As I prepare to submit the first draft of my portfolio, I can’t help but take a look at what I’ve become. Before coming to Cedarville, I was a nervous wreck: I couldn’t handle the responsibility of becoming a full-grown adult. Now, however, I’m doing all sorts of things that I had never pictured myself doing. Cranking out essays on a weekly basis. Implementing design techniques that I had never known existed. Writing articles for Cedars, the student newspaper, as a part-time job. Applying for another job at the writing center in a few weeks. I have the confidence to do these things because of the Professional Writing and Information Design (PWID) program at Cedarville. Being a PWID major has made me a better writer, student, and person.
When I decided to study Professional Writing, I didn’t fully understand what the PWID major was. I just knew that it looked like the most appealing writing program. I really enjoyed writing in high school, but I didn’t want to tackle the amount of reading material required for an English major, which is what led me to ultimately choose PWID. Still, I didn’t know how to explain my major to others, a reality that left me without confidence.
Soon after I arrived at Cedarville, I was acquainted with my major and the people who were in it. I found that all of the people from PWID, both faculty and students, welcomed me with open arms. My Introduction to Professional Writing class helped me see the potential areas of work for my major, but I still needed to learn the writing, editing, and design skills to succeed in the field.
While I was attracted to PWID because of the writing aspect, I didn’t realize how much this major required me to communicate with others. I couldn’t see myself surviving in the corporate world in any capacity, working to meet deadlines and collaborate on assignments. Though I still didn’t feel like I had any self-confidence or responsibility, I would later find out that PWID would help me with these.
The spring semester of my freshman year led to a few challenges that I had not expected. I, along with the rest of the campus, was sent home partway through the semester due to Covid-19. While I was disappointed that I couldn’t see any of my PWID friends, I was still relieved that the one PWID class I was taking that semester, Style and Mechanics, was already online. This meant that the class didn’t require any adjustments after the mandatory quarantine. I am grateful for this, as Style and Mechanics has been the single most impactful class I have participated in in regards to my writing. As my writing improved so did my confidence.
As I returning to Cedarville this fall as a sophomore, I had certain expectations for the semester. This included being able to find ways to apply what I’m learning, as well as continue to develop my skills. As far as being able to apply myself to more areas of work, I have been experimenting and looking for more opportunities to improve my skills. For example, I’ve gotten a job at Cedars, the student-run University newspaper, which allows me to interview people and write articles. I’ve even gotten in contact with a nonprofit company called SonSet Solutions, who offers internship opportunities for writers to tell the stories of their success and endeavors. In terms of improving my skills, I’m taking three classes that have helped me in different ways. I’m taking Corporate Culture, which allows me to see and further understand how the corporate world works, as well as helps me develop my soft skills. I’m taking Portfolio Development, a class that teaches me to sell my abilities to companies and make myself more marketable for a variety of job positions. I’m also taking Tech Tools, a course on how to use visual design programs such as Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. By the end of fall semester, I should be a more well-rounded communicator than I imagined before entering the major.
After all that I’ve learned as a PWID major, I’m now realizing the potential that the major holds for me and anyone else who chooses to join. While I’m trying to find ways to develop my brand of writing, I still want to keep my options open due to the diversity of writing that the major offers, and I’d advise other students to do the same. It’s very possible that I could find a different brand of writing that I’m interested in from what I originally expected. You might find yourself interested in and pursuing something you never though you would be interested in in the first place.
About the author
Evan Kakuk is a sophomore from Stephenson, Michigan. His hometown church is the Carney Evangelical Free Church. He enjoys running, weightlifting, and retro video games.