UF graduate Doug Jenkins shares his journey and advice to future students.
What was your major when you studied at UF?
I was a broadcast communication major.
What is your current job title and duties?
I’m the news director at WFIN/WBUK/ WKXA in Findlay. Every day I’m up at four in the morning and putting together news stories and reading them on the air. I go out into the community to do interviews for stories and assign the day’s assignments for the rest of the reporters.
What do you like best about your job?
There are a few cool things that I like about the job. You get to meet a lot of interesting people like the governor, presidential candidates and on down the line to local politicians who probably make more decisions that effect you on a daily basis. Being able to talk to a variety of people is a good way to know what’s happening. I’ve also been able to ride new roller coasters at Cedar Point on opening day; that’s not a bad thing.
Why did you choose The University of Findlay over other schools?
I had a lot of family who went to The University of Findlay before I did. My dad went there, my aunt, my uncle, cousin and my brother ended up going after I did. So there’s a lot of family history of going there and when I came up to visit, I really liked the campus and the professors, so it seemed like a natural fit.
Do you feel like it was a good choice?
Absolutely. I think what was great was being able to be involved right away. I was on the campus radio station three weeks into being a freshman in college. I probably wasn’t very good, but being able to get in there and do it right away instead of having to wait so long for the opportunity probably helped pushed me in the direction I went.
Did you have any mentors?
Definitely. You not only get one-on-one attention from your professors, but from your faculty advisor, which was great. My advisor worked with me a lot with the campus radio station, shooting video and everything else we did. For everyone else in the communication department, it was the same way. Even in the other programs, you could always approach a professor or just about anybody that works there, including the president; being able to have that access I thought was very cool.
How did your education help you with your current job?
I think it goes back to getting experience early on. From the second you start into your classes, you’re hands on with what you are doing. In the communication department that meant that we had access to video cameras, the radio station and other resources. It gave me the opportunities to not only make mistakes, but to learn from them and apply what I’d learned to my job. To me, that early experience paid off.
What advice do you have for students making their college decision?
I think find something that you are interested in and don’t shy away from them. If you have a hobby that you are good at or something that you specialize in, there’s a job out there for it, so start looking into what people are doing to get into that field. You start to be able to trace that path. When I went to college, I always wanted to be in radio but I didn’t know how and I didn’t know anyone that had been in it, so I majored in something not related to what I wanted to do.
Now, with the Internet, it’s a lot easier to find out how to get into those fields and what people are doing to get there. You can find a way to mirror that path.