Writing in Big Data

As a Political Science major slowly realizing I don’t want to spend my life working anywhere near politics, I was instantly captivated by Andy, who worked on a masters in Political Science only to end up in the tech industry. In my mind Tech and Political Science are worlds away. When I think of skills needed to make it in the tech industry, writing is probably the last thing I would ever think of, but Andy exemplifies how strong writing skills are indispensable in any professional setting.

https://me.me/i/when-a-political-science-major-goes-to-the-stem-career-20808159

While I still don’t understand Andy’s job, I was able to learn a great deal from speaking with him. I think his job is so hard to understand because he acts as the intermediary between two types of people who themselves struggle to understand one another: tech and business. In a sense, Andy acts as a translator between two worlds, which I find incredibly fascinating.

As far as writing in a professional setting, Andy made one point that really stuck with me: the simple importance of proofreading.

I must admit, I am no shining star when it comes to proofreading. My social media project has certainly had its fair share of typos. This blog post is probably chalk full of typos too. However, after Andy mentioned the importance of proofreading I actually started to notice typo’s far more often and how much it can detract from a writer’s credibility. For example, here is an email I received just the other day.

I not so sure this is the best company for LSAT prep classes anymore. In the future I will aim to spend the shockingly tedious 5 minutes to proofread. Even when it’s just a short email or an instagram post, typos severely damage an author’s credibility.

Moving forward with the collaborative writing project, Andy had great advice on how to work in a group. Translating between tech and business certainly requires an incredible degree of collaboration, and the most valuable advice Andy provided for accomplishing this has been harped on all quarter: know your audience. Understanding the backgrounds and skill sets that your co-workers have is imperative to productivity. While working on the collaborative project it is going to be essential to understand my partners’ skill sets, as well as my own, in order for everyone to contribute effectively.

I guess my only lingering question for Andy is what do you do for living? Seriously. I still don’t get it, at all.

Well, hopefully I fixed all the typos.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Riley,
    Writing is an invaluable tool. Like you mentioned, writing is indispendisble for ANY professional job, and that is why I delcared it as a minor. I am even learning that throughout the course of my Instagram page, and I am sure you are too!

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  2. Riley, I totally agree with you on the importance of proofreading. I think it is something that is typically overlooked in the rush to send out emails, texts, and calls. Something as simple as one letter off can change the whole message and sentiment of a correspondence. I know when I read things with typos, especially ones from DU, I always am shocked at the amount of typos. What you have to say is definitely important and am completely in agreement about the importance of writing!

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    1. As the others noted, proofreading makes a great difference in the voice you convey over emails, papers, and many other things. Making sure there are no silly mistakes in your writing gives you much more credibility and will help when making important points on a subject. Andy certainly does have to be a team player for his job, and for the upcoming project the circumstances are no different. Even if you hate your coworkers (I doubt any classmates hate each other), it is crucial to keep your composure to ensure the project turns out fine.

      Like

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