classes. “I took full advantage of many of my resources as a student and would read the STC publications (and other professional journals). I, however, didn’t get an STC membership until recently (December 2015) when I was able to talk my employer into funding my membership to provide me and my colleagues with many needed resources for developing our documentation and training materials. Since December, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to take full advantage of the resources available. I haven’t had the opportunity to work on any committees or projects in relation to NEO STC, but I hope to involve myself moving forward.”
She explains that her proudest accomplishment is her education, “because it took time, perseverance, and student loans that I will be paying years to come (I’m not bitter at all). I graduated with my M.A. in English and graduate certificates in Composition and Rhetoric, Professional Writing, and Cultural Studies and Discourses in December 2014 from Northern Kentucky University (NKU). I did my capstone project on identity in a digital age by looking at the relationship between avatars and identity in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft. Admitting this fact at my interview for my current position was the tipping point for getting the job because I would be a good fit for the company culture! I also served as a Web Editor and Editorial Assistant for the Licking River Review (literary/art magazine operating under the auspices of NKU) for the Fall 2014-Spring 2015 publication. I received my B.A. in Psychology and English in December 2010 from NKU. As the result of a course I took in 2010, I was published in the April-May 2011 issue “Engineers and Engines Magazine.” My education has provided me with five diplomas that still haven’t managed to make it to my wall. I’m a procrastinator and an over-achiever; those contradicting qualities allow me to meet ridiculous deadlines with quality results.”
Sara is an avid reader with a preference for the fantasy genre. “I love “nerdy” games such as Magic the Gathering (MTG) and World of Warcraft (WoW). My latest foray is cooking authentic foreign foods. I now have a pantry full of exotic spices and condiments that helped me win the best “traditional” chili competition at LCS last year. My cat, Sir Tipperton Grayson (aka Tipper), keeps me company through it all. I am tattooed, have rocked blue hair in the past, and I put the amateur in ‘amateur photographer.’”
Welcome, Sara! We all look forward to getting to know you better and hope to work with you soon on a NEO STC committee or project!
By Lynn Nickels and Sara Buchanan