Leigh Kim, Technical Writer
By Lizzie Reaves
Magazines, newspapers, and blogs: When you ask what you can
write with a degree in English, these are some of the most
common answers you receive. But Western Carolina University
graduate Leigh Kim has anything but a common answer for that
After receiving a B.A. in English from the University of
North Carolina in 1995, Kim worked as a development assistant
for a nonprofit that provided services to the needy. Soon
after, she planned and taught a freshman composition class
as part of her graduate school curriculum at WCU. Kim says
that she is "skilled in a variety of writing skills and can
write to any audience." Her lengthy list of past employers
exemplifies this statement.
She has held jobs ranging from technical writing to engineering
at a variety of companies such as Object Technology International,
IBM's Design and Information Development department, Cancer
and Leukemia Group B at Duke University, North Carolina Department
of Health and Human Services, GlaxoSmithKline, and Abbott
Since January 2004, Kim has worked as a senior technical
writer at Applied Research Associates, Inc. in Raleigh, NC.
She specializes in "list documentation for contract deliverables"
and writes program management documentation for several departments.
Kim says a "typical" workday doesn't exist in her life, which
forces her to be more flexible than other people with more
routine schedules. Her workload may sound heavy, but one look
at how she gracefully handles her hectic schedule shows that
Kim has the education under her belt to make her an asset
to any organization she may work for.
Kim has been able to succeed in such varied fields thanks
to the education she received at both the University of North
Carolina and WCU. "English majors are aware of the importance
of good, clear, concise communication," she states.
Technical writers can be seen as glorified administrators,
but that's not how Kim sees herself. She defines a tech writer
as "a content creator, an editor, a marketer, and the one
person in the office who can usually explain best how everything
fits together for those who cannot see the big picture."