Professional Writing alumni profile: Jay Haywood

The skills Jay learned in the Professional Writing program at UAB are crucial for how he navigates his professional life.

Jay HaywoodI have had two jobs since graduating, and while they are very different in scope, the skills I learned in the Professional Writing program at UAB are crucial for how I navigate my professional life.

Just after graduating, I accepted a position with Cahaba Brewing Company in Birmingham, Alabama, managing their online media and working in sales. As Cahaba Brewing Company’s media manager, I was responsible for maintaining and developing the brewery’s brand and message through the brewery’s social media channels and website. I was also responsible for writing press releases for upcoming events and beer releases, as well as designing informational signs and slides for our in-brewery video board as needed. As a sales representative, I was responsible for communicating the needs of our accounts to the brewery’s distributor and to the brewing staff.

I have since been working as a Product Support Representative at Fidelity National Information Services. I am responsible for application support for banks and other financial institutions — and I am fairly certain I am one of the only members on my team with an English degree. As my employer has found, my degree is an asset to the team. In the Professional Writing program I was also challenged with learning new applications quickly, which helped me prepare for a career in technical support. In addition to the technical knowledge, the position requires clear, concise communication between the various teams within the company and each of our clients. It is necessary to research and break down incredibly technical information into easy to read material for each client.

I will be forever grateful for my time in the Professional Writing program. By the time I graduated I had written a grant proposal for a non-profit, collaborated on a digital and print magazine, designed a website, and packaged my best work in a digital portfolio I could show to potential employers. I felt comfortable in my ability to learn technical applications quickly. However, the greatest thing I learned was how to communicate effectively to a wide variety of audiences through various media. It is this skill that has allowed me to excel in the professional environment.

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