Balancing work, school and life: 2020 KUEC grad hopes to use integrated marketing communications master’s degree in entertainment industry someday

Rising Up at KUEC: In this Q & A series, outstanding 2020 KU grads share how the KU Edwards Campus has helped them start, advance or change their career. Meet Jordan Herrick.

Jordan Herrick

At only 23-years-old, KU Edwards Campus (KUEC) 2020 graduate Jordan Herrick is already combining the skills and experience she has learned in the integrated marketing communications master’s degree program with her love for the entertainment industry. She and her team of classmates just presented their final capstone project to executives at AMC Theaters — the world’s largest movie theater chain.

Jordan Herrick and her classmates present their capstone project for AMC Theaters executives and KUEC professors via a social-distancing approved Zoom meeting.
Jordan Herrick and her classmates present their capstone project for AMC Theaters executives and KUEC professors via a social-distancing approved Zoom meeting.

“One of the benefits that sets our program apart from others is our students have the opportunity to develop solutions for and work with large, notable brands,” said Matt Tidwell, director of the integrated marketing communications graduate program and KU’s Assistant Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies.  

Tidwell chose Herrick as an outstanding graduate as she earns her Master of Science in Journalism – Integrated Marketing Communications this spring while working full-time as a web and digital developer for Sprout Creative in Topeka.

“She’s very driven,” Tidwell said of the Burlingame, Kansas, native. “She earned an internship in Hollywood last summer and I was excited she was able to continue with her interest in the entertainment business right here at the Edwards Campus.”  

Learn more about Herrick and what she learned at KU Edwards Campus throughout the program.

Q: What has a typical day in your life been like as a student attending KUEC?

A: My typical day is fairly routine. After spending the day working, I’d come home to get started on any coursework. However, I’ll usually carve out some time each week to catch up on TV shows or to watch something new.

Q: What makes you the happiest?

A: I am the happiest when I get to spend time with my family. Whether it be catching up on the latest Hollywood blockbuster or spending time outside, as long as we’re together, I’m bound to have a great time.

Q: What motivates you?

A: I am motivated to continue learning as technology and society evolve.

Q: Why did you choose KUEC?

A: I chose KU’s IMC program because it is tailored to working professionals. I also appreciated the difference from the “traditional” journalism track to focusing on strategic communications.

Q: How did KUEC meet your personal and/or academic needs?

A:My experience with KU has boosted my confidence both personally and professionally.

Q: How has your KU degree prepared you for the future?

A: My time at time at KU has prepared me for the future by showcasing the advantages of working as a team. I have learned to capitalize on the skills that are my strong suit, and to surround myself with a diverse group that complements my weaknesses.

Q: What was the most difficult part of earning your college degree and how did you overcome it?

A: The most difficult part of earning my degree was finding an appropriate balance between work, school and life. I found it easier to manage by taking my days one at a time. If I really began to feel the pressure, I’d even create a schedule on how I would spend the day working toward my goals.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?

A:My proudest accomplishment was securing an internship at “Entertainment Tonight.” Growing up watching the show, it was surreal to move behind the scenes. Plus, getting to spend a summer exploring the ins and outs of Hollywood was a blast.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at KUEC?

A: I was able to move through my program with a cohort of individuals. Having that consistent group for support was the best. Whether we were working on group projects or discussing the latest drama on “The Bachelor,” it was refreshing to always have a couple of familiar faces around.

Q: What are your long-term career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: I have loved watching films for as long as I can remember. I hope, someday, that my career will allow me to cross paths with the entertainment industry. For now, I’m committed to giving every day my all so that I can continue to develop as a professional.

Q: What advice would you give others who are thinking of earning a degree, whether a first-time bachelor’s, a second bachelor’s or a master’s?

A:I would encourage anyone thinking of earning a degree to take the leap. Regardless of your position or industry, there’s always more to learn.

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