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Student Spotlight

Rachael Renk

BA English (2014), MATC Student

This spring, Rachael Renk is completing her studies in the MA Technical Communication program. In addition to attending school, she is working as an intern with the Arts and Humanities Institute at Boise State, and she also works at Aquent Studios as a technical writer, developing hardware and software documentation. In 2014, she graduated with a BA in English with an emphasis in Technical Communication.

We asked her some questions related to her time within the English Department.

Q: Can you tell me about your work with the Arts and Humanities Institute?
A: I’m part intern, part consultant for AHI, and working with Dr. Jacky O’Connor on the organization’s social media. I’m personally fascinated by social media, how we as humans use it to communicate, and how the recent growth and popularity of social media has shaped the way we communicate.

Q: Do you have career achievements and/or goals that you would like to share?
A: I would say that my primary career goal is to move into a position where I can truly see, and feel, the impact of my work. I have many different interests under the umbrella of technical communication, so I can’t point to one specific job and say, “that’s the one!” In reality, there’s probably five or six job titles at any given time that I would love to have.

Q: Of the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in the Boise State English Department, what do you feel will serve you the best moving forward?
A: Communication is first and foremost. Specifically, I have had the opportunity to learn and practice identifying the most effective type of communication for the situation. A big part of this is learning to not just identify, but profile and really consider the audience.
Secondly, the MATC program in particular has taught me to be flexible, to adapt and learn quickly, and to be ready for a challenge. The projects I have completed as a graduate student have been incredibly diverse, from hand coding a website to creating a mobile app to conducting usability testing. Technical communication means much, much more than just technical writing. Being exposed to so many different skills and practices has really kept me sharp. Continuing on as a professional, my experiences as a student will help me to confidently enter new situations and take on new responsibilities.