By Adam Rich
"Opportunity sometimes is what you create," says Magazine Editor for the Principal Financial Group and owner of Ruba Communications, Sarah (Hagarty) Ruba. From work in newspaper and magazine journalism to advertising and marketing, this 1993 Iowa State University and Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication graduate stresses the impact her time in journalism at ISU has had on her blossoming career.
After receiving her diploma in newspaper journalism with a minor in sociology, Ruba began work as a reporter and news editor at Ankeny Today. In 1995, she transferred to the Des Moines Register, working in advertising and communications. She turned to freelance writing in 1997 with the birth of the first of her two children, Emily (now 10), and Andrew, 7. When her children were older, she joined the Principal Financial Group in 2001 as a marketing communications consultant.
In 2003, Ruba decided to put her diverse marketing, advertising, and communications experience into creating Ruba Communications, a freelance marketing and communications company. Upon the creation of her home-based business, The Principal appointed Ruba freelance editor of its retirement plan sponsor magazine, Benefit Edge in 2003 and later ESOP Edge in 2007.
She cites her time at the Greenlee School as "a major factor in how well prepared I was for the competitive working world." She also emphasizes that the skills she polished while at Iowa State are "essentially the tools that I rely on every day in the business arena."
For journalism students, Ruba encourages to learn the art of juggling responsibilities. She also notes the incredible potential that many students do not know about in jobs like freelancing or entrepreneurship. "You don’t have to settle for just an 8 to 5 job in life," she says. "The skills I've acquired along the way have allowed me to go where I want to go professionally as new opportunities appear."
Opportunity is definitely something that Sarah Ruba has created for herself. With such a busy professional life, Ruba has been able to find time for her family and husband, Scott (whom she met while at ISU). She jokes, "...multitasking—such as changing a diaper while at the same time discussing design changes with a graphic designer—has been one of the most rewarding skills I've learned in my career."