Valerie (Royse '09) Kellum | English

valerie kellum

Technical writer 
Southwest Airlines, Dallas
B.A. in English  
Minor: Business Administration

ACU is is a great place to question and explore your faith with Christian mentors. It's great to have a support system so that you can have a strong faith out in the real world.

Valerie Kellum's degree from ACU landed her a first-class ticket on Southwest Airlines - as a technical writer.

Valerie chose to major in English, playing to her strengths and her natural abilities.

"It was something I was always interested in," she said. "I just really enjoy reading and analytical writing."

Her upper-level English classes were particularly challenging, she said.

"I felt like the English professors provoked a lot of free thinking and analysis of ideas. We really talked about the philosophies behind the ideas," she said.

After graduation, Valerie said, "I knew I wanted to be involved in some sort of writing position, but I wasn't sure what that would look like." After an intensive job search, she landed the job with Southwest Airlines.

Valerie is technically part of the maintenance team, though you won't see her out on the tarmac working on the nuts and bolts of a plane. She works with an engineer or other subject matter expert to determine how repair and maintenance processes work and then compiles the information into a manual used by the entire airline.

Some of the manual content must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, which examines special procedures to ensure passenger safety.

"It's a pretty fast-paced job, so you really have to prioritize and learn how to manage your time," she said.  

Although technical writing is sometimes stressful, Valerie enjoys the work.

"I like the people I'm working with, I like the work I'm doing, and I like the atmosphere," she said.

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