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Festa Fellowship recipient introduced to new career possibility

Kaline Mulvihill
June 28, 2013

Andrew Thompson, a graduate student in the English department, has been given the opportunity to experiment with a new career possibility while interning as a technical writer at Welch Allyn.

Thompson will be spending his summer at the medical diagnostic equipment manufacturing company located in Skaneateles, N.Y., where he will have the opportunity to demonstrate his understanding of the written language and collaborate with engineers, illustrators, and professionals.

“I am indirectly helping people use these medical tools even though I’m not a doctor,” Thompson said. “I’m very excited.”

Andrew Thompson works with Winston Graham at Welch Allyn.

Thompson first applied for the competitive fellowship a year ago, but he didn’t receive it. The opportunity for the Welch Allyn internship and the Festa Fellowship once again opened up and Thompson applied.

Leading up to Oswego

Thompson grew up in an academic family, with both of his parents being professors.

“I basically grew up on a campus, so I always saw myself in an academic setting,” Thompson said.

As a transfer to SUNY Oswego, Thompson came in as an earth science education and geology major. He quickly dropped that and pursued a geochemistry degree, but Thompson again changed his course of study and settled down as an English major.

After Thompson completed his bachelor’s degree in English, he was encouraged to pursue his master’s degree.

While continuing his education at SUNY Oswego, Thompson had the opportunity to be the graduate tutor for the writing center and teach English composition to freshmen.

“I am indirectly helping people use these medical tools even though I’m not a doctor. I’m very excited.” 
Andrew Thompson 
Student, English

Festa Fellow learning technical writing

Welch Allyn is a medical supply company, but the company needs technical writers to produce manuals and other necessary material for supplies.

“I was always interested in science and when I first saw the opportunity last year, the job description really stood out,” Thompson said. “In the last couple years, opportunities like this became more apparent like medical writing, technical writing, editing, and drafting.”

Thompson will be under close supervision while collaborating with engineers and illustrators, to create the literature that comes with the devices that are being produced.

Thompson had always seen himself as becoming an educator and never thought about technical writing as a possible career. Patrick Murphy, director and professor for the English graduate program, introduced Thompson to the internship and fellowship.

“(Murphy) always made me aware of opportunities,” Thompson said. “He always gave me a push to help me, help myself.”

Thompson has completed the course work for his Master of Arts in English and is currently finishing up the final paper while interning at Welch Allyn. Thompson will graduate this August and is looking forward to the many career opportunities, which have opened up since attending SUNY Oswego.

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