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York College Transfer Student Finding Her Path in Technical Writing

Khamelia on campus

When Khamelia Henderson ’21 transferred to York College of Pennsylvania, she was only sure of one thing: she loved writing. She’s had a passion for it as long as she can remember, but thought the only career path was authorship. When she discovered York College’s Professional Writing major, she finally found a niche that felt right.

Henderson, a native of Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, started at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) as an English major with a concentration in Writing. After two years, she transferred to York College, which is only 20 minutes from her home. She thought the campus offered great opportunities and gave her a chance to begin a new focus.

She entered York College as a Professional Writing major with a Creative Writing minor, but she later decided to drop the minor to dive into the technical side of writing. “To me, creative writing is more of just a hobby than something I’d want to do professionally,” she says.

Discovering a passion

Henderson says the goal of technical writing is finding the best way to simplify a complicated topic. For example, think about a product that needs to be assembled. Writing directions in the simplest form gives someone completely unaware of the process a basic understanding of how to assemble that product.

“There’s a little bit of a challenge of technical writing,” she says. “You don’t really want to make anything super wordy or super fluffy.”

Technical writing also gives Henderson a chance to explore her love of science. While she’s always been fascinated by the subject, it wasn’t one of her strongest classes. Now, she’s looking for ways to integrate writing and science as a future career path after she graduates. Her dream job would be writing for NASA.

Learning new skills

For now, Henderson is looking to learn even more from her classes at York College. Two courses last semester helped her gain real-world experience. In her Document Design class, her team designed flyers for the College’s Writing Center and the York County Bar Association. During Editing class, she edited drafts from student journals and projects from the Writing Center.

These classes helped her learn new skills, such as using Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher, to put together a flyer and meet different guidelines. Henderson also says she had to keep in contact with the “clients” and work with a team.

The experiences taught her just how much she can do with the major. “I definitely think those classes provide a wider range of the major itself,” she says. “If I were to maybe go into a different field other than technical writing, I at least know what to expect.”

As she continues to take classes and learn, Henderson says she’s growing increasingly prepared. While she didn’t always know what she wanted to do, she’s excited to gain more exposure to the technical writing field and get closer to her dream job.