• Stephanie Tingzon

    Clarifying the Message

    Portrait of Stephanie Tingzon.
    Stephanie Tingzon
    Technical Communication

    George Brown courses help technical writer to communicate effectively

    Stephanie Tingzon communicates knowledge between people that don’t speak the same language. Only instead of French or Spanish, she speaks the different dialects of software developers, sales teams and customers.

    Stephanie is a technical writing specialist who is improving her “written translation” craft through George Brown College’s Technical Communication Certificate. Flexible class schedules have allowed her to take continuing education courses that work around her busy day job at Ricoh Canada. She is building on her university degree in English and writing, as well as her natural talent with words, to develop the practical technical writing skills needed for her workplace. From learning how to prepare proposals and documentation to gaining technical and graphic design knowledge, Stephanie’s multifaceted George Brown education has benefitted her work performance.

    “I chose George Brown because I needed a realistic, hands-on approach to honing my skills and knowledge that would make me competitive and successful, but also happy and satisfied with the work I was doing. I definitely think that my education at the college has done that,” she explains. Stephanie’s certificate courses include Technical Writing and Analysis, Writing for Software Products and Fundamentals of User Experience Design. They have shown her how to plan, develop and produce almost any kind of content. “George Brown has really helped in terms of solidifying my communication and collaboration skills, from handling meetings to interacting with different groups of experts,” she explains. She also plans to take additional George Brown courses to expand her expertise in online authoring and user experience.

    She acknowledges the value of the certificate’s in-class method of instruction. “I’m a very hands-on kind of person who needs to be able to have conversations,” she says. That teaching approach also reflects the real world, as technical writing involves meeting and engaging with people – whether virtually or in person.

    Technical writing proved an unlikely but highly rewarding career path for Stephanie. She had envisioned becoming a creative writer, novelist or poet, but found her way into technical writing through working in the aerospace industry. She was hired by Ricoh while taking her second George Brown course, giving her lifelong proficiency in writing and communication a successful outlet. “I learned that you don’t need a technical background to become a technical writer. You just need to know how to communicate with people, and to understand and share people’s needs,” she notes. “George Brown understands that and reiterates it in every course.”

    People are surprised to learn her work is about far more than writing user manuals. Stephanie’s many responsibilities include proposal and project management, audience analysis and document revision. She creates everything from organizational charts to presentations, and even writes the occasional blog post. “The content I create varies exponentially, depending on what the proposal is,” she notes.

    She works with a variety of software, from Excel to Photoshop to Illustrator, and credits her George Brown classes for her technical savvy. But her understanding of people is even more vital. Stephanie must analyze both her audience and her colleagues in order to gather the information she needs to pull off her demanding job.

    “I chose George Brown because I needed a realistic, hands-on approach to honing my skills and knowledge that would make me competitive and successful, but also happy and satisfied with the work I was doing. I definitely think that my education at the college has done that.”

    “It’s organizing, planning and collaborating – at the heart of technical communication, wherever you are and whatever industry you’re in, those are the most important things,” she says. “I work with multiple groups of people to make that document or communication come across to a certain audience.”

    “I like the idea of helping people understand something, and that’s ultimately what made me want to choose technical writing as a career,” says Stephanie. “I think clarifying things for people and putting things into perspective is really interesting, and you get to learn a lot about people’s processes of thinking and reasoning.”