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Roush uses her communications position as a creative outlet

By Geena Noble
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Starting her career in finance, Sue Roush turned to marketing and communications to drive her creative passion.

As the director of marketing and communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications since July 2014, Roush has many different duties.

“In communications, there’s not really a typical day,” Roush said in an interview. However, she likes to know what is going on around her in the college, in the state and in the nation. “Ideally, I like to know what is coming at me, but in the real world it doesn’t always happen that way, especially in this field.”

Sue Roush is the Director of Marketing and Communications and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Photo courtesy of Roush's personal Twitter account.

Sue Roush is the director of marketing and communications at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. (Photo courtesy of Roush’s personal Twitter account.)

“Editing is crucial,” Roush said. Even though she would like to spend more time on it, it’s not always easy editing her own work.  Part of her job involves publishing all of the CoJMC publications.

Roush began her college career studying business administration and marketing at York College in York, Nebraska. She then worked as a trust officer in investments for a number of years. However, she had a creative side that she wanted to showcase. She started doing her own advertisements and commercials for the investment company she worked for, which opened doors for her to do more promotional things.

Roush was director of communications and alumni relations at York College for 12 years before working on former Gov. Dave Heineman’s staff for three years.  There, she learned how to stay on top of the news, having to know everything that was going around her.

“Things happen in minutes, rather than hours or days in this type of news cycle,” she said.

At the journalism college, Roush’s proudest accomplishment is the progress of the alumni magazine. She has been working on it since she started the job. It will be published later this spring.

She’s also proud of the relationships that she has built in the college. Roush teaches a public relations techniques class. She loves to see the students and directly make connections with them.

“I love teaching and have been doing it for several years; it keeps me current. A lot of tactics stay the same, but media changes so quickly,” Roush said. “I have to adapt to that and rework my lectures because things change so fast.”

Roush’s favorite part of her job is talking about all the great things that are happening in the college.

“Students and faculty here are amazing. My goal is to look for opportunities to showcase this,” she said.

Roush also discussed how it is easy in a job like this to sit in the office and not communicate with students.

Roush also stressed the importance of communicating with students.  “The reason we are here is the students,” she said. “It’s important to get out and talk to the students and remember why I am here.”

When asked what qualities are important in her job, she said, “be aware of what’s going on around you — in this building, up the hill at the Legislature, what is going on nationally, what pop culture is talking about. The media can affect this college.”

Roush has advice for students wanting to get into the communications field:

  1. Be aware of what is going on around you.
  2. This is not an 8-to-5 job. If you’re looking for an 8-to-5 job, you’re in the wrong field.
  3. Connections are important.
  4. Know who your faculty are. The faculty at the journalism college really want their students to do well.
  5. Do well in class — professors can recommend you to the right people and may also be able to land you an interview, but ultimately you have to get yourself the job.
  6. Get the training you need.
  7.  “Position yourself so when that door opens, you can walk through it.”
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