The Professional Self

After experiencing the workshop process and reading some of my fellow classmates’ “Why I Write” essays, I started to notice a common theme. We as college students rarely get to write about what we want to write about. This idea jumped out to me, and once again became relevant when we started to discuss projects 2 and 3. I was both excited and slightly overwhelmed upon learning that we have full control of what we write about for these projects. I started thinking back on pieces of writing from my college (and even high school) career, but nothing easily came to mind. This was a little frustrating, but after going through documents on my computer I was able to come up with a few options.

The first piece of writing I am considering is an essay I wrote last year in a Writing class about new media. It was called a “digital media self reflection” and I wrote about how I rely on digital media to enhance and shape my memories. I thought it would be cool to transform a piece that discusses how media influences my life into something that expresses this notion through an actual new media platform. Additionally, I liked that this essay is somewhat personal, which provides an opportunity to do some research and see how other people experience digital media. I think this essay has potential to make for a very intriguing project, but another piece of writing has caught my attention even more.

Over the past two years I’ve often felt that I write more for a professional purpose than an academic purpose on a weekly basis. Between updating my resume, writing various cover letters and filling out applications, it seems I spend a lot of my time writing as what I call my “professional self.” While browsing through past pieces of writing, one cover letter in particular caught my eye. It was for a BuzzFeed Food Editorial Internship, which at the time I considered my dream job. I want to use this piece to explore the reasons that our generation is expected to write letters in which we declare our qualifications in what usually feels like a fake way. I think I could utilize surveys and interviews to find out my peers’ opinions, and hopefully repurpose this letter into a meaningful 2nd and 3rd project. One idea I had is to discuss alternatives to these lengthy and dry letters, for example a digital resume like the one below. Although I am not sure what exact direction I want to go in, I am pretty confident that I want to use my cover letter for this repurposing project!

My "digital resume"
Not your average cover letter…

One thought to “The Professional Self”

  1. Like you, I got a little stressed out when I realized just how much freedom we have with this project. At first I was really excited, but then realized–since we so rarely get to be creative, like you said–it’s really difficult to let my mind wander.
    I’m really glad you talked about (and included a picture of your creative cover letter). I love those type of creative-resume-things, and definitely feel like it could work for this project. I’m not certain, but I feel like there has to be a lot of research out there about resumes and cover letters regarding what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you could incorporate this into the reflection for project two. Also, I think this would be really good choice because you’ll be able to use it outside of class for applications, so being able to perfect it and get second opinions will definitely help you get whatever job you’re looking for!

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