The Path to Success: Sandra Teal Wyatt, Document
By Aichatou Diagne
When trying to install a sound card device onto a computer,
have you ever gotten frustrated with the instructions? If
so, you're not alone. It seems that many people get aggravated
by instructions, but what many don't realize is that every
instruction is made by a person. Sandra Wyatt is presently
a document architect for Sealed Air Corporation and knows
firsthand the frustration of coping with tedious, badly written
Climb to the top
After Wyatt graduated from WCU, she became a computer trainer
and wrote her own documentation. In 1988, Wyatt became a technical
writer for a software company. A year later, Wyatt climbed
her way up to becoming the company's sole training writer.
Wyatt wrote all of the technical and functional training guides
herself. She also created training guides consisting of product
documentation, additional case studies, and configuration
In 2005, Wyatt left her position with the company and started
a new contract with Sealed Air Corporation. She felt it was
a major turning point. "I was fortunate enough to land the
job," she recalls. It"s one of the most rewarding positions
I've ever held, and I have a large degree of creative control."
In the four years Wyatt has been working with Sealed Air Corporation,
she has designed templates for Requests for Proposals (RFPs),
written procedural guides and training documentation, designed
specialty databases, created in-house brochures, and redesigned
Sealed Air Corporation's corporate intranet.
The benefits and creative and technical training
Wyatt owes much of her success to WCU's English department.
"Elizabeth Addision's Business Writing course helped
prepare me for writing descriptions, my journalism courses
taught me how to write a good lead, and even my poetry courses
with Kathryn Stripling Byer helped me shape my use of language."
Because Wyatt's occupation is project based, she doesn't
have a typical work day. People depend on her explanations
to accomplish tasks thoroughly and precisely. On days when
she punches her time card, "About the only thing that's constant
is that I'm always against a deadline."
The most important lesson that Wyatt learned came from WCU:"Life
has no CNTL+ALT+DELETE, so you have to do your best now, because
that's the only time you'll get a chance to do it."