Working with student athletes and fans makes Chris Anderson’s job fun
By Emily Morris
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Chris Anderson has never worked a day in her life.
Being community relations director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she said, is too much fun to be considered work.
Chris Anderson grew up on a farm 1 mile east of Panama, Nebraska. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, majoring in advertising and broadcasting.
While in college, she was an assistant in media relations in the athletic department. The following summer she had an internship with Bryan Memorial Hospital in its public relations office.
After graduating, she took her first job as the full-time sports information director for Kansas State University athletics. While working at Kansas State, Anderson also worked on copy for the Salina Journal.
Anderson is the community relations director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department. She assists the university’s charity partners like the American Red Cross and helps with awareness events such as Avery Strong Day and Pediatric Brain Cancer Awareness Day.
Anderson also assists coaches with radio and TV appearance schedules. She provides support to the director of athletics for personal appearances, media relations, radio and TV commitments. Her job duties also include assisting fans with things such as donated items.
She also helps with special events such as the Hall of Fame and team reunions. Her most recent project involved the new Hall of Fame class that was recently announced. She spent the past six months working on all of the events surrounding their induction experience in the fall.
Writing is a huge part of Anderson’s job.
“I wish I would have taken more writing classes,” Anderson said.
One of the biggest challenges that Anderson faces is balancing family life with work life because she doesn’t have a set schedule.
Technology has made Anderson’s job easier but keeping up with the constant changes can be difficult at times.
“Technology changes have been so helpful,” she said, “but also a big challenge.”
The rewards of her job far outweigh the challenges. Anderson loves working events and being involved with fans. She especially gets great enjoyment out of working with the special needs fans and making sure that they have an amazing experience at events.
Anderson’s job entails a lot of interaction with athletes and leaders, such as Shawn Eichorst, UNL’s athletic director, and former athletic director Tom Osborne.
“I love having the opportunity to work with student athletes,” Anderson said. “The coaches and student athletes are great people and time managers.”
As for advice to students, she has a lot of it.
“The best teacher in the world is hands-on experience while you are in college,” she said.
College is a great opportunity to volunteer. It gives you a chance to try out a job and see if it’s really what you want to do for the rest of your life.
She has never hired anyone without some kind of voluntary experience in the field. She also emphasized never being afraid to let someone else review your work because once it goes out incorrect, you can never get it back.
For students going into public relations, her advice is simple. Make sure that you have the personal touch. Don’t rely on texting and emailing as your primary communicators.
Anderson truly loves her job; it shows through in the way she talks about it.
“It’s a lot of fun.”