When Victor Walker first set foot on Full Sail property, it wasn’t in pursuit of his dream. It was in support of his stepson, a budding filmmaker. But after a day spent touring the campus with his family, Victor stumbled upon his own destiny. Or rather, his wife did.
“She noticed some sports management and media memorabilia hanging around the halls,” says Victor. Knowing her husband’s lifelong love of sports and desire to work in the industry, she urged him to inquire about the program.
Victor enrolled in the Sports Marketing & Media degree program in October of 2012, at the age of 45. “I didn’t want to be in school until I was 50, so being able to complete the program in 21 months was great,” he says. In order to maximize his time, he volunteered for every extra curricular opportunity that came his way.
His willingness to go above and beyond caught the attention of instructor Christopher Woodward, who recommended him for WWE’s NXT student initiative, a program that places students directly in charge of social media management for the NXT franchise’s live events. As part of the inaugural group, Victor was able to see the initiative grow from six students to its current enrollment of over 30 members.
While he relied on the industry experience his instructors brought to the table, programs like the student initiative allowed him to have his own experiences in the field. “It gives you a different perspective,” he says. “For instance, social media—everyone handles that differently.” His instructors presented their take on it, which was different from the way he learned to do it working for NXT. This effectually doubled his experience. Both strategies were effective, and he’s now able to tailor his methods to fit any situation.
Victor says that his family’s support was also a key component to his success while at Full Sail. After setting him on the path, his wife supported him every step of the way, and having a stepson in the film program (he graduated in May) allowed the family to foster a creative understanding.
Upon graduating in March of 2014, Victor received the Advanced Achievement Award, and managed to parley the experience he gained working with the student initiative into a full time job as a Marketing Coordinator for NXT. The position encompasses a lot of his work with the student initiative, and also sees him working to guide the next generation of student members.
For Victor, the chance to continue the work he began as a student is an unexpected dream come true. “I know what I’m working on is only going to help make the brand bigger and better,” he says. “I love what I do.”