Karen Deime had to change careers after college, but still uses what she learned at WOUB


When Karen Deime came to the Ohio University campus in 1990, she was a girl from Dayton, Ohio with big city dreams. And even though those dreams didn’t turn out the way she planned, Deime appreciates the hands-on experience she received at WOUB and still uses what she’s learned so far.

“My original plan was to work in the music industry,” Deime said. “I wanted to work in A&R (Artists & Repertoire). I’ve always had a musical ear and wanted to discover new bands and get them on record labels.

So, Deime chose to attend Ohio University because its telecommunications program was highly respected. She majored in audio production with a minor in film.

“My family thought I was crazy because I’m a city girl, and Athens is very rural,” Deime said. “My parents were wondering where in the world I was taking them for my first visit to college, but I knew this was what I needed.”

Deime was the musical director of her high school radio station, so she knew she wanted to get involved with the Athens radio station. During her first year, Deime became program director for the night patrol (alternative music program, MF 8 p.m.-12 a.m.) management of a group of students on WOUB AM. The program allowed Karen to connect with the music industry.

“I was able to speak with record labels, follow up on listener requests, and pick out the latest in alternative, indie, and local music,” Deime said. “I loved my time working at WOUB with my classmates and was grateful to have a paid job where I gained real-world experience that helped pay for my college expenses.”

While in college, Deime was able to leverage her experience to secure internships at A&M and Virgin Records. She graduated in 1994 with what she thought was a lined job at Real World Records in New York, but it ended up falling through. Deime wasted no time in securing a production assistant position at the Metropolitan Opera, but then had to return to Ohio due to an unexpected medical illness.

“My initial dream of working in the music industry was dashed, but I turned to new opportunities.”

And that “pivot” has allowed Deime to hold marketing and administrative positions at several Fortune 500 financial companies. She has helped C-Suite executives at companies including GE, Anthem, Express Scripts and Fort Washington Investment Advisors, as well as a smaller nonprofit, Crayons to Computers. Then Deime moved on to public/private entrepreneurial partnerships working with entrepreneurs at Cintrifuse and now economic development with REDI Cincinnati. Deime says that in all of her positions she has drawn on her WOUB experience.

“In every role, event management or anything production-related, I have managed running equipment myself or worked with creative partners to deliver successful events. One of my fond memories of WOUB is working with microphones and production equipment, which I still refer to today. Even at a recent event that I wasn’t leading they had a microphone issue, I stepped in to help them. There have been countless times when people have said, “That mic isn’t working?” or they don’t hold or speak properly into the microphone, and I quickly point out that it’s an omnidirectional microphone, and it will work best if they hold it a certain way. It saves the day.

Deime says she was able to build on the foundation she learned at Ohio University and WOUB to build a successful career.

“Everywhere I went, I took something away from everything I do. I am a learner, and I pick up and develop these skills. I started working in the economic development world last fall, and now I’m part of an amazing team that helps bring businesses to Southwest Ohio and/or helps existing businesses grow by creating new jobs. Life is an adventure and every day is a gift,” Deime said. “I enjoyed my time at Ohio University and WOUB very much. I remember it fondly. There are things I learned and people I met that I remembered. hooked up for the rest of my life.

To learn more about WOUB, visit woub.org.


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