Kara Raney of Kingwood, Texas earned her bachelors degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in strategic communication and public relations in 2014. She now lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she’s the manager of social media for USA Swimming.
Kara creates and executes the overall strategy for USA Swimming’s social media across 12 platforms. She also manages day-to-day posting and analytics analysis and assists the social media efforts of Olympians and National Team athletes. She previously worked as the USA Swimming communications coordinator from 2015 to 2018.
“I was a swimmer at UALR for all four years of my academic career, so working for USA Swimming is my dream job, and I love every moment of it,” Kara said.
Who was a faculty member who made a strong impact on you and your career path?
“Amy Burgess, my UALR swim coach, had a huge impact on my career choice. She encouraged me to pursue Mass Communications when I wasn’t sure of my career path my sophomore year, so she’s really one of the main reasons I am where I am today. Amy always pushed our team to work hard and encouraged us to pursue our dreams. She was one of the first people I told when I got the call from USA Swimming, and I still appreciate the support she offered me during my time at UALR.”
What is your favorite memory from your time at UA Little Rock?
“From a Mass Communications perspective, one of my favorite memories was our end of the year capstone group project. I worked with some talented students who went on to be very successful in their professional careers. Our group spent some late nights working on projects, but we tried to make it fun. Looking back now, it’s incredible to see how far we all have come since graduation.”
What advice would you give to current students?
“One piece of advice I’d offer current students is to network with members of the community who are in a role that interests them. It’s incredibly helpful to talk to someone about their role, ask questions and learn from them. It’s as insightful as any class, and they may be surprised at how many people are willing to meet, because that’s how they started their career.”