As you attempt to make the most of yet another “COVID-Safe, Thunder-Strong” semester, planning for the next school year may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you’re in search of a fun and rewarding on-campus job, look no further. The Writing Center is looking to hire new consultants for the 2021-2022 school year, and below are the top five reasons why you should apply.
1. Connect with other members of the Wheaton community.
During this atypical school year, the Wheaton buzzword of “intentional community” has become more fitting than ever before. What better way to meet new people and invest in those around you than to work with your peers on their written assignments? As Monik Flores, a junior English and Secondary Education major, puts it, “I love [my job] because it allows me to talk to students that I otherwise would not be able to engage with.” If you’re eager to expand your social network across campus or want to make up for all the person-to-person interaction that COVID-19 has cost you, working at the Writing Center could be a wonderful way to connect with fellow students.
2. Develop personal and professional skills.
Working at the Writing Center allows consultants to gain tangible work experience and practical skills that will carry into the workplace and beyond. For example, reading and discussing a client’s written assignment within a 30-minute time frame teaches consultants to manage time effectively. Likewise, establishing rapport with clients of varying ages, majors, and levels of experience develops the consultant’s interpersonal skills. Working at the Writing Center has made me a better communicator, and I’ve learned to give clear and gracious feedback to my clients. Whatever personal and professional areas you seek to grow in, being a writing consultant can help you achieve those goals.
3. Expand your academic horizons.
When you work with Writing Center clients, you’ll get to engage with writing from a variety of academic disciplines—most of which won’t be your own! I’ve worked with clients on history papers, speech outlines, theological essays, and even a science assignment or two. I’m continually fascinated by the diverse and thought-provoking ideas that clients explore in their writing, and I nearly always come out of a consultation having learned something new. As a sophomore English and Spanish major, one of Monica Colón’s favorite things about writing consultations is “getting to go in-depth into a topic that’s unfamiliar to me.” This cross-disciplinary engagement is an enriching experience for any liberal arts student.
Furthermore, you do not need to be an English major to work at the Writing Center! Our 2020-2021 consultants hail from many departments, including International Relations, Biology, Psychology, and Urban Studies. Our consultants’ experience in various academic discourse communities allows clients to gain new perspectives on their work, as well as receive subject-specific feedback on assignments.
4. Create a welcoming space for collaborating on written work.
If you’ve ever shared your writing with another person, you’re probably well aware that it can be very intimidating. Not only does it take courage to put your thoughts and ideas on paper, but it also requires a certain level of bravery to let someone else see your draft in all of its messy, unfinished glory. As a Writing Center consultant, you’ll have the unique opportunity to make the writing consultation a comfortable, welcoming space for collaboration and revision. It’s a privilege to be trusted with the more vulnerable steps of the writing process, and in doing so, to practice hospitality and Christlike grace.
5. Grow as a writer.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of being a writing consultant is growing as a writer alongside your clients. Sophomore consultant and Music Composition major Daniel Hagenbuch sums it up perfectly: “I love how clients and consultants learn from each other at the Writing Center. Not only do consultants offer clients meaningful feedback, but we also gain insight into how to approach our own writing.”
Ever since I started working as a consultant this past August, I’ve found myself drawing upon the same techniques I suggest to my clients in my own written work. That’s the beautiful thing about collaboration: everyone learns!
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the benefits of working at the Writing Center, consider applying to be a consultant yourself. Reach out to the Writing Center Director, Dr. Alison Gibson, to learn more about the hiring process. Hope to see you at our first training in August!