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Sanford-Brown College-Tampa

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I earned a BA in Advertising and during my undergraduate studies, my most memorable experiences were from student organizations and community involvement. I participated in student government budgeting and event planning committees, co-founded and creatively directed a dance team, presided over a poetry society and worked as fundraising chair for my sorority. I coordinated efforts that raised thousands of dollars from local businesses and professional organizations to bring nationally acclaimed poets to campus, provided scholarships to local high school graduates, and helped to create performances that won campus-wide and state wide talent shows from second place to grand prize, and even provided opening performances for poets Nikki Giovanni and Alix Olsin. These valuable experiences built a passion for leadership, marketing and consulting. My MBA in Marketing provided discipline in business, organization and entrepreneurship. My goal is to become a marketing manager, preferably in the telecommunications industry. I would also like to someday have my own full-service consulting firm providing independent contractors for marketing, communications, public relations, grant writing, event planning, strategic planning, business development and project management. The only missing element is graphic design skills and I have applied to IADT Online to study Graphic Design.

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Explore the possibilities. Universities provide elective credits to give students options to explore. Try things you've never done and you may discover talents and interest you didn't know you had. When I first started college, I had never considered studying graphic design. I did not think of myself as an artist, but new experiences have shown me that there is more than one type of artist. I am now studying something I truly love and have a plan for using my degree. There will be classes and people that will challenge your principles and ideals. Be willing to look at all sides and accept others' differences, but don't give up your values. Listen to advise but remember that only you can decide what is right for you. Take advantage of opportunities your university provides. I had the life changing experience of being able to travel to Urumqi, China and teach English as a service for a semester. This trip opened my eyes and provided me with experience and knowledge I could not have gained in the classroom alone. Make your college years an adventure you will always remember.

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I don't recall being worried about making the transition, but I knew there would be major differences. My family and I looked for local colleges because I planned to commute to campus. None of my friends from my high school were attending the school I finally chose, so that made living on campus even less inviting. My current schedule allows me to take online courses for my general education and drive to Tampa once a week for my major studies. Although I don't live on campus, nor have frequent classes, college life still had its overwhelming impact on me. I find that I must constantly remind myself to search for scholarships to help pay for everything, the price for textbooks and sound equipment helps though. I am also still getting used to registering for classes, something I wish I still had a councler to do for it's very confusing at times. Regardless of these changes, I still manage to obtain a high GPA which I have kept through out high school. If I could go back and talk to myself in high school I'd advise myself to do more scholarhips, and register for classes early.

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The most important things I have gotten from my college experience are knowledge and confidence. Confidence to speak up and knowledge to ensure that I will sound educated when I so speak. Today having a college degree in a field you are passionate about is important for two reasons; being able to do work you enjoy and having the degree that will help open doors. With the economy being uncertain and the job market so competitive having a better education is more important than ever. Attending college has been valuable for me because I believe now that I have what it takes to comeplete my degree and work as a Graphic Designer. That has been a dream of mine since the first time I was introduced to a computer and printed my first design on a black and white dot-matrix printer. When I recently helped my Mom go through some old boxes I was shocked to realize that I have been designing since I was first old enough to hold a crayon. I am not ashamed to say that I kept a few works of art just to prove to myself that I have always been a Graphic Designer.

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Given the chance to travel through time and talk to myself in senior year, I would have advised to apply for as many scholarships as possible and really focus on my future. I was living in the "now" in high school and focused primarly on extra curricular activities (volunteer anti-tobacco program), not what I want to be. I would tell myself to further investigate colleges that provide television production classes not just stop at two. There is so many possibilities that I have missed because my focus was unclear and scared to go out into the "real" world. Granted life can be scary but not knowing where to go or start is even worse. So many times people take things for granted and miss opportunities, I would have used by senior year to visit colleges and sit in their classes to observe. Here I am almost 26 years old and I have still yet to complete college because I am not happy with where I am at in school. The program is not of my interest or talents but that wasn't really discovered till it was just about too late.

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If i went back in time i would not have any advice to give myself. As a high school senior i was not 100% sure where i would go with my career goals but the journey i took after i left high school, helped me figure out where my heart and true pasion lay, in fashion. At age 17 i worked at a school where i was the assistant to the principal , i also discovered that i never wanted to work in a school if it could be avoided. After this i worked as a flight attendant at age 18 which allowed me to travel and see the world, i loved this and knew whatever career i chose would have to include lots of travel, then i worked as a production and wardrobe assistant on a local tv series in Trinidad i realised how much fun and how much i enjoyed working with people and working with clothing. Idid some research and discovered IADT the school i am currently attending and decided to pursue fashion design. If i went back in time i would simply tell myself to be more vigilent, to enjoy the experiences that i would soon experience.

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If I could go back in time to give advice to myself in high school, I would say, "Self, follow your passion." Life isn't about making money or having prestige. It's about being happy in your own skin and feeling passion and pride for what you do and who you are. If I had taken heed of these words, I could have saved myself from many unfulfilled years. After high school, I was extremely fortunate that I had the grades to do almost anything I wanted. I went into computers because that's where the money was at the time. Unfortunately, after a few years of programming I came to hate computers. So I decided to up the ante and go to medical school. The prestige was wonderful, the subject was interesting, but my heart wasn't in it and I left after my second year. Now, here I am, a 40-year old woman returning to school. What makes this time different? I am following my passion - fashion design. It may not be prestigious and I may not make a lot of money but my future has never looked brighter to me.

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Attending FIDM is the best decision I could have ever made. I would have never expected to feel as prepared for my future as I do in my last quarters. Not only have I been provided an incredible education via industry professionals, I have been given practical tools that I will take with me for the rest of my life. The overall student atmosphere is inspiring and encouraging. My classmates are as passionate and driven as I am and we all want one another to succeed. Looking back on my last two years on this campus, I have seen my confidence as a designer and a human being grow insurmountable amounts. I absolutely believe that I can do anything that I want to do. My future is so exciting and I can't wait to combine my focus, creativity, and industry savvy to create for the coming generations. None of this would have been possible had I not been backed by the most supportive college staff one could dream of. This experience and this school is truly invaluable.

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I spent my childhood growing up with a father in the military and a mother who was very sick and in and out of the hospital. My parents did their best to raise me, but I never had any real direction. I floated through school just waiting for it to be over and living in the moment. I had no clue what I wanted to do or be. If I could go back in time and speak with myself as a highschool senior, I would sit down with myself with a pen and a piece of paper and make myself write out what his future will look like. I would ask him to think about the things he is passionate about, and for each item I would sit with him and discuss a plan to enter into a career field in which he will enjoy. I would then discuss with him credit and how exactly it works. I would tell myself how to manage my credit and explain to him how vital his credit will be as an adult. I know that Randy learns things the hard way, I will just hope that he takes his own word for it.

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I am an online student in Illinois attending classes fron IADT-Tampa. I enjoy my online classroom activities, the workload is balanced and I have maintained a 4.0 GPA since I returned to school after a 5 year break. The main benefit for me is staying up to date with the latest technology. As a graphic designer and Advertising Major, it is crutial to my career to continue to gain knowledge in this format. In this economy, I feel it is more important than ever to have a degree and work experience in order to ensure job security. My chosen degree in advertising is a field in which I have worked in for many years, but having a degree will enable me to make a difference for my family that will impact our lives for years to come. Being awarded this scholarship would ensure my ability to continue my family legacy in the printing industry, developing earth-friendly designs and advertising concepts and providing quality services to my community.

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