After taking ALDS undergraduate courses in the final year of my English Literature degree, I enjoyed the subject matter so much that I pursued a Graduate degree focusing on the discourse/writing studies stream. I would go on to apply the theoretical concepts I learned to knowledge building in my workplace, the government of Canada, where I based my thesis study, “Using Discourse Genres for Knowledge-Building Activity in a Government Organization”. I used genre and activity theory as lenses through which to examine how documents created and disseminated knowledge in the workplace. Applying these theories through my study allowed me to see in real time how these documents shaped the corporate culture of the federal government in a new era of internal management. I successfully defended my thesis on September 25th, 2015.
After graduating, I transitioned to full time work as a human resources advisor at Health Canada. I later moved into a policy analysis position, where my writing and critical thinking abilities have been instrumental in my success. Writing clearly and succinctly, adapting to the demands of different genres and debating complex issues are all skills that I gained in my time as a graduate student at Carleton, and are all highly sought after skills in the policy analysis field. The number one question hiring managers want to know is “can you write?”, and research skills are a close second. The ALDS program’s focus on ink shedding, or giving and receiving feedback cooperatively and productively also prepared me for the workplace environment, where very few documents are authored by only one person.
Not only have I learned valuable communications and analytical skills, but graduate study in ALDS taught me to prepare to take ownership of my thoughts and ideas and approach new challenges with confidence. I recommend the program highly to anyone pursuing a writing heavy career!
(Last updated: 13 September, 2018)