Con.text

Advisory Member Steers Program in Right Direction

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Jeff Skipper is a member of the Advisory Committee for MRU’s Technical Writing Extension Certificate. He is the Director and Lead Consultant of Peacebridge Performance Inc., which provides consulting services in change management, communications, training and technical writing. As well, Jeff serves as President of the Alberta Chapter of the Association of Change Management Professionals.

Jeff has had the opportunity to recommend the services of many graduates of the Technical Writing program to clients who require their services in creating clear, efficient and comprehensive documentation.

“Efficiency is a huge requirement in business today. For example, health and safety procedures require that people know exactly how to execute an action quickly, precisely and consistently every time. Technical writers help them do just that and grads of the MRU program are among the best in the field,” Jeff says.

“The MRU certificate in technical writing is an important asset, but it’s not a guarantee of quality. Clients need to see the writer’s work to see if their writing style and skill sets are a good fit.”

“Good writing is good writing and always will be, despite industry trends,” he says. “We are seeing more software applications being used in technical writing. Developing content for platforms such as SharePoint is a growing need in business. MRU takes that input to adapt its programs for changing needs. The Advisory Committee also recommended an Advanced Microsoft Word course be added to the program, as it is an essential skill in technical writing that our grads needed to have.”

“There is an increasing recognition of the value that technical writers bring to the table. Companies are starting to get it,” Jeff says.

“Calgary is very contractor-heavy, so technical writers are often engaged on a project basis. This is often extended once the company understands what good technical writing can do for their processes and procedures. Clarity leads to greater efficiency, which impacts the bottom line,” he notes.

The Advisory Committee is a volunteer group of industry experts — plus one student and one graduate — who meet regularly to help ensure that Mount Royal’s curriculum is current and relevant. They also develop new programs to meet training needs in Calgary and beyond. Most Continuing Education programs at MRU have Advisory Committees.

Jeff at Laguna Seca in Monterey

Calgary has been Jeff’s home base since 2000, where he lives with his wife and children. He believes in working hard and playing hard. In his spare time Jeff enjoys motorsports and driving his convertible. He also runs marathons and plays hockey twice a week. “I even get to drive the Zamboni,” he says with a laugh.

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