Karen Deime had to change her career path after college, but still uses what she learned at WOUB
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Deime graduated from Ohio University in 1994
ATHENS, OH – When Karen Deime arrived on the Ohio University campus in 1990, she was a girl from Dayton, Ohio with big city dreams. And even though those dreams didn’t work out the way she planned, Deime values the hands-on experience she received at WOUB and still uses what she learned to this day.
“My original plan was to work in the music industry,” said Deime. “I wanted to work in A&R (Artists & Repertoire). I’ve always had an ear for music and wanted to discover new bands and bring them to record labels.”
So, Deime chose to attend Ohio University because its telecommunications program was so 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,” said Deime. “My parents wondered where in the world I was taking them for my first college visit, but I knew it was right for me.”
Deime was the music director at her high school radio station, so she knew she wanted to get involved at the radio station in Athens. During her junior year, Deime became the program director for the Night Shift (alternative music program, M-F 8 p.m.-12 a.m.) managing a group of students on WOUB AM. The program allowed Karen to connect with the music industry.
“I was able to talk with record companies, track listener requests and pick the latest in alternative, indie and local music,” said Deime. “I loved my time working at WOUB with my fellow students and was thankful for a paid job where I got real-world experience that helped pay for my college expenses.”
While in college, Deime was able to leverage her experience to get internships at A & M and Virgin Records. She graduated in 1994 with what she thought was a job lined up at Real World Records in New York City, but that ended up falling through. Deime wasted no time getting a position as a production assistant at the Metropolitan Opera, but then had to return to Ohio due to an unexpected medical illness.
“My initial dream to work in the music industry was dashed, but I pivoted to new opportunities.”
And that “pivot” landed Deime in marketing and administration roles across several Fortune 500 financial companies. She has assisted C-Suite executives at companies including GE, Anthem, Express Scripts and Fort Washington Investment Advisors as well as a smaller non-profit, Crayons to Computers. Then Deime moved on to entrepreneurial public/private partnerships working with entrepreneurs at Cintrifuse and now economic development with REDI Cincinnati. Deime says in all her positions, she has called on her WOUB experience.
“In every role, managing events or anything having to do with production, I’ve handled either running equipment myself or working with creative partners to run successful events. One of my fond memories from WOUB is working with microphones and production equipment, which I still refer to this day. Even at a recent event that I was not running, they were having a microphone issue, I stepped in to help. There have been countless times where people say ‘This mic is not working?’ or they’re not holding or talking into the microphone properly, and I quickly point out it’s an omnidirectional microphone, and it will work better if they hold it a certain way. That saves the day.”
Deime says she has been able to build on the foundation she got at Ohio University and WOUB to build a successful career.
“Everywhere I’ve been I’ve picked up something from everything I do. I’m a learner, and I pick up and build on those skills. I started working in the world of economic development last fall, and now I’m part of a great team that is helping to bring companies to Southwest Ohio and/or helping existing companies expand by creating new jobs. Life is an adventure, and each day is a gift,” said Deime. “I very much enjoyed my time at Ohio University and WOUB. I remember it fondly. There are things that I learned and people that I met that I held on to for the rest of my life.”