These Grads Found Success With Multiple Full Sail Degrees
Published on Jan 31, 2020 by Abby Stassen
These three grads enhanced their education by pivoting to a different field with a second Full Sail degree.
Full Sail is no ordinary college. Each class mimics a day in your chosen field – but you're not married to a single industry after graduation. Going for a second degree in a different area of study can create unexpected opportunities for a completely unique career. These grads found success by forging their own paths with two or more Full Sail degrees.
Chris Misun became a triple threat with three degrees from Full Sail. His education helped him make his own success in smaller markets. "There may not be a chance for me to jump on a film shoot somewhere. What if I decided to move to some small town and keep everything going?" he says.
After winning a regional Emmy award as a commercial producer in Wisconsin, Chris's station shut down, and the whole crew trekked to Duluth, Minnesota. They helped launch a Fox affiliate station and Chris quickly raked in two more Emmy nominations. After a second move to Mississippi, Chris started his own company, Misun Media. The financial challenges that many new entrepreneurs struggle with were easier to navigate thanks to his Entertainment Business bachelor's. "I had the structure of how to start a business, how to do financing," he says.
Chris started substitute teaching around the same time, and it changed his career's trajectory. He realized that he wanted to become a higher education instructor — and that he needed a master's degree to do it.
Chris decided to return to Full Sail for a New Media Journalism Master's because the system worked well for him. "I need that hyper-learning education because I'm constantly thinking. So the structure that Full Sail put together works with my personality and how I learn." He built on his experience in the program and eventually became a Creative Services Senior Producer and Lecturer at Mississippi State University. He's now a full-time faculty member for MSU's New Broadcast and Digital Journalism program.
Being a student at Full Sail also influenced Chris's teaching style. He modifies his class structures to accommodate hands-on learning, and his students love it. "The real-world application that Full Sail gives you in the classroom is very different from other schools, where's it's book-based. Full Sail prepares you in a more useful way."
Steph Torres loves to sing, and she chose Full Sail's Music Business bachelor's degree program to help turn that love of music into a career.
She excelled at the marketing aspects of the Music Business program. Her colleagues took notice and put her in charge of the marketing assets for their final project, a business proposal for audio and speech recognition company SoundHound.
Steph headed back to the East Coast in 2015 to get her Professional Music Diploma from Berklee. "It made me a better musician altogether, but everybody was more into their artistry. I'm used to being on the business side of things."
After experiencing both sides of the music industry coin, Steph returned to Full Sail in 2017 for a master's degree in Internet Marketing. The courses in search engine optimization and digital marketing strategies laid a foundation for Steph's audio branding business, NoAnie Music.
She launched the business on freelance platforms and began writing jingles for clients. "We used ourselves as our own experiment to see if we could get ourselves out there on social media," she says. The experiment was a resounding success.
Once NoAnie was humming along, Steph realized it was time to turn up the volume on their internet marketing. She created a promotional video and used her SEO skills to push NoAnie to the top of freelance platform search results. Big clients like Denny's, Dominos, and the Oakland A's started asking for jingles and full-length songs.
"I didn't think I was ever going to go into entrepreneurship, but if you have a plan and it goes a different way, you shouldn't be upset about it," she says. "I'm so grateful, and I love the way my life has twisted and turned into something I never even imagined."
Shane Engelman's dual degrees helped him achieve his lifelong dream of moving to California. He lives in San Francisco, working remotely for Florida-based startup Magic Leap. The company's head-mounted Magic Leap One display blends computer-generated images with real-world objects, bringing augmented reality and computer vision to life.
The Digital Arts & Design program taught Shane techniques that he still uses on a daily basis, like vector arts and 3D modeling. He decided to expand on his interest in gaming in 2015 by pursuing a master's degree in Game Design. Shane saw the opportunity to snag more lucrative jobs with that second degree — aside from learning about games, the program prepared him to create interactive content. "In a subway system, you could have an interactive billboard display where the wind shows up in the billboard when the train arrives," he says. "That's interactive content, and that's what I was really interested in."
The Game Design master's also taught Shane how to navigate user experience and project management. His fully loaded resume made him invaluable to employers, granting him the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. In two years, Shane will start working remotely from his sailboat as he takes off from San Francisco and travels the world.