Carol Jordan - Head of Planning, ITV News
Carol Jordan is an Emmy award-winning journalist and Head of Planning at ITV News. After graduating with an MA from UCC, she moved to the UK and has built up a successful career in broadcasting, working for NBC News and as a Senior News Editor with CNN International. In her role at ITV, she plans coverage for three of the UK’s most-watched daily news bulletins, with an average audience of 6 million per day. Carol talks to us about journalism, female leadership, and her memories of UCC.
Carol Jordan is quick to admit that an Arts degree at UCC was not her first choice of course as an aspiring broadcast journalist. However, her BA and subsequent MA proved to be the springboard that launched her future career. As she says herself, it is not surprising that she entered the world of journalism after spending four years studying about the origins of our culture, language and attitudes.
“When I arrived at UCC, I was still smarting from not getting the journalism course that I wanted, and I thought that was the end of my dream to be a broadcast journalist. Years later, I realise that a base in subjects like English and History can take you anywhere you want to go".
She continues, “my studies gave me the ammunition with which to challenge, to question and to appraise. All skills that any decent journalist needs”.
As a student of English and History, she remembers being enthralled by subjects such as the development of the English language, cinema studies and international relations.
“My best memory of my time as UCC was not one event or one thing but it is the memory of being surrounded by incredibly talented and interesting academics”. One of these was the late Dr Jennifer O’Reilly, who supervised Carol’s master’s thesis and who she describes as “the epitome of an elegant, accomplished woman”. Indeed, Dr O’Reilly left an indelible mark on Carol and became the role model for female leadership that she aspires to emulate today.
“She inspired me as much with her demeanour as with her knowledge and she shaped my ideal of what female leader should be. She was personable and kind as well as a respected leader in her field. Even now, memories of her calm and professional presence, shape my own attitude to leadership”.
She admits that the work ethic she developed at UCC has stayed with her throughout her career and taught her a valuable life lesson.
“By constantly being tested academically, when I got a disappointing result in an exam or assignment, it forced some self-reflection on how much I had studied or how much effort I had put into the task. And at third level, you don’t get away with just having a good memory or cramming so I learned that to get maximum results, I had to put in maximum effort”.
With the benefit of hindsight and the experience that comes from forging a successful path in a competitive industry, has she any advice for today’s students?
“Keep in touch with your uni friends. They could end up forming one of the most useful networks in your professional life!” and “look at all avenues to achieve your goals”, she says.