There are many different people who work as consultants for The Writing Center at MSU. We are graduate and undergraduate students with a variety of backgrounds and majors as well as a variety of ages. Most of the skills that you gain from working at The Writing Center can be used in a variety of jobs. No matter how cliché it sounds, The Writing Center opens so many doors with endless possibilities behind them.
As an undergrad consultant, it’s really an amazing thing to know that after I graduate, there will be so many opportunities for me as a result from working here. In order to really get an idea for what opportunities are, I interviewed former graduate consultant, Dr. Marilee Brooks-Gillies, who is now a Writing Center Director. Here’s what she had to say:
JLG: What did you do while you were working at The Writing Center?
MBG: I worked at The Writing Center for 5 years. I co-coordinated the BCC, coordinated the Graduate Writing Groups, redesigned the Navigating the PhD workshop, co-developed a stand-alone workshops series called Learning the Lingo, attended Mentored Meetings, consulted one-to-one, facilitated many workshops, facilitated several graduate writing groups, helped redesign WC handouts, participated in dissertation research collection, conducted research about graduate writing (as a member of the Graduate Writing Research Cluster), developed many conference panels and presented at many regional (MWCA, ECWCA) and national conferences (IWCA, IWAC, WPA, CCCC IWCA Collaborative, NTCE IWCA Collaborative) with WC colleagues, and served on the Assessment Committee.
I taught WRA 395: Writing Center Theory & Practice. I took an independent study with Trixie about WAC and Space/Place. I cut scrap paper, photocopied handouts, cleaned tables, made and dumped out coffee. I filled the candy bowl. I hid chocolate from the candy bowl in my mailbox. I had conversations about writing with clients and consultants. I sometimes walked around the WC in my slippers. I made cookies and cucumber sandwiches and attended parties and (sometimes) open mic nights and game nights. And probably a lot more that I’m not remembering. I never made a ceiling tile. I regret that. If I visit, I’ll ask Trixie if I can make one. The WC was an important place to me (it still is).
JLG: Were you planning on taking any experience you gained at The Writing Center towards a future career? For example, being a teacher/tutor, web content manager, etc.
MBG: While at MSU, I was a graduate student in Rhetoric & Writing planning to become a professor of Rhetoric & Writing, so I always knew that WCs could be part of my future and that they were definitely an important part of the discipline I was studying. I am now the Writing Center director at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Continue reading