With a background in agriculture and business, Jake Whetter has ultimately found a career he loves in entertainment.
Whetter is an on-air talent at Radio Disney who graduated from the UA in May 2005 with a degree in marketing from the Eller College of Management.
He works as a celebrity entertainment reporter for Radio Disney and hosts their top 30 countdown every week. He interviews celebrities, attends red carpet events and travels to press junkets, among other things.
""I do a lot of interviewing and a lot of talking,"" he said.
Whetter said he is ""immersed in the tween world."" He works with stars like Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift.
""It's not really a challenge,"" he said of relating to his younger audience. ""I remember what I liked when I was a kid.""
Whetter found a part-time job in admissions at the Art Center Design College through the classified ad section in the Wildcat.
""Actually, the story all began from the Daily Wildcat,"" he said.
He was interested in voice-over recording, so when the school needed a commercial for the Addy Awards in Tucson, they asked Whetter if he would be interested.
At the Addy Awards, he met some local television and radio personalities, and asked if he could shadow Alan Michaels from 97.1 FM. Shortly afterward, he began working for Clear Channel Communications in the promotions department. After that, he did traffic reports and reported overnight for various stations until he became a permanent on-air personality for 92.9 FM, the Mountain.
""I was very adamant about going on air,"" he said.
After a year in that position, he left Tucson to find work in Los Angeles, where, he said, ""There are a lot of people that are in direct competition with you.""
James Knight, a professor and faculty associate for the College of Agriculture, knew Whetter for the duration of his college career, through class and FFA. Knight called Whetter outgoing, personable and upbeat.
""He was an excellent student,"" he said. ""More important, he was engaged and active.""
Knight said even after his term as state officer ended, Whetter continued to help the next group of officers.
Knight was aware about Whetter's current job and said it was not surprising given his public speaking experience as state vice president for the Arizona Association FFA.
""It seems to be a natural fit,"" he said.
Whetter's first job in LA was working for the vice president of pop at Hollywood Records. During that time, Whetter hired an agent and started auditioning to host television shows. In June 2008, he was officially hired by the Radio Disney network.
""All the dots kind of connected,"" he said.
Whetter chose to attend the UA after being elected as the state vice president for the Arizona Association FFA. He received a scholarship to UA through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
During his junior year, he started looking at Eller College. He said he knew it was a good program and liked the challenge of getting into the college.
His experiences at the UA and in the professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, prepared him for his career today.
""I think in college, it's all about what you take out of it,"" he said.