What I wish I knew as undergrad student

I wish someone would have mentored me in college. I thought I knew what I wanted to do and how to get there. Because of my personal pride, I moved on a fast track to nowhere. I wanted to teach at the college level and eventually earned a master's degree, but then I found out the master's degree was not strong enough. I earned another master's degree (Master of Professional Writing degree from USC) and it still wasn't enough. I finally earned a doctorate. So the lesson learned there was to not go it alone, find a mentor, a professor, a counselor, who could have guided me and saved me at least 5 years of extra graduate school I didn't need.

Three things I learned during my time as an undergrad

1. I learned not to be shy. Even if I had talent, no one was going to discover me. I had to get out there and sell myself.

2. I learned how important God is in my life. I accepted Christ my first year in college. I was really serious about living out my faith. That meant I had to give up some things that weren't healthy for me. I went to a college with 100 guys and 700 girls, so you see where I am going with this. I loved my new life in Christ whatever the cost.

3. Work hard and stay focused, and all good things will work out.

How I chose my graduate program

My graduate program kind of chose me. I was called in for an interview to teach Art Direction and Stagecraft at Loyola Marymount (LMU), but I only had a B.A. degree. Father Mike Callahan took a chance and hired me if I would complete the M.A. program in Communication Arts at night. I finished it in two years as he kept his word and I kept mine to finish in a timely manner.

Why I chose to go to grad school

I really wanted to be a professor at a college or university. People would tell me that it was a dream, but I proved it could be a reality. Of all places, I taught at USC School of Cinematic Arts for 10 years in addition to teaching at LMU for five and teaching at Biola for 25 years! I set a goal even though I took the long way around to get there.

My first career after graduation

One night at my church I saw a film produced by World Wide Pictures. I said to myself, "I'm going to work there." The next day I was at World Wide Pictures in Burbank (Billy Graham's film company) with a one page résumé and was hired on the spot.

It is great to dream. It is greater to dream and take a step toward that dream.

One regret, I wish I still had big hair like when I was an undergrad.

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