Student: My Experience Writing for OTT

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I came across the listing for a Marketing & Communications Intern at the OTT on Handshake during the first weeks of my senior year at Emory. Before I read over the requirements for the job, I had never heard of OTT or even tech transfer. I always assumed that the fully realized technologies the school advertised were a natural extension of research and produced by faculty by their own volition. Clearly, I had no clue about the complexities of patents, intellectual property, licensing agreements, FDA approval, etc. Though I had a very limited background in biomedicine, the journalistic aspect of the job drew me in, and I was ecstatic when I was brought on board.

A whole year later, I can definitively say that working in OTT was one of my most worthwhile experiences at Emory. I’ve learned so much during my tenure, not only about medical technologies, chemistry, biology, and computer software, but also writing, editing, journalism, and science communication. What I found at OTT was an office full of deeply committed people who were always willing to talk about their work. Some of the most insightful feedback I’ve gotten on my writing has come from members of the OTT, like my supervisor Linda and the case managers, who set me up for my interviews with researchers. It was fascinating to see all the professional and academic backgrounds of people who pass through the office, whether it was chemistry PhDs or former lawyers and MBAs. If Emory is internationally renowned for its contributions to society and the medical field in particular, it is due in no small part to the efforts of each member of this team.

Every assignment I had for the OTT was a delight, an excuse to learn about some new topic I would never approach otherwise. Whether I was writing Featured Innovation pieces or blog posts on the inner workings of startups, I always felt like I was enriching myself. I loved talking to researchers and faculty, who were always wonderful and kind. As the year went on, I loved the opportunities I had to pitch and develop my own articles. Experiences like these have pushed me as a writer and I can truly say I’ve developed journalistic experience. It is a blessing to leave with such a varied portfolio of published work.

Whenever someone talks about the stature of Emory or the erudition of its faculty, the staff of OTT deserves to be mentioned in the same breath, as they have truly elevated the profession beyond the transactional. There is no Emory without OTT – it is a living core of the university.

— Kim Lee Miller