Lincoln native finds job editing in agriculture, enjoys learning
By Cassandra Huck
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
With no agriculture background of her own, Dana Ludvik’s job poses a challenge. She showcases what Nebraska does best: agriculture and water management.
Ludvik is the marketing and communications specialist at the Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She creates promotional materials and monitors social media accounts to engage audiences not only in Nebraska, but across the globe.
Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Ludvik initally thought an agriculture background would be essential for her role at the Water for Food Global Institute. But she has grown into the job and continues to learn more about agricultural technology daily. Who knew center pivots had so many working parts to understand?
With a passion for music, Ludvik decided to pursue a degree in broadcast at UNL graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 2004.
But she took as many classes as possible with professor Phyllis Larsen in public relations, such as planning, strategy and promotions. She then went on to receive her master’s degree in 2009 in the marketing, communications and advertising program, also from UNL.
While working toward her bachelor’s degree, Ludvik worked at KRNU, UNL’s alternative music station, as a music director. Not only did she discover a lot about music and the public relations part of the music industry, she ultimately discovered she was not cut out for a broadcasting life. The crazy hours and minimal room for advancement sent her in a different direction.
An internship at Nelnet in the marketing department sparked her interest in working with a marketing team. Thanks to that internship, Ludvik made many connections that led to her first “real” job at the Child Guidance Center doing public relations and other marketing work. From there, she continued working for various non-profits, such as Morrill Hall, helping build its marketing program.
A typical day in Ludvik’s work life includes a great deal of social media monitoring, email management and newsletter work. The first task she checks off her list every morning is monitoring social media and scheduling tweets and posts for the day. Time management is critical.
The thing she enjoys most about her job is the variety. Looking at other social media accounts for ideas and ways to improve her writing are just a couple ways she betters herself. Working in higher education provides Ludvik with the ability to continue learning everyday.
Every job has challenges, though. Ludvik faces the difficulty of conveying complicated research from faculty to a broader audience. She said the goal is to always find the balance between research jargon and relaying the message in a way that the audience can understand it.
For Ludvik, editing is part of her job daily. She edits everything from emails and social media posts to the annual publication wrapping up the center’s work. From only having 140 characters for a Twitter post to editing messages specifically for each social media platform, editing always present a challenge.
Ludvik had a couple pieces of advice for aspiring writers and editors.
“Read, read, read,” she said. “Read often because it’s a muscle that you have to keep exercising to be a good writer.”
She also stressed listening to the public radio and being aware of what is going on in the community.