Meet Dan Pasqua ’10, Quality Assurance Analyst II for Management Sciences Associates (MSA) Inc.
Tell us about your position at MSA.
At MSA I work in the Media Division, testing software used by cable companies, ad agencies and advertisers.
My professional writing degree from La Roche gave me the opportunity to first work for MSA as a technical writer, which was a temporary position. Doing this allowed me to enter the world of technology and showed me firsthand what goes into creating software.
My temporary role led to a full-time position as an application analyst. I was nervous when I started writing test scripts, but as soon as it clicked, I was hooked. I became fascinated with it for the same reasons I love writing.
How did a professional writing degree from La Roche help you to move forward in your career?
I often think about where I would be without my writing background. If I hadn't earned a writing degree, I wouldn't be involved in the tech industry. My time at La Roche gave me a chance to expand my writing capabilities into a world I never would’ve thought possible.
My writing abilities are the foundation of my programming skills. Programming seems different from writing, but it's not. Scripting is another form of writing: a language is written to produce output.
Thanks to the opportunities I've had during and after my time at La Roche, I'm working in Bakery Square, which is quickly becoming a technology hotspot, not only in Pittsburgh, but in the country.
What impact did La Roche have on you as a person?
La Roche taught me how to expand my critical thinking skills. English classes like Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Publication Design and an elective drawing course forced me to think outside of my comfort zone to produce my best work.
Because of the coursework I completed at La Roche, I know how to effectively create content that is clear, concise and looks good on a page. Writing code requires the same precision and attention to detail.
Were you involved in any clubs, sports or organizations at La Roche?
I was a contributing writer and co-editor of The La Roche Courier and Outside the Box, and a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. I also contributed as a writer and editor to Nuances, the College’s literary magazine.
What advice do you have for our students?
Become involved in any activity that you can and complete multiple internships before graduation. Also, write for The Courier. Working for the newspaper helped me to build a portfolio to show employers.
Please describe an experience with a faculty or staff member who made a strong, positive impact on you.
I've said many times that Ed Stankowski taught me most of what I know about writing. He really assumed a mentoring role from early on in my academic career, and we still keep in contact. There was a time when Ed sent me words of encouragement that really meant a lot to me and helped me through a tough time.
Also, you’d have to be asleep to not notice how much Sister Rita Yeasted genuinely cares about her students. Even after I graduated, I would get emails from her with job postings or leads from people she knew. That’s rare to find, and I’m lucky to know her.