When I got my final letter recognizing my graduation status as complete, I celebrated with an over-the-top-wear all your UT apparel-hook’em horns selfie, but I wasn’t always this excited to be a University of Texas at Austin Longhorn. There were days where I wanted to give up, pack my bags, and move back to my mom’s. And that is because I was accepted into UT’s very competitive photojournalism program of which I didn’t complete. My best friend claims that I said, “I’m going to dropout and pursue photography full-time.”
So, why didn’t I?
The reason I didn’t drop out of school to pursue photography full-time was because a degree helps beyond school book knowledge. Ben Briones Studios would not be as successful as it has become without the experiences a college education gives you. It feels good to have a bachelors from a university ranked 22nd best in the United States and the 8th best public university and 30th among the words universities. Earning a degree period, should push you to become a better you. UT’s motto is ‘What Starts Here Changes The World’ and I truly believe I am doing just that.
Here are five ways my degree has helped me:
- Status; because I am a Texas Ex I have booked clients on that connection alone. #HireALonghorn
- Discipline; deadlines, exams, and studying has allowed me to reactivate my inner-student and apply it to my photography career. As ‘pros’ we have multiple deadlines, we are faced with real life exams and photography is constantly changing so we must study to stay relevant.
- Network; the lawyer who setup my LLC was also a University of Texas graduate and the day I went to pay the $2500 setup fee, it miraculously dropped to $700 because it was ‘3 P.M. and OU STILL SUCKED.’
- Knowledge; my last semester I took an Introduction to Accounting course as an elective, which I dropped a few weeks before graduation, but the knowledge I gained you best believe it has helped me manage my business finances.
- Confidence; college is scary but when you graduate you come out a totally different person. Confidence is built through relationships made on campus. Confidence is built through class presentations. Confidence is built when you walk on stage to grab that fake diploma and walk off stage without falling flat on your face in front of all your classmates, family and friends.
When college and your photography career collide.