As we wrap up our coverage of Full Sail’s Sixth Annual Hall of Fame Week, we once again turn to the group of outstanding graduates who have come to represent a spirit of hard work and dedication within the Full Sail community. Our Hall of Fame inductees have achieved success in nearly every field within the entertainment industry, and their commitment to giving back is proof that a person remains a part of the Full Sail family long after graduation. To celebrate this connection, we asked past Hall of Fame inductees to share the one piece of advice they’d pass on to graduates about to start their careers. Here’s what they had to say.
You can find part 1 of this series here.
Kristifir Klein (Digital Media, 1996):
10 Things to Consider:
- Be Nice! Nobody wants to work with a jerk. Being nice will take you farther in your career than you can imagine.
- Be true to yourself, your loved ones, your friends, and your co-workers. Live your life with integrity. Follow through on even the smallest of promises you make to others.
- Foster and maintain contacts in your industry. Never burn a bridge when leaving a gig. Never talk poorly about your previous jobs, bosses, or projects.
- Influence peers and co-workers with positive energy. Don’t feed negativity. I guarantee you will eventually encounter less than ideal morale at work. It’s a slippery slope. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in it.
- The importance of money will, with age, eventually be overtaken with the importance of time. As new graduate, you are likely to have more time available to spend than money. Spend your time wisely now. Become the very best you can be at what you love to do, work harder than the rest, don’t quit, don’t listen to those who doubt what you’re driven to do (they don’t understand, and probably never will) Your hard work will be noticed. You will rise to the top by working harder and smarter than the rest. Life is but a blink. I’m a true believer in making sure every moment counts.
- Play the long game. Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat right, exercise, don’t burn yourself out.
- Make learning how to invest a priority. Start investing a portion (no matter how small) of your earnings right now. Every single paycheck you take home, make sure something is being put away. Invest diligently and consistently and re-invest your gains. Over time you’ll find out how magical compounding interest and cost averaging can be.
- Live simply. Don’t compare yourself to others in what they have; instead focus on where you want to go and what you want to achieve.
- Reflect. Make time to stop and evaluate where you’re at and where you’re headed in this life. Try not to get blindly swept up in the daily insanity. Check in with yourself and ask yourself hard questions. Goals will change. Dreams will change. Make sure you readjust your trajectory before you’re too far off course from what’s important to you.
- Have fun! Be a well rounded person. Don’t be all work all the time. Take time to enjoy life.
Joey Morelli (Digital Media, 1998):
It’s been 17 years since I graduated, and my advice to students, grads, and family is always the same. Don’t worry about stuff that is out of your control. Stay positive, flexible and never give up. Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want. And finally, always keep moving forward.
Troy DeVolld (Film, 1990):
- Write down the names of every executive or supervisory figure you interact with. You’d be surprised by how often being able to remember someone from a meeting you had eight years ago will come in handy.
- Give yourself time [to grow], and stop comparing your imaginary position in the pecking order to people who are 20 years ahead of you or just plain lucky.
- Read the trades. Know what deals are live and active and who’s buying what from whom.
- Own your successes. Humility is awesome, but also know how much ground you’ve covered and that you genuinely deserve your place at the table and your participation in the conversation.
Chance Glasco (Computer Animation, 2001):
If you’re going to make a demo reel, it should start strong and end strong. It can’t be like pancakes; all exciting at first, but by the end you’re sick of them.
Jameson Durall (Game Development, 2001):
Go where the work is! Be prepared to move to a city you weren’t expecting and work hard, even if the tasks aren’t particularly exciting. Focus on making a name for yourself and becoming someone trusted by those around you. You’ll soon that find new opportunities will open up to move you toward your dream job.
Jeremy Vickery (Digital Media, 1997):
Success in the animation industry is about patience, persistence, and hard work. It seems to me that every goal set is always just a bit harder than we anticipate, and that if we just have the courage to keep going, to keep learning, and to keep trying, that we will indeed reach those dreams eventually. Keep creating!
Jayson Whitmore(Recording Arts; Film; Digital Media, 1996-1999):
Your journey has just begun when you graduate. Be prepared with your reel, your contacts, your plan, and always follow up. Always have a smile on your face, make sure you listen, and always be eager to do work that you think is beneath you. In fact, seek the jobs that no one wants to do and do it the best. Get your work done quickly, accurately, and with a positive spirit and you will go far.
Tom Boyd (Film, 1991):
Love what you do, be persistent, and don’t get discouraged!