The video medium to me is incredibly fascinating because in my experience no matter how much you know there’s always an infinite amount you can learn. So, please take this advice with a grain of salt because I’m no expert.

In the last two years I’ve worked and talked with some incredible people in this profession and time and time again I learn there is so much more to learn.

Being a former Division II guy (Delta State, Go Statesmen!) I learned quick you’re only as good as you want to be. Meaning I could push myself as much as I wanted because for the most part I answered to myself. That’s incredibly dangerous and a major opportunity at the same time.

I decided to attack the freedom as an opportunity. Working by myself I did everything I could do to get a leg up. I asked to go on every pre-season basketball road trip against SEC foes to meet their video production staff, in those trips I met with professionals from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas.

I also sent out cold emails to various schools to get advice as well. I had several responses that allowed me to meet incredibly talented individuals at Virginia, Duke, North Carolina State and Clemson. Two things stuck out with me during these trips: avoid saying you can’t do something–instead learn how to get it done and empower your students–challenge them and make them vital it’ll make you much more dynamic.

During my summer off from graduate school at Delta State I took up an internship with D.C. United as well.

Another incredibly valuable asset are tutorials on YouTube. Honestly, these videos have been my lifeline for learning After Effects over the last three years. Without them I’d just be staring at the screen for hours a day getting nowhere.

Getting thrown right into the fire though terrifying is also another great way to learn. Up until this year at UNC Greensboro, I had been part of a few live productions, now I’m a part of every live event we do here. To be honest this aspect has been challenging for me, it’s been like learning a language but I’ve embraced the failures and used them to improve.

At the end of the day Andrew Sorkin said it best, “The world doesn’t care how many times you fall down, as long as it’s one fewer than the number of times you get back up.”

My advice is to be a sponge; learn as much as you can from every resource possible. Not only that, but give back too. My most rewarding experience at Delta State was working with two student-athletes that knew nothing about a camera or Adobe Premiere Pro.

I had to sit down with them before every game to remind them how to shoot. That was in January, by May I had them shooting their own highlights and we would edit the videos together. It was incredible to see them grow from nothing to them being just as important, some days even more important, as I was within our staff.image1

When working with students I always think about my time in undergrad and how my leaders helped me. This one instance where my camera shoot was off campus and my camera wasn’t working I needed that person to set up and help me. Being a college student, I had no car and the equipment room was closed too. My project had blown up before my eyes.

So I called my video professor, knowing this had little to no chance of working. Ten minutes later that professor picked me up brought me to the equipment room traded out cameras and gave me a new disc.

People make the difference, be a difference maker and find people that help make a difference in your career!

With that being said if there is anyway I can help you please email me at sswyant@uncg.edu.

Also this is an incredible speech from Brad Stevens that everyone can learn from.

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