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How a green apron and bad interview led Grdina to Hurrdat

By Bailey Williams
University of Nebraska – Lincoln

A bad interview may be all you need to land your dream job.

Or at least that’s how it worked for Tori Grdina, a content manager for the Lincoln-based digital advertising company, Hurrdat.

Before applying at Hurrdat, Grdina had applied at a different company for a job that she wasn’t quite qualified for.  After her interview, Grdina came home upset and decided to check out LinkedIn where she stumbled upon Hurrdat.

“I was feeling gutsy after that awful interview,” Grdina said. “They didn’t have any open positions, but I was just kind of like ‘I don’t care, I want to work for you.’”  About a week after Grdina sent in her application, Hurrdat decided to hire a writer, and a few weeks after that Grdina was hired as a community manager.

Tori Grdina - content manager for Hurrdat.


Tori Grdina is a content manager for Hurrdat, a full-service digital agency in Lincoln, Neb.

Grdina started out like many other journalism students.  While she always knew that she loved to write, she wasn’t sure what direction to take.  It was through the encouragement of a journalism teacher at Pius X High School and writing for her school’s newspaper that she realized journalism was the route for her.  With the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s renowned journalism program in her backyard, she decided to attend its College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

In college, Grdina worked briefly for the Daily Nebraskan, participated in a beat reporting class/internship in Seward, and worked at Starbucks.

Although Grdina ended up in a job she loves, she stressed the importance of internships in college.  She believes a few more internships or experiences besides working at Starbucks would have helpful her professionally.  However, her six years at Starbucks impressed Hurrdat when they were looking for someone who was going to stick around for a while.

Since being hired by Hurrdat, Grdina has moved into the position of content manager. As a content manager, she creates content for Hurrdatits parent company B2 Interactive, and Storage.com.  If she isn’t writing, she is most likely working with her team to improve the content for their many clients. Grdina and her team pay close attention to which content is resonating the best with viewers.  Who is reading the content? Do they like it? Are they sharing it?  Then, working from these insights, they edit and tailor their future content.

While Grdina spends a majority of her time creating content, she also helps revise and edit anything that is sent out.  Because Hurrdat primarily is creating digital content, Grdina has noticed differences between editing for digital and for print.  Aspects such as style, grammar, and spelling remain the foundation, but digital content must also be edited visually.  Grdina said often decisions for digital content are based off how it appears visually on a screen.  Her other advice is to always edit work in preview mode so you can see how a user is going to view the content.

While spellcheck and other grammar tools have become popular, Grdina still believes there is a future for editing and editors. “Even if print dies there’s still going to be a need for editors,” Grdina said.  “I don’t see the need for strong editing and editors going away anytime soon.”

Hurrdat’s young, fun yet professional atmosphere is one of the reasons that Grdina loves her job.  “It’s fun being able to write our [Hurrdat’s] content and have some control over what we are projecting to everybody,” Grdina said.

Hurrdat also gives Grdina plenty of space to think creatively and freely when creating content, which is yet another aspect that she loves.  Clearly she’s not the only one who enjoys her position at Hurrdat;  in 2014, it was rated one of the best places to work in Lincoln.

However, every job comes with its difficulties.  Grdina said most of the challenges in her job lay simply with the fast-paced nature of the business.  The turnaround for creating quality content is always quick. The Hurrdat content creators must always be sure they are on top of trends and staying current.  Being able to accommodate surprises and being flexible with your schedule is necessary for Grdina’s position.

But it’s not all work for Grdina. She has big plans personally as well.  Just a few of her goals include writing her own books and TV shows.  Her favorites shows include “House of Cards,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Friends.”  The key, she said, is for the show to be funny but well crafted.  She also plans to continue developing her personal blog.

Between her skill set for creating unique Starbucks drinks, killer digital content, and captivating scripts, there’s no doubt that the world will be hearing of Tori Grdina in the future.

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