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What Can You Do with an English Major?
Jordan Hartman Discusses TV Production
By Sophia Lorusso (she/her), Junior English Major.
Pictured above: Jordan Hartman at his current job with KPIX 5 CBS Bay Area.
In June 2019, Jordan Hartman graduated from Southern Oregon University with his BA in English. After graduation, he knew he wanted to work in a field that was related to TV or film but applying to the real-world job market was difficult at first. Luckily, with the help of his mentors and English professors Ed Battistella and Alma Rosa Alvarez, he was able to find a job listing for KOBI-TV NBC5 in Medford.
Pictured Above: Jordan at his first producing job with KOBI-TV.
Jordan applied for the position with KOBI-TV and to his pleasant surprise he landed the job. There were other SOU alumni working there at the time as well, so adapting to the professional workplace of a TV station wasn’t very difficult for him. After working with KOBI-TV for a short period of time, the executive producer left – leaving Jordan to fill some big shoes. He was moved into the Executive Producer Pro Team and from then on his career flourished. Jordan worked with KOBI-TV NBC5 until September 2021 and now works as a freelance producer with KPIX5 CBS Bay Area.
As a producer for the CBS news department, Jordan meets with the News Desk and Executive Producer to curate schedules and plans for upcoming shows, makes sure all content is entered into the broadcasting software, checks in with directors, reporters, editors, and writers to confirm everything is coming together, and much more. Jordan puts his English degree to work by editing scripts, helping proofread stories, and make sure that the language is consistent and flows naturally. He notes that, “My position would be immensely more difficult doing this without an advanced grasp of language.”
“My best piece of advice is to latch onto every single opportunity you get.
— Jordan Hartman
One major piece of advice that Jordan has for English majors looking to get into the TV field is to diversify your education as much as possible. English majors may consider a Communications or EMDA minor, for instance. While he is grateful for his English degree and uses it every day, he also wishes that he had taken a couple of programming courses and a few other courses that would have boosted his resume even more. Jordan also advises,
“My best piece of advice is to latch onto every single opportunity you get. I do my best to make the most of every opportunity that is thrown my way. Does it blow up in my face sometimes? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t have made it to a top 10 market so early in my career without making those choices.”
Jordan has had a lot of producing experience so far, but he is most proud of his team’s coverage of the Almeda fire while with KOBI-TV. Jordan explains, “Those few days were some of the most difficult I’ve ever experienced, and my heart broke every second I watched the area burn around us, but we worked hard to make sure everyone was kept in the loop, and I felt like what we were doing was so important.” He had the ability to provide coverage of the most devastating fire in Southern Oregon and update the community every day.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in television production, make sure to explore all of your job options! English majors have a diverse range of careers at their fingertips, especially if you have additional certifications and experiences.
TV Channels in the area that you can check for job listings:
KOBI-TV NBC5, Medford
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Interested in the English program at SOU? Learn more about the programs offered below:
English Home Page | English BA/BS | English Minor | TESOL Certificate Program