By Hannah Ericksen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Erin Sorensen would have never guessed that she would be working at Hail Varsity today. Before attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sorensen believed that she would be a sports broadcaster, but that was not the path she ended up following.
“I never really knew exactly what I saw myself doing. After switching my major, I saw myself working at an ad agency, but I always knew I wanted to work in sports,” said Sorensen, 29, who switched her major from broadcasting to advertising.
Throughout college, she kept busy with her sorority, Delta Gamma, had internships and participated in the National Student Advertising Competition.
Sorensen got into her current job as Hail Varsity's online editor and director of digital marketing in an unorthodox way. Coming out of college she held a full-time job in marketing, while also covering Husker athletics for free for a variety of organizations. She wrote part time, while still working full time during the week.
The Omaha native wrote for Bleacher Report and Hail Varsity at the same time and loved getting to cover her alma mater. In August of 2013, she became the Nebraska lead writer for football games at Bleacher Report, but was still working part time.
In August 2016, Sorensen was hired full time at Hail Varsity as the online editor and director of digital marketing. She focuses on making sure everything runs smoothly. Hail Varsity is a niche magazine and its targeted audience is Husker sports fans.
“I have to edit everything that goes up on the website and anything that myself or other staff members write. My job is mostly making sure that the website stays alive and running,” Sorenson said in an interview.
As a journalist, Sorensen believes that everyone should know how to edit.
“It is essential for everyone to know how to write, even if you aren’t a journalist,” she said.
Sorensen keeps up on a lot of social media as well as her blog. She believes presence on social media is important for any journalist, but he or she has to do it the right way.
“Being on social media and having a presence is a double-edged sword. As long as you are authentic and genuine, you should be able to have a conversation with your followers about everyday things,” she said.
Sorensen has her own blog to connect with her followers and tell her side of every story and she is an avid “tweeter” and Instagram enthusiast.
“If you are trying to build a niche, it will help people get to know you better. It humanizes you and makes you seem like a real person. But it can easily destroy your career, so you must be careful,” Sorensen said.
Being on social media helped her establish a presence in journalism and made it easier for employers to contact her, but it can also break a career. Sorensen believes that while it is okay to talk to followers about casual or everyday topics, you must be careful what you choose to talk about. Once it is out there, you cannot take it back.
Even though Sorensen has worked for Hail Varsity for about six years, each day is still never the same. While she may be one of the editors, she still writes for the magazine from time to time as well as makes appearances on radio shows, covers sporting events and fills her stomach with Chipotle.
She may be on a radio talk-show and covering baseball game all in the same day. She is proof that journalists need to be adaptable.
Sports enthusiasts generally follow certain teams and Sorensen is no different. She will always be a Husker at heart, but she loves watching other teams. She would consider herself a bandwagon fan for lots of sports, admitting that it is easy to cheer for teams doing well.
If there was any advice Sorensen could give, it would be to take chances even if you don’t feel qualified for the job.
“Take opportunities that make sense, if it isn’t in your moral compass, then don’t. Be willing to take chances on things and learn. Just because you haven’t covered that sport before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever,” Sorensen said.
Don’t be scared of what may lie ahead, she said.
“Too many people are fearful of not being the best at their job and it stops them from doing things. Don’t be afraid to say yes if you don’t have experience.”
A note about the content: This site showcases the final projects of University of Nebraska-Lincoln editing students. Each semester, students pick a journalist or communications professional to profile. This is their work.
This is me. I run this site.