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WOUB Prepares Executive Career Coach Beverly Jones to be a Successful Leader

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Jones credits her journalism degree and time at WOUB for career success 

ATHENS, OH – Author, WOUB Podcast Host and Executive Career Coach Beverly Jones didn’t follow a career path in journalism after graduating with a journalism degree from Ohio University in 1969. It wasn’t because she didn’t enjoy or want to pursue the profession, but Jones says she realized the degree and the experience she got while working at WOUB as a graduate student gave her the valuable communication skills she needed to pursue any and all career options.

“Being a journalism major was terrifically important,” said Jones. “It taught me how to write with precision and how to go into a room, where I didn’t know anybody, and know how to ask questions. For being a leader or an entrepreneur, journalism is wonderful background.”

Jones, who went to high school in Perrysburg, Ohio, came to Ohio University in 1964 after being impressed by an Ohio University journalism student she met while working a student job in the fashion office of the Lasalle’s department store in Toledo.

“She was so articulate and so poised,” said Jones. “She told me to study journalism and to go to Ohio University because it was the only choice for journalism, and I wanted to be like her.”

Jones started out interested in magazine journalism but found her way to the broadcast side of things by “stumbling” in to WOUB.

“I was a leader of the women’s equality movement at Ohio University, and I was trying to do one thing every day to show that women are equally deserving of an education and job opportunities,” said Jones. “Friends and I formed a women’s equality group on campus and I somehow talked my way into being interviewed by WOUB.”

Jones was the first woman to be admitted to Ohio University’s MBA program. As a graduate student, Jones wasn’t part of the journalism program anymore. But she worked full-time at WOUB TV as a continuity writer, doing radio broadcasts on the side.

“Radio is such great training because you have to use so much of your brain to figure out how to get your point across in an articulate, concise way,” said Jones. “WOUB was a great team and supportive community of people who really cared about their work. I also learned that you could combine work ethic and creativity.”

While working at WOUB, Jones was asked by former Ohio University President Claude Sowle to spend a year preparing an in-depth report on the status of women at Ohio University. Along with her report, Jones submitted 21 recommendations to Sowle to change the campus culture. He accepted 18 of her recommendations, and she was named assistant to the president to implement those recommendations.

“When I first started, the primary focus was gender discrimination. It was then so extreme that the state universities in Ohio had separate pay scales for men and women. By law, many women were paid less for the same work as men,” said Jones. “My work eventually led to women being admitted to the marching band (then called The 110 Marching Men). A group of male students started a program of hate mail against me. The administration received dozens of letters, saying that I had ruined the band forever because women are incapable of keeping up with men physically, and are unable to understand the camaraderie that is part of the band’s tradition. Seeing women in the coolest band in the land was – and still is – deeply gratifying.”

After her time at Ohio University, Jones went on to Georgetown University to pursue her law degree.

In her career, Jones has held a variety of leadership roles in energy companies, trade associations and universities. She is also the author of a book Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO. Jones now hosts a podcast for WOUB Jazzed About Work where she interviews professionals who share their expertise related to the workplace and talk about what it takes to create resilient, rewarding careers. Jones also serves as the secretary of the Ohio University Foundation.

“Journalism and WOUB gave me a competitive advantage as a lawyer by giving me the confidence and ability to speak and speak up,” said Jones. “What is so incredible about WOUB is that it is a long-established, highly-respected professional media operation representing many counties where there aren’t many other media outlets to get information. The first time you speak on the air at WOUB, you are acting as a professional. There is nothing like the experience of knowing that people are counting on you for local information, and it makes you grow up and mature really quickly.”