Alumnus cherishes Bethel lessons, changes perspective on “making it big.”
Ellie Drews | Freelance
Within the darkness of his editing suite with only the glow of the MegaMix reflecting on his face, Jordan Alamat struggled to comprehend the elixir of the adrenaline swirling through his fingers paired with the doubtful, unwanted feeling of being “Intern Jordan” any longer.
After spending his college years as a pupil by day and DJ by night, Alamat graduated last spring. Bethel was not an easy choice for a person like Alamat, trying to find a way to break into the music industry.
“When I told people I wanted to be on the radio they said, ‘Oh, everyone wants to be on the radio. You should just work on getting your degree,” the New Brighton, Minnesota native said.
Across Lake Johanna from Bethel lies the University of Northwestern, boasting a developed recording program and strong ties to Twin Cities’ Christian station KTIS, yet Alamat chose to attend Bethel and study marketing. While scrolling through his Facebook feed in 2013, he came across an advertisement encouraging students to apply for a promotional internship with the No. 1 station in the metro, KDWB. After polishing up and sending in his resume, Alamat got the gig and took his first steps toward his dream.
He bounced around the station for the next two years, assisting with a variety of promotional work and dabbling in on-air jockeying. Last year, Alamat became the assistant producer for the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show which included the responsibility of creating his own on air bits, yet he was struggling with becoming what he described as a “brand” or character named “Intern Jordan,” beloved by the station’s listeners.
“They want it to be polarized,” Alamat said. “I can be polarizing but I don’t want to play a character. I want to play myself and know that I am much more than that.”
Alamat went on to explain that he received nothing but support from the professors of media and marketing at Bethel. He’s appreciative of the fact that he wasn’t sheltered here, instead he was nurtured into the real world.
“I am much more than [Intern Jordan],” he said. “I am not just a character. I am not just a number. Bethel has never made me feel like just a number.”
After getting his seat next to Dave Ryan, Alamat was introduced to numerous possibilities and open doors. After figuring he could never shake “Intern Jordan”, he sent his resume to an advisement agency to assure himself that he was not at the wrong place. Three weeks prior, Alamat had walked into a shiny marketing building downtown that he felt held a number of great business opportunities for him.
“It was a real life job interview, suit and tie at an ad agency, the place where I would always be,” he recalled. “I looked around and thought look at all of these busy bees. I had a great interview. I killed it. I remember after the interview I looked into the driver’s mirror in my car, and I had my tie on and my khakis and I looked down at my resume and was like ‘oh’. I looked back at the office and realized that I was just a number and thought ‘what the heck am I doing.’”
After being offered the position, Alamat turned it down. He’s back producing at KDWB, but his outlook has changed. “Making it big” may have been a dream when he first broke into the business, but now he’s more altruistic, trying to learn how Twin Cities’ radio personalities are able to connect with their contingency on a more personal level.
Just like at Bethel, Alamat doesn’t feel like he’s just a number in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and he wants to bring that connectedness and relatability to a bigger city in the future. He’s no longer about making a name for himself, but changing the radio industry as a whole. Bethel may not be the traditional route for students who want to work in the radio business, but according to Alamat, it’s the students who succeed coming from an unlikely place that are worth the headlines.
“Let the haters hate,” he finished. “Bethel breeds doers, so never stop doing you.”