When I first came into college, I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. I was always interested in doing something creative, but the world constantly told me that creative jobs weren’t realistic. I considered pursuing graphic design since it felt like a practical middle ground. The interest came from my senior year of high school where I finessed my way into an advanced graphic design class with no prior experience and performed fairly well. However, when I applied to UT, rather than becoming a Graphic Design major, for some reason I chose New Media Production. To this day, I still cannot remember my thought process behind that choice; it just happened.

I quickly found out that it was a new major where no one seemed to know where it belonged. So my first few semesters, I was tossed between the COM, ART, MUS, and ITM department with advisors that were just as perplexed as I was. As confusing as it was, being integrated with each department has given me a broad skill set. More importantly, it rekindled a lost passion I had for photography and film. In a way, being integrated into each different department has given me a deeper understanding of the craft I now want to pursue.

Finally, after many semesters of confusion, things started to make since when I took Creative Coding with Santiago Echeverry. Who I found out was my new advisor during that class. After a negative experience with a previous coding class, I was not excited about this one and figured I was going to do poorly again. However, Santi explained the course in a way that clicked for me, and he always pushed me to think outside the box with my work. That was the first class I got a 100 in for the semester. Santi’s classes are the only ones where I never missed a class because I knew I was always going to learn something. Since then, Santi has been a fantastic mentor and helped me make sense of my once confusing major, and I cannot thank him enough for that.

After college, I will be working part-time as a photographer and videographer for the Parks & Recreation Division of St. Petersburg while developing my freelance business. I also want to look into getting involved with local production houses so I can develop my real film set experience since most of what I know is very run-and-gun. After my experience with traveling to Thailand to film a documentary, I would love to have more experience traveling the world so I can help people by sharing their untold stories. The end goal for me is to have my own production studio where I can create films — both narrative and documentary– and more professional/creative photos.