Making a change in public health with writing

Meet technical writing and communication major Makehba Nelson
Headshot of Makehba Nelson
Photo courtesy of Makehba Nelson

What are you studying and why did you choose your major and minor? 

I am majoring in technical writing and communication with a minor in integrative neuroscience and business law. I selected this major because I realized that I am a very strong oral and written communicator and that I could use this major to leverage these skills to make a change in public health.

What course would you recommend for other students in your major and what course would be a good introduction for students outside of your major?

I would recommend students within the major take WRIT 4664W Science, Medical, Health Writing. I recommend this course for those who are considering the health and biological science subplan. 

Have you received any scholarships, grants, or other financial support? How has this support made a difference in your education?

I have received two scholarships. The first scholarship was through the University of Minnesota's President's Emerging Scholars (PES) program. The majority of students in this program are either low-income, first-generation, or BIPOC. The second scholarship I have received is the Mulhollem Cravens Leadership Scholarship through the College of Liberal Arts. Both of these scholarships made it so that I could graduate without the burden of student loans. 

What experiences have you had outside of the classroom that enhanced your understanding of what you are studying? How have they influenced your career goals or other ambitions?

I had the opportunity to participate in two internships during my time at the University. First, I was a clinical operations intern at the National Hospital of Paraplegics. Now, I am an intern at Varian Medical Systems in regulatory affairs. These experiences demonstrated my desire to work in a medical device company in order to ensure that devices are safe and effective. 

What is one aspect of your major that has surprised you? What do you wish more people understood about what you study?

The biggest thing that surprised me is that technical writing is applicable to so many different jobs. Some of us go off to become technical writers, while others become marketers, project managers, UX/UI designers, website creators, and so much more! This major is not just writing manuals; there are many different options available for anyone who majors in technical writing and communication. 

 

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