Professional Seminar (WRI 380) is a course that gathers Professional Writing majors, no matter what their career goals, to consider and investigate issues of immediate concern. Among them: the function of an internship in the development of one’s career; the relationship between the search for an internship and the eventual search for a job; and the nature of the working media world, its hierarchies, demands, and rewards. In short, the Professional Seminar, or Pro Sem, is a course intended to prepare students for their professional life.
Pro Sem is taken at the same time as a student’s first three Internship credits and is modeled to go hand-in-hand with that experience. The course is designed to bring together all interning Professional Writing students, regardless of their individual career aspirations, and foster a community of individuals in similar situations who can share their knowledge and experiences as they progress through their Internships. The course also makes use of numerous internal and external resources to give students their final preparatory lessons before graduating.
Pro Sem acts as an active buffer between completing the Core classes and major electives and being tossed into the working world after graduation. The Seminar offers Professional Writing students a chance to slow down and take a close look at their professional goals and the requirements they’ll need to meet to be successful. The course not only takes a broad view of post-undergrad life, but requires students to investigate their own individual career preferences and choices.
The culmination of the course is more than improved understanding of one’s self and the world of professional writing. There are tangible results as well, which are to be combined into the Writing Portfolio.
The Writing Portfolio
From the day a student takes their first Professional Writing class, they begin working on their Writing Portfolio. The portfolio is a collection of documents of all shapes and sizes artfully designed to act as a showcase of a particular student’s talents. Work from all Professional Writing courses can be part of the portfolio, though a good portion will be developed during Pro Sem itself.
Among other things, the portfolio will include the student’s resume and a sample cover letter, as well as numerous samples of the student’s best work.
Additional information about the Professional Seminar component of the Professional Writing major can be found in The Professional Writing Major’s Guide to the PW Program, Internships, and Senior Year (a.k.a. “The Yellow Book”).