Sarah ScottJanuary 7, 2020
Sarah Scott is the Digital Marketing Manager for Walsworth, the 27th largest printer in the U.S. and the fourth largest printer of yearbooks. She enjoys studying the ways print and digital mediums can be used to support each other. Before joining the Walsworth marketing department, she was a radio journalist in Kansas City.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2010 with a concentration in Journalism.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I wrote for The Index, DJed on KTRM, participated in the Truman Media Network’s election coverage, as well as a member of Alpha Phi Omega and Beta Omega Beta.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
No. It wasn’t the right fit for me, but I haven’t ruled out eventually getting my Master’s degree.
What was your first job after graduation?
I did Americorps for a year, working on an educational farm with the nonprofit Heifer International in Arkansas. My first job after that was as a news reporter at a radio station in the tiny town of Carrollton, MO. It was tough work, but rewarding. Residents of that area relied on our station as a news source. The highlight of that gig was getting to cover a visit from President Obama. At my next reporter job in Kansas City, I got to interview Madeleine Albright. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I am currently the Digital Marketing Manager for Walsworth, a printing company headquartered in Missouri. I oversee the content published on their websites, blogs and social media, as well as producing three podcasts for the company.
The decision to transition from journalism to marketing wasn’t an easy one, but the high-stress broadcast environment was taking a toll on my mental health. That said, I would never discourage anyone from giving reporting a try. It was an important time in my life that influenced my outlook on the world.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
The ability to listen to people is a surprisingly rare skill. I’m grateful I was involved in a program that helped me hone my listening skills. People have some incredible stories if you just pay attention.
Additionally, the media literacy skills I learned in the Communication program have become especially meaningful in recent years.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Publication Design and Layout. I’m still not the greatest, but I can at least tell when someone else is a good designer.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
That’s hard to say. I certainly had some projects I was proud of, but I think my greatest accomplishment was less tangible. In my time there I learned to look at the world critically, ask questions, and I learned how to learn (if that makes sense).
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Don’t underestimate the value of a liberal arts education. Being knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics is a great skill to have. Plus, the smaller class sizes and ability to form connections with professors makes it a great learning experience.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Get involved in student-run media. Try out everything, like newspaper, television and radio. If you’re planning on a career in journalism it will help you learn which medium you’re drawn to. If you’re planning a career in PR it will give you a good idea of how to work with reporters.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Don’t get lazy. Digital marketing is a fast-changing market. If you want to be effective, you need to stay on top of what’s happening. That means never stop learning. Read articles, take online courses, and, if you’re lucky, your employer might cover the cost of a conference or two.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
The quad in the autumn . . . oh, and the way the library smells.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“Preparing lifelong learners through real experience.”
Tag lines aren’t my strength, but I want to convey the excellent job the COMM department did of teaching me how to learn through classes and the many journalism experiences available on campus.
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
Dealing with People. Journalists are constantly criticized for their work. Sometimes it’s deserved, sometimes it’s not. I’d like to help future journalists prepare for it and learn strategies for dealing with critics.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
I would like to reinforce that learning doesn’t stop after graduation. Truman and the COMM department do a great job of setting students up to be lifelong learners.
Want to sample some of Sarah’s work?
Sarah produces three podcasts for Walsworth. They’re for a niche audience, but communication students might find some value in them.
- Ask Mike with host Mike Taylor, CJE
- Yearbook Chat with Jim, with host Jim Jordan
- Behind the Byline
Give them a try and see what you think!