When Sue Rachunok arrived in Athens in 1974, she had no idea she would eventually run her own web design business. But she talks about everything she learned at Ohio University and WOUB prepared her for the career she leads today.
“I grew up in Cincinnati and toured Ohio University when I was in high school. It was winter and we stayed at a place across from College Green. I’m starting to cry while telling this story because that moment changed my life,” Rachunok said. “I was looking out the window and the bells started ringing. There were giant snowflakes falling and I realized at that was where I wanted to go to school.
While on this tour of Ohio University, she was also able to visit WOUB and see the opportunities for students to work at the station.
“As soon as I got to campus, I went over there and started working,” Rachunok said. “In first year, I was part of the staging and lighting team.”
Rachunok, a radio and television specialist in the Scripps College of Communication, knew she wanted to work behind the scenes and took advantage of every opportunity available. She stayed on through the winter and summer holidays and eventually took on the job of director of the evening half-hour newscast. NewsWatch.
“I love the opportunities I had there and the people. They were my family,” Rachunok said. “I had so much fun.”
After graduating, Rachunok was hired right away at the WKRC in Cincinnati.
“I was the assistant to the director of information. It was nothing I had ever done before. But because of my experience at WOUB, they wanted me on staff so no one else would hire me in Cincinnati. I had four years of real work experience at WOUB, and it was invaluable.
Rachunok worked his way into producing and directing roles in the field before leaving the station to move to Wilmington, North Carolina.
“I started working at WWAY and was a manager there. It was great to live on the beach and work in a more relaxed, less stressful place,” Rachunok said.
But after a few years, Rachunok decided to quit the television industry.
“My husband had a really good job and we had kids, so I thought I’d focus on my family then,” Rachunok said. “Eventually I started learning web design and realized it was pretty much the same as commercial television. It’s putting pictures and words in a box to communicate an idea .
Rachunok then started a web design company in Wilmington called Design actions. She has run the business for 23 years and has clients all over the world. She credits Ohio University and WOUB with much of her success.
“WOUB gave me the training and experience I needed,” Rachunok said. “As students, we wanted the product to be very good. It was team work. We had to solve problems and rely on each other. We were all excited to work together and put together good programs. We had a lot of fun.”
To learn more about WOUB, visit woub.org.