Professional Writing for Individually Designed Majors

Alexandria Smith

As a student with an Individually Designed Major at UAB, I have specific career goals that required me to create my own course of study. I created the Cultural Communications major which combines Theater, English, and Communications Studies. My ultimate goal is to do voice overs for cartoons and write jingles for radio commercials. While creating my curriculum, I thought it would be beneficial to add an edge to my coursework. This edge was provided through my professional writing classes.

From the Classroom

The Professional Writing program at UAB prepares students who have a desire to work with both print and digital formats. The professional writing program educates critical thinkers. Principles of rhetoric and language play a crucial role in academic, artistic, professional, personal, and public settings. Having professional writing experience in the classroom provides me with skills that other majors might lack. For example, in EH 315: Introduction to Professional Writing, my classmates and I created the brochure for the entire English Department. This is now the official brochure that is distributed to all freshmen upon entering orientation. Professional writing students learn the importance of:

  • Working in a team
  • Serving clients and customers
  • Exercising leadership
  • Negotiating
  • Dealing with diversity
To the Professional World

Professional writers have a wide range of other academic disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences which makes them valuable. Through the professional writing program, I have learned how to communicate effectively to specific audiences which is necessary in my future work. Writing jingles for radio commercials requires knowledge of the specific group you are trying to reach. My experience in the professional writing program has helped me focus on the audience I am trying to persuade so that I can convey my message clearly and effectively. For example, I’ve had the chance to work with multimodal presentations which allowed me to record my voice for a final presentation. Although it was not a silly cartoon, I still had the chance to do something that I love in a professional writing course. Students with Individually Designed Majors should consider branching out while creating their curriculum. By including professional writing courses, I have learned valuable skills that I would lack if I did not participate in this program.



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