By Kat Palczewski | January 2013

As senior in high school, Matt Bush did well in his advanced English and Arts classes, but wasn't sure how he wanted to develop those skills into a career. After meeting Professor Danielle Devoss at a college visit to MSU, he was convinced that Professional Writing was the right direction for him. Four years later, Matt is working as the Web Team Manager for the State News and has advanced experience in user experience design and front-end programming.

Finding a Niche

Matt says that, "In high school the fact that web developing was a career option was never presented to me." His first exposure to front-end web development was in his Introduction to Web Authoring Professional Writing course. Shortly after, he joined Spartan Web Authoring team, a Professional Writing affiliated web design student group.

"After that, I found my niche. That was my calling, so to speak, and so I started searching out as many opportunities as I could as far as internships and jobs."

Matt's internships and freelance work included back-end programming, content management, and web analytics. One of Matt's experiences includes working on projects for the College of Arts & Letters.

A Perfect Fit

Last year, he started working for the State News as a Student Web Developer, and now, a year later; he is the Web Team Manager. With this managing position, Matt says he is able to use all of his work experience and knowledge from his Professional Writing degree and Design specialization through the Art Department.

Matt says, "Looking at the web from a rhetorical standpoint of professional writing has really helped me get my foot in the door and get hired. Knowing those theories and creative processes put me a foot ahead of a lot of other people that have only the technical skills."

"Understanding how to weigh and measure both design and professional writing in my projects has been really important."

These projects include the redesign and overhaul of the new State News website that is now live. Last summer, Matt worked with a small team to completely redo all aspects of the website.

In addition to the services Matt provides for the State News, he explains that he and his team also provide full web services for about 20 other college newspapers, including the University of South Carolina and University California Los Angeles.

Road to Professional Success

Matt says, "I wouldn't have even considered user experience design and front-end programming a potential career without the Professional Writing program." He has built relationships with College of Arts & Letters faculty members who he says have connected him with many freelance opportunities and have been "invaluable as far as professional writing goes."

Matt will graduate this May and is currently going through the application process with a top Digital Marketing Agency in Chicago, where he hopes to work with user experience design or front-end programming. He was connected to the agency through a recent Professional Writing alumnus who currently works there as a User Experience Associate.