Ohio University and WOUB prepared former Ohio Women’s Soccer Player to be a brand journalist in MLS
When Alex Stec came to Athens from Medina, Ohio in 2010, she was a women’s soccer player with an interest in sports media. A couple of years after she graduated, Stec was a sports media professional who managed the brand storytelling of Major League Soccer teams, and she credits that to her experience at WOUB Public Media.
“At first I thought I wanted to study athletic training, so I could stay involved with soccer and sports in some capacity,” said Stec. “But after realizing that I didn’t enjoy the science part of that, I had a conversation with my dad, and he suggested sports journalism.”
Stec chose Ohio University after being recruited by several colleges to play soccer. She didn’t think she wanted to come to Athens at first, but then she visited campus and everything changed.
“On a trip with my parents to visit Marshall, my parents took a detour to come check out Ohio University. The feeling as soon as I walked on campus was that this was the place for me. I spoke to students about the communications programs and WOUB. They told me how good the journalism program was, and I was sold,” said Stec. “Someone told me once to never choose a college based solely on its soccer program because the coach might leave, or things might change. You need to choose a college where you will be happy without soccer, and I knew that was Ohio University.”
As soon as she could, Stec got involved at WOUB. She started doing radio news and then got involved with WOUB’S high school basketball program, Hardwood Heroes and WOUB’s nightly half-hour news program, NewsWatch. Stec also worked on WOUB’s The Bobcat Sports Showcase covering Ohio University wrestling and men’s basketball.
After graduation, Stec got a job at Fox Sports Ohio working as a production assistant. She created graphics, ran remote cameras for the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) baseball games and answered phones for the sports call-in program, Drennan Live. Stec took advantage of the opportunities she had to make contacts in the industry and gain as much experience as possible.
“Eventually I got opportunities to show what I could do,” said Stec. “I edited videos for the high school state championship football games and produced commercials for the Cincinnati Reds and Columbus Blue Jackets. I also did some sideline reporting for the high school state championships for girls’ basketball.”
In 2015, Stec was able to leverage that experience and accepted a job as a brand journalist for the Columbus Crew. She worked for the Crew for three and a half years doing reporting, both written and on-camera, shooting photos and editing video. Stec helped develop the Crew’s presence on social media building a connection between the fans and the team.
“Even if you are not a soccer fan, the Columbus Crew social media pages gave you reasons why you should be a fan of the Crew.”
In 2018, Stec left the Crew for a position with FC Cincinnati where she managed social media, served as a digital host and TV sideline reporter and was the director of digital, before becoming the director of player content marketing. In 2023, Stec stepped out of the sports world and accepted a position as corporate content manager for Cintas. Cintas Corporation is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Mason, Ohio and provides a range of products and services to businesses including uniforms, mats, mops, cleaning and restroom supplies, first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers and testing, and safety courses. Stec says she wouldn’t be where she is today without WOUB.
“I think the hands-on experience at WOUB is unlike anything else. I know other people in the industry, and you don’t hear about the same level of experience at the college level,” said Stec. “When people tell you that they came from Ohio University, the Scripps College of Communication and worked at WOUB, you know they know what it takes and are well-trained. WOUB prepares you for that real world experience. When you want to do something in front of the camera, the best preparation is reps and getting feedback. At WOUB, nothing was sugarcoated. You got genuine feedback that helped you learn and grow.”
About WOUB Public Media
As a member station of both NPR and PBS, WOUB Public Media is a trusted source of news, local content and educational resources that have proven to be worthy of the time, effort and support of our users. WOUB, an experiential-learning unit of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, is a non-profit, community-supported multimedia organization which provides online and broadcast services, along with non-broadcast educational services and student professional development. WOUB serves 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky with its broadcast signals. WOUB Radio’s FM Network has transmitters in Athens, Chillicothe, Ironton, Zanesville and Cambridge, while WOUB AM serves the immediate Athens area. WOUB TV is made up of seven television channels (WOUB HD, WOUB Classic, WOUB World, WOUB Create, WOUB Ohio, WOUB Kids and WOUB Voicecorps Reading Service) which are broadcast from two transmitters.
Through its support of public service, teaching, research and administrative missions, along with its high-quality local content and programming, WOUB enriches, enhances and expands the lives and horizons of the people in the communities it serves, as well as Ohio University faculty, staff and students.