When Sue Rachunok came to Athens in 1974, she had no idea she’d end up running her own web design company. But she says everything she learned at Ohio University and WOUB prepared her for the career she has today.
“I grew up in Cincinnati and went on a tour of Ohio University when I was in high school. It was winter and we stayed in a place across from college green. I start to tear up as I tell this story because this moment changed my life,” said Rachunok. “I was looking out the window and the bells started chiming. There were giant snowflakes falling down, and I realized in that moment that this was where I wanted to go to school.”
While she was on that tour of Ohio University, she was also able to visit WOUB and see the opportunities available for students to work at the station.
“As soon as I got on campus, I just went over there and started working,” said Rachunok. “As a freshman, I was on the staging and lighting crew.”
Rachunok, a radio and TV major in the Scripps College of Communication, knew she wanted to work behind the scenes and took advantage of every opportunity available. She stayed over winter and summer breaks and eventually moved into a role directing the nightly, half-hour television news program NewsWatch.
“I love the opportunities I got there and the people. They were my family,” said Rachunok. “I had such fun.”
After graduation, Rachunok was hired right away at WKRC in Cincinnati.
“I was the assistant to the news director. It was nothing I had ever done before. But because of my experience at WOUB, they wanted me on staff so that nobody else would hire me in Cincinnati. I had four years of real professional working experience at WOUB, and that was valuable.”
Rachunok worked her way into field producing and directing roles before leaving the station to move to Wilmington, North Carolina.
“I started working at WWAY and was a director there. It was great to live on the beach and work in a place that was more relaxed and less stressful,” said Rachunok.
But after a few years, Rachunok decided to leave the TV industry.
“My husband had a very good job, and we had kids, so I thought I would focus on my family at that time,” said Rachunok. “Eventually I started learning website design and realized it is pretty much the same thing as commercial TV. It is putting pictures and words in a box to communicate an idea.”
Rachunok then started a website design company in Wilmington called Design Interventions. She has been running the business for 23 years and has clients all over the world. She credits Ohio University and WOUB with a large part of her success.
“WOUB gave me the training and experience I needed,” said Rachunok. “As students, we wanted the product to be very good. It was a team effort. We had to solve problems and rely on each other. We were all excited about working together and putting together some good programs. We had a lot of fun.”
To learn more about WOUB, visit woub.org.