Dakota Morgan

After graduating with a major in English and an emphasis on Creative Writing and Film Studies, MSU alumnus Dakota Morgan was unsure what he wanted to do with his degree. He was accepted and attended law school for a year, but then learned about Epic, a healthcare software business located in Madison, Wisconsin.

He applied for a position with the company and now works as a technical writer for Epic, which requires him to write owner’s manuals for software users after developers create new programs.

“I think of it almost like translations now,” Morgan said. “I’m taking things about software development and coding that I would never normally comprehend on my own and developing that into something someone else can understand. It’s fun, but it’s also a challenge.”

Morgan has found many rewards with his position that go above and beyond monetary compensation.

Don’t be surprised by the unexpected.

“I enjoy working with healthcare and hospitals because I feel I’m actually making a difference in peoples’ lives,” he said. “It’s also cool that a majority of the people I work with are like me – just out of college, starting their first job, and very excited about what’s to come.”

But one of the best parts of his job, Morgan says, is the wonderful perks that Epic employees receive, such as for every five years of employment with the company, employees are eligible for a month-long, paid sabbatical. And, if they choose to travel to a country they have never visited before, Epic will pay for the flight and hotel expenses for the employee and a guest.

“Epic created this program as a cultural experience and a break from work,” Morgan said. “They want you to go out, recharge, regenerate, and maybe come back with some new ideas. At the very least, they want you to feel refreshed about working.”

Morgan, who has worked for Epic since June 2011, took his first sabbatical with the company last year. He spent two weeks in New Zealand, touring the countryside, and then another two weeks split between Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. He visited temples, met hill tribes in Southeast Asia, and took a riverboat trip through Laos.

“I loved the south island of New Zealand,” Morgan said. “We were there right at the end of winter, so it was pretty miserable conditions by New Zealand standards, but it’s just so beautiful there that even if it’s cloudy or rainy, the country still looks like a Lord of the Rings movie.” 

Epic employees also enjoy gourmet meals at subsidized prices and a campus where each building has a theme. Morgan currently works in a Harry Potter themed building, and the company recently finished an Alice in Wonderland themed building with furniture hanging from the ceiling.

With almost 10,000 co-workers, Morgan says his time at Michigan State University helped prepare him to begin working at such a large company.

“MSU is such a huge university with a large, diverse group of people,” he said. “It’s the same way with my job at Epic, so having that background of working with so many diverse people at MSU helped me hit the ground running here.”

Clearly, the journey to finding the perfect job was well worth the wait.

“To any English majors who don’t know what you want to do with your English degree, I would say to keep your feelers out and don’t be surprised by the unexpected,” said Morgan, who is looking forward to continuing his work at Epic and to his next sabbatical in another five years.