Alumni Profiles

Back to Alumni Profiles

CJC Alum Gives Back to the College Through Gator to Gator Coaching Program

By Nora O’Neill, Journalism 2023

Jim Jenkins

Years after graduating from CJC, Jim Jenkins, B.S. Advertising 1984, said he is thrilled he has found a way to give back to the College through the Gator to Gator Coaching Program.

The mentorship program pairs alumni with graduating or recently graduated CJC students to discuss career opportunities, offer guidance and work on professional network building. Jenkins, who directs commercials through O Positive, the production company he founded in 2007, said when someone reached out to him about the program, he knew he wanted to participate.

“I’ve never worked with a Gator on the set of any production,” he said. “I would love to see Florida better represented in the creative realm.”

Jenkins has directed numerous Super Bowl commercials, for such brands as Jeep, Snickers and Chevy. Recently, Jenkins was joined in Los Angeles on the set of a Hyundai commercial with a recent CJC graduate through the coaching program.

He urges any CJC student interested in the field to reach out to him.

“At my age, you have a lot of contacts just by the fact that you’ve been working a long time,” he said. “So I’m happy to put people in touch.”

After attending college in Gainesville, Jenkins said he knows finding a job in a major city like New York can be daunting. That’s why he encourages students to reach out to professionals and taking advantage of the Gator to Gator program.

“This program is a really good start,” he said. “You don’t know what you don’t know until you try it. That’s why I would recommend that students really take advantage of it.”

Jenkins encourages other CJC alumni to join the program if they can. He said the media landscape is changing so quickly, students need to be able to talk to current professionals to learn what the field is like.

“It would be nice to see Gainesville represented,” Jenkins said. “And this is a good way to get Gators in.”

His biggest piece of advice for CJC students? Remain open-minded to any potential job in your chosen field, and any city where that might lead you — especially New York City.

“Things change so quickly, and there’s so much out there, I would just try stuff and not be afraid of it not working out,” he said. “Just talk to people and see what’s out there — That’s why I think this program is such a good idea.”

CJC alumni interested in mentoring students can fill out an interest form here. Graduating CJC students interested in participating can complete an interest form here.


Posted: October 4, 2021
Category: Alumni Profiles, Careers, Profiles
Tagged as: , ,