Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Jennifer Kostelnik Utley, Grad ’00

Jennifer Kostelnik UtleyJenna Kostelnik Utley’s voice is filled with enthusiasm.

She says her job as senior producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show/Harpo Productions has: “a pace and intensity that makes working in television a pure thrill. Every word or moment is crafted with the intention of helping others find the best in themselves.”

Jenna found what she was looking for as a graduate student in broadcast communication and journalism at Marquette.

“Marquette provided great vocational tools while offering an intimacy that really increased my self-confidence,” she says. “My professors were always available, the classes were small and while it was not necessarily included in the curriculum, the sense of ethics and spirituality was always part of our work.”

Jenna started her career at Harpo in 1996 as a production assistant before being promoted to senior producer in spring 2008. Though some may find working for one of the world’s best-known television shows intimidating, Jenna sees it differently.

“The best part about working in television is there’s no roadmap. The freedom of trusting your instinct, pulling off the impossible and creating a team that shares the same vision is what can elevate this job from the grind to the gratifying,” she says.

Her embrace of life seems a part of her natural personality, but it also appears to reflect her “very positive” experiences at Marquette. “It was one of the times I was happiest with myself,” says Jenna, who mentors many Marquette students and graduates.

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