In FSBlog’s Just Launched feature, we talk to brand new Full Sail graduates, right out the door from graduation, about what’s next for them as they head out into the workforce. This month’s Just Launched graduate is Sam Ruiz.
Name: Sam Ruiz
Degree Program: Public Relations Master’s (Online)
Graduation Date: June 6, 2014
New Business: I recently started a company with my friend called iFilm4U – we make corporate videos and provide clients with public relations, marketing, and social media services. There are a lot of mom-and-pop proprietorships where I live [a small town in Central California], and they don’t really know much about social media, so I know I can help them. The Public Relations program gave me a lot of good insight into knowing what kind of content clients want in their videos, not just in terms of composition but also length and how to keep a viewer’s attention. I have a bachelor’s degree in English, but I wanted to make myself a little more marketable.
Before Graduation: My first legitimate freelance piece of work was for one of those small companies in town, MGM Fitness. The owner needed content for his Facebook, so we shot a little 15-minute documentary for him. During the program I really loved when we had to do an assignment where we used video. Anytime I had the chance to record, edit, and publicize something was awesome.
Be Your Own Hero: For our Final Project, we had to choose a business and bring awareness about them to the public by planning, promoting, and executing an event. It was a culmination of everything we had been learning about in classes – building a website, handling social media accounts, writing press releases, image management, and so on. The town I live in has never really had a large community event that brings everyone together, and Mark [the owner of MGM Fitness] had always wanted to do a 5k run, so the race became my project.
The “Be Your Own Hero” run took about three months to execute – I handled all of the social media and press releases for the superhero-themed race – and it was a huge success. We had multiple sponsors, more than 350 people registered, and we raised more than $10,000, all of which we donated to a local nonprofit daycare center for disabled children and adults. Last November, my brother (who had Down Syndrome) suffered a stroke and passed away a day later. He used to love going to this daycare center, and he loved superheroes, so when it came time to decide our theme and our charity, it was an easy choice.
Future Goals: In a year from now, I’d like to be producing videos for clients, building a clientele, and having our name established in my town. Five years from now, I’d like to have the company grow to a point where it’s self-sustaining, where I can still be very much involved but have employees working for me and with me.