Date of Award

Summer 10-24-1991

Degree Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)

Department

English

Co-Chair

Lara Smith-Sitton

Co-Chair

Chris Palmer

Abstract

From early 2020 to 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of employers across the globe to abruptly shift to virtual workspaces to both facilitate safe work environments and offset operational costs in a time of economic uncertainty. This sudden change accelerated the already growing trend of remote working in a rapid fashion and, for many, signaled the start of a new era of professional operations. As one could imagine, this also created a myriad of anxiety and stress for those workers unprepared for the change. Existing research suggests that this change was especially impactful for Generation Z and Generation Y (often referred to as “millennials”) with limited experience in their careers. This capstone seeks to evaluate the causes for potentially reduced success rates among the narrow demographic of graduates from Kennesaw State University’s Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW) program. By interviewing a small selection of recent graduates from the program, this capstone records their experiences working remotely during the pandemic and investigates which factors may have improved or hindered their productivity and happiness. It is important to acknowledge that, while the initial aim of this capstone was to investigate potential generational gaps and determine causes for them, the focus eventually shifted to the more granular study of just recent graduates from the MAPW program and how their experiences were shaped as individuals new to the 2 workforce. While the findings from this approach could potentially provide insight into generational gaps, it is not the focus of this capstone.

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