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Photo Credit: Tony Corbia

Tony Corbia '16

Tony Corbia graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in English and a Professional Writing and Technical Communication (PWTC) certificate. He currently works as an account manager with Clear Ballot Group. View his LinkedIn profile to learn more or to connect with him.

Did you know exactly what you wanted to do after college? What were you feeling?

Not really. I was a little nervous just because I was heading back home to New York [after graduation] with no plan. Many of my peers already had jobs lined up and I hadn’t even applied anywhere. I was pretty certain that I wanted to do something with professional writing, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that would entail.

How did you eventually acquire your jobs? Did you ever think you would end up where you are now?

I was still on the PWTC email list that Professor Toomey uses to share news of professional writing positions with PWTC students and alumni. That’s how I got my first position as a technical writer. After around 8 months of working there, I decided it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I left that job and learned of a new position in Boston, again from the PWTC email list. It was a start-up that dealt with voting systems. I got that job and started working with Requests for Proposals (RFPs). As the start-up has grown, I have worked with a lot of regional sales managers, and now manage those RFPs.

If you asked me five years ago, I would have never dreamed that I would be in this position. It’s exactly where I need to be right now though, and I love what I do! Working at a start-up allows for so much flexibility and room to grow. If you can roll with the punches, you can do a lot. There’s definitely a learning curve, and working at a start-up is challenging, but it’s also a ton of fun.

I’ve given a lot of presentations about our ranked voting system and why companies should implement it. We do most of our work after elections, so November-December is a chaotic time for us. I’ve been able to travel and advocate for my work, which has been challenging yet fulfilling.

How have the English major and PWTC program helped you in your career so far?

The professional writing courses I took really helped me improve my writing, communication, and research skills. People undervalue just how important it is to be able to write and communicate well, and thanks to those skills, I will always have a place in the job world. Studying English has also helped me to be detail-oriented and critical of my writing, and able to present information in a cohesive and meaningful way. I can’t speak highly enough of the value of an English degree.

Any particular classes and/or professors you have learned the most from?

Most of my PWTC classes have been extremely helpful in a career sense. I know how to use Madcap Flare from a class that I took with Professor Solberg. I took a class with Professor Toomey in which we went over resumes constantly. And I also heard from English alumni who got jobs after completing the PWTC program. That made me feel a lot better about my choices and my career prospects after graduation.

Any final advice?

Keep your options open and don’t limit yourself! There are so many jobs that require good writing and communication. Don’t be scared to move on; your first job might not be right for you, and that’s okay. It’s cliche, but do what you love, and the English major will help you with any career path you might choose.

Interview by Ryan Comeau, Digital Communications Intern