Featured MS Student: Parkker Burgan

Headshot of MS student Parkker Burgan in front of a leafy green background.

Why did you choose the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota?

I currently live in Chicago and was seeking an accredited university with a remote technical communications post-baccalaureate certificate. I worked full-time and did not anticipate that I would be able to commit to an in-person certificate program. The thorough information provided about the program and the faculty’s level of experience helped with my decision to apply.

Where is your hometown?

Raleigh, NC

Where did you previously attend school? What is your degree in?

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte - English literature with a minor in diverse literature and culture studies.

What are the most important things you've learned from this program?

I have learned that developing skills related to your career goals and interests are more important than mastering the skills you assume coincide with a particular role. Technical communication is a newer field that is evolving as technology and communication standards change. Technical communicators can be designers, writers, planners, etc. You will find out more about yourself and what you are interested in after learning more about the vast field of technical communication.  

What has been your favorite WRIT course?

Science, Medical, and Health Writing (WRIT 4664W) has been my favorite course to date. Dr. Kessler is an involved and dedicated instructor that has created an interesting course with coursework that feels relevant and impactful for those interested in diversifying the field of SMH writing.

What are your career goals?

I have recently begun my career as a project coordinator within the fields of academia and science. I am excited to help my organization grow and improve our outreach to both students and faculty. My goals are to bring together my on-the-job and educational experience to further develop a role in project management / communications.

What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing their MS / certificate with Writing Studies?

I would advise prospective students that want to apply but are not confident in their writing skills to push forward. You do not need to have professional writing skills before beginning your education in technical communication. Students will learn aspects of how to improve their writing within their courses and are exposed to many different facets of technical communication, many of which involve growing a concentration of skills outside of professional writing.

What are your interests / hobbies outside of academia?

Over the past year, I have become more invested in my indoor hobbies, such as video gaming and painting. As it warms up in Chicago, I hope to get back to working in the garden.

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