Before I was ever a teaching assistant or an instructor, I worked as a writing consultant. Even as an undecided undergraduate, I enjoyed consulting so much that I decided to pursue writing and the teaching of writing as a career. Since then, consulting has been instrumental in helping me develop my own writing skills and writerly identity. Now, as a PhD Candidate in the Department of English here at UC Riverside, I rely heavily on my background as a writing consultant to inform and enhance my sense of equitable learning and teaching practices.
[Image Description: A teacher does a little dance while repeating, "Do the goal, become the goal."]
Pictured: The GWC Lead Coordinator practicing her mantra.
I have worked in writing centers across several diverse campuses, including at Cal State San Marcos, San Diego State, and, currently, UC Riverside. While at UCR, I have been a member of the Graduate Writing Center team since Winter 2018. In addition to providing one-on-one tailored feedback to graduate students from varying disciplines, I have helped develop, and host or co-host, a variety of writing, reading, and professionalization workshops; a summer series geared towards supporting underrepresented students; dissertation programming for ABD students; and so much more! I can attest that these experiences have helped me become a better writer and gain unique perspectives by working with a diverse peer population.
My one-on-one sessions as a consultant often leave me feeling a sense of satisfaction after supporting fellow graduate students. I love helping my exceptionally bright peers because they always have something new for me to learn. I also believe these engagements have enhanced my teaching repertoire, making me a better teacher by informing the way I interact with diverse student groups, construct lesson plans for all types of learners, and provide constructive feedback to best support learning outcomes.
Consulting has enhanced other areas of my professional development: learning how to prioritize in a fast-paced environment; fostering a strong sense of situational awareness; building competencies as a member of a complex and dynamic workplace. Last summer, I accepted the Lead Consultant position in the Graduate Writing Center, which has allowed me to also gain administrative experience. Collectively, these experiences have allowed me to engage in various opportunities to help build and diversify my skill sets. As such, I am now confident in my abilities to be successful in the professional realm, especially while I am in the thick of my academic job market search.
Though writing centers are often categorized as “supplemental,” functioning to fill in needs often not met within the normative classroom space, I find writing centers to be a vital, primary component of the broader university system. More precisely, writing centers are specifically tailored to support student success far beyond the confines of a classroom or the academy. During my years as a consultant, I have witnessed first-hand how imperative writing centers are in fostering positive student outcomes. As such, I not only work to encourage students to attend one-on-one consultations but also actively recruit students to join the GWC team to help enhance their own experiences with writing and the teaching of writing.
[Image Description: A giddy gentleman in front of a whiteboard says, "I love writing! And I recommend it to anyone!"]
Pictured: This is how the Lead Consultant feels every day coming into work.
If you are interested in developing your own writing and/or teaching background as well as gaining new experiences to help build your resume, the GWC is currently hiring for the 2023-2024 academic year. I highly encourage you to consider applying today!
The position details and application requirements can be found at: https://gsrc.ucr.edu/gradsuccess-team-application.