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Making the Connection: Real World Education Opportunities

Full Sail University focuses on industry-ready education, so it’s only natural that its students have opportunities to work on real-world projects while in school. Here are some of the professional connections, spanning multiple industries, that help provide Full Sail’s students with these important opportunities.


Beginning in 2012, WWE began filming its NXT television series at Full Sail’s Live Venue, opening up numerous opportunities for students work in the entertainment industry right from campus.

“Sports Marketing & Media, Entertainment Business, and Media Communications students work alongside WWE professionals in all aspects of production; from audio and video to lighting and set-up and tear-down,” says Josh Mora, Full Sail's Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships, of the NXT experience for students. “Business school-based students work with our WWE Student Initiative to handle the marketing, ticket distribution, hospitality, and crowd management aspects of each event.” These students have also traveled around the state of Florida to assist with remote shows.

“The relationship with WWE and NXT offers a myriad of benefits, from working alongside the best professionals in the industry, to career support and mentoring, to scholarship opportunities,” Josh continues. “They are able to reap the indirect benefits of being able to absorb - even without contact - the vibrant energy of what might be the best, most diverse sports entertainment company in the industry.”

In addition to these industry experiences, WWE has also given over $250,000 in scholarship donations to several students who have exhibited exceptional professionalism, creative talent, and maintain good academic standing while shadowing the WWE staff and crew during the production of NXT events at Full Sail.

In 2015, Full Sail University announced its joint initiative with award-winning online game developer and publisher Wargaming. This collaboration brought to life an exciting creative spaces on our campus - the Full Sail User Experience lab.

Dr. Shawn Stafford, Director of Research for F.I.R.E (Full Sail Institute for Research in Entertainment) and Game Design master’s course director, took some time to explain the importance of this relationship and what it means for Full Sail’s students.

“The entire objective of the lab is to work on real video game company projects; every project that comes into our lab will one day be on the market,” Shawn said. “Forty percent of those projects come directly from, with the other 60 percent coming from various companies around the country.

The User Experience lab offers various forms of playtesting equipment, and its latest addition, Affectiva - an emotional tracking algorithm that monitors different points on the face of the user - will allow developers to track the entire experience of the user.”

Vans Warped Tour

After five years of sponsoring the summer music festival Vans Warped Tour, Full Sail kicked it up a notch by announcing a stage sponsorship in 2016. Not only that, but Full Sail was part of Warped Tour history when the festival’s founder, Kevin Lyman, announced the full line-up from Full Sail’s Live Venue in 2016 and 2017 via live webcast.

“I was blown away by Full Sail’s facilities,” said Kevin during the 2016 announcement event. “To be able to use them for our artist announcement webcast was the perfect way to start our [affiliation].” The webcast also featured live performances from a selection of artists who performed on the tour.

Several grads have had the opportunity to travel and work on the Vans Warped Tour, executing roles in areas such as mobile production, sound engineering, and graphic design.


Full Sail has been a sponsor of the international digital festival known as OrlandoiX since 2015, when it debuted at the Orange County Convention Center. In 2017, the conference relocated to Full Sail’s campus. Other sponsors for the event include Microsoft, HTC Vive, EA Sports, and NASA.

The purpose of OrlandoiX is to promote Orlando as a global leader in entertainment technologies, simulation, digital arts, and interactive media. The conference takes place over three days and offers interactive exhibits, guest lectures, workshops, and more to give attendees a close-up look at the latest technology in their field.

“Full Sail has been a great partner throughout the lifetime of OrlandoiX. It’s a great school that provides a wonderful setting and opportunity for students to create interactive experiences related to virtual reality, video games, and digital entertainment,” said David.

Hall of Fame Week

Hall of Fame Week is one of the highlights of Full Sail’s calendar. The week brings in accomplished graduates and other professionals from throughout the entertainment industry to give students a chance to learn from and work with them directly. The week culminates with the induction of six alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their industry, as well as the Full Sail community.

The event features lectures, workshops, meet-and-greet sessions, and other educational opportunities for student. Previous experiences at Hall of Fame have featured live audio mixing sessions, personal branding workshops, portfolio reviews, and practical advice for success in your industry.

For more information about Hall of Fame, please visit the website.

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