SUU to Everywhere

Jennifer Hansen (’09)

Jennifer Hansen (’09)
SUU to Olympic Camera

Originally published on December 24, 2021.

SUU certainly has its share of students who graduate to great and covetable occupations, and Jennifer Hansen stands proudly among them as a much in-demand freelance broadcast camera operator, capturing some of the world’s most exciting sporting events, from Utah to Japan.

The 2000 graduate of Salt Lake City’s Cottonwood High School learned her craft in SUU’s communication department where she was given many hands-on experiences that she says “helped catapult my education and career-to-be.”

Today she is contracted through various companies (ESPN, TNT, FOX, CBS, and others) to work jobs in the sports industry—from motor racing to bull riding to the NBA—as well as in other areas. She has plied her trade at three Olympics (volunteering at the SLC Olympics), the height of her profession, she says.

At SUU, she says she learned that she could do anything.

“I learned that just because someone hasn’t done it doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” she says. “I learned that if you ask, the answer is usually yes. But if you don’t ask, it is always no. And, I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was.”

She credits faculty members Jon Smith and Todd Petersen as among the leaders of a large cadre of teachers and influencers who helped her grow at SUU.

“My time at SUU was basically a rehearsal for my career,” she says. “I had more hands-on direction and education than I would have had anywhere else. And it was practical. Everything I learned was directly transferable in my career.”

Jen sees her job as a grand challenge.

“A lot of people can use a camera. Some operators can get great shots. Even fewer can get the perfect shot at the moment it happens. That’s the excitement for me,” she says. “Everyone is watching and you have one chance to make it. Thrilling and scary. Stressful, but rewarding.”