Jason Hartline says that he had a set plan for his time at South Plains College. But never did he imagine that the experiences would help sculpt his career and him as a person.
The Muleshoe native made his mark on the SPC campus as a student from 2007 through 2009. He served as an editor for the Plainsman Press, president of the Student Government Association, and was selected as President’s Student of the Year prior to his graduation.
Hartline also served an internship with Myrna Whitehead in the Office of Marketing and Recruitment at SPC. He got to see all the things and tasks that had to be done on a daily basis.
“It was the most overwhelming conversation I have ever had to this date,” said Hartline. “It just blew me away.”
Participating in different organizations and an internship at SPC allowed Hartline to see that there is a method to all the things that are involved in communications.
“If you just get one concept down, you’re able to create the entire kit pretty quickly,” Hartline added.
After graduating from SPC, Hartline went on to attend Texas Tech University, where he majored in Public Relations. However, Hartline said his experience there couldn’t compare to the experience he got at SPC.
“I met more mentors and more people that led me to where I am today,” said Hartline of his time spent on the Levelland campus. “I love South Plains College.”
While a student at Texas Tech, Hartline got the opportunity to study abroad in Spain and work for a public relations firm for a while. From there, Hartline went back to Lubbock and had various jobs and opportunities. But the different jobs weren’t always so great.
“I moved my entire life from Lubbock to Dallas,” Hartline recalled, “and within two days I didn’t have a job. It was wild.”
Eventually finding a job with an international company, Hartline was able to learn the importance of digital media in communication. Throughout his jobs, Hartline has had to write different things for many different companies. It was learning from his professors at SPC that helped him grow as a writer.
“I used to be an awful writer,” Hartline explained. “I was horrible, Charlie (Ehrenfeld) would beat me up every day about it. But he helped me work very hard to achieve all kinds of things.”
There are a lot of different aspects that go into public relations. But for Hartline, being able to create a streamlined message from a bunch of chaos is one of his favorite parts of public relations.
“The purpose of public relations is to create a message that people can take and be able to turn it into their own,” said Hartline.
According to Hartline, public relations is an art in itself that comes with the experience of knowing how to influence a person’s opinion.
After some trials and errors, Hartline eventually got the opportunity to create his own firm at a young age called “Hartline and Partners.” Running his own firm has been his favorite job so far, according to Hartline.
“Some people like to be an employee and just to represent one thing,” Hartline said. “But I am way too scatter-brained to do that. So being able to do what I do now with my own practice, being able to touch a lot of things at once and keep my mind busy, is what makes what I do so enjoyable.”
According to Hartline, he wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the different aspects of Public Relations if it weren’t for all his previous jobs. Hartline said he appreciates not only the technical side of PR but moral and life things as well.
“If you have a good attitude about stuff and a good outlook on things, opportunity will come,” Hartline added.
Hartline explains that before coming to SPC, he didn’t know anything about public relations. He initially was interested in a commercial music major, but SPC changed his outlook and helped lead his direction in life. According to Hartline, SPC provided the foundation for what he knows.
“The people that really got involved in my life changed my perspective on not only public relations, but the communications industry in general,” Hartline said.
It was because of the professors who were so involved in Hartline’s education that he got the experience and drive needed to excel in the communications field.
“The people at SPC took the time to mentor me on what stuff means, so my education was just profound,” said Hartline. “My time at SPC was just so impactful.”