Skip to main content

Bryan Coyle

After finishing my MA in PWE in the Summer of 2010, I moved to Shanghai, China to teach English and Geography to 5th graders. It was a wonderful experience. When I returned to the United States after a year, I was happy to secure a job with JPMorgan Chase and Co., specifically in their Auto Finance division. As a Technical Communications Consultant, I play a supporting role for numerous people within our organization preparing internal communications, troubleshooting technology issues, and maintaining our policies and procedures databases. In addition to working with Chase, I’ve started a freelance editing business, River Run Editing; since I started working in May of 2012, I’ve helped bring two books to print and aided small business in revamping their marketing and administrative materials.

On a practical level, I draw on the knowledge I gained from the PWE program every day. In addition to my daily writing and editing work, I spend a considerable amount of my time editing images and developing web pages for our company intranet, two skills we covered extensively in Dr. Ballentine’s Digital Humanities course. On a more abstract level, the rhetorical skills that were a part of every PWE class inform my everyday work, but also the larger projects I’m a part of. I’m a member of a firm-wide committee dedicated to rethinking the linguistic and structural standards of our technical communications; we have wide-ranging discussions about the needs and perspectives of multiple audiences, the most effective ways to organize texts for fast and thorough comprehension, and the ever-elusive notion of what makes things sound good.

The work we did in Dr. Gouge’s Theory and Practice of Editing class is an excellent example of this blending of the practical and abstract that has been so helpful to me since graduation. We had extensive practice in editing any number of texts, but, just as importantly, the discussions we had about the professional and social dynamics between the writer and editor had a profound effect on the way I thought about the collaborative development of texts. This was the case when I did my graduate internship with the WVU Press, working with multiple authors to produce an edited collection, and what I learned in Dr. Gouge’s class is still on my mind as I make decisions in my work, both in my “day job” and in my freelancing projects.

When I was still a PWE graduate student, I strongly recommended this program to several friends, and to my own technical writing undergraduate students (one of whom is also featured in these alumni profiles!) as an excellent educational opportunity. Now, two years later, I’m even happier to speak for how well it has prepared me for my career after graduation.