Jordan Zavaleta graduated from University High School in 2005. After high school, he attended Indiana University and graduated in 2009 with a degree in telecommunications. He currently works for FX Networks in Los Angeles as a digital producer. Below Jordan answers a few questions about his professional experiences and how University prepared him for life at IU and beyond.
What have you been up to since leaving University?
I have continued working in production since leaving University High School. I was the first to propose a production class at University, and I hope it has continued (although I ended up having to go to a career school for that, so I’m not sure it took hold). I studied production at Indiana University, and I am still doing it today. I now work at FX Networks, as the digital producer for the marketing team. I love my job!
How do you feel University best prepared you for college?
University High School helped me get serious about my work, and the school taught me how to buckle down and study. There I discovered how to learn with determination and sincerity.
Do you see that the core values you learned at University still apply to your life now? How?
I still to this day take what I do very seriously. It’s important to do good work, do the right thing, and buckle down.
Please share your best University memory.
My favorite memory from University High School was maybe when I presented my first film, the first one I ever produced. It is now 15 years later, and I am still at it, now working at a huge network. How far we’ve come! I also loved starring in the Lucky Stiff production, which was very fun.
Did you do internships? If so, where were they, what did you do, and how do you think it helped your career?
I think internships are important, but what’s even more important is picking the right company that will help you. Recently, some internships have turned into this free labor, and companies take advantage of young grads. I found myself in that situation a few times; it worked out for me in the end, but a lot of my time was wasted in the wrong internships as well. I recommend students talk to the company and make them promise something for you. If the company already has a huge group of interns, chances are they won’t do anything for you. If it is a highly sought-after internship program, and the company is taking it seriously, then definitely do it. Just be smart about it. And always network! As soon as you get your foot in the door, network, network, network! That next person you meet could be the one giving you your next job.