Posted:May 21, 2021
Like many young people, Sam Naidicz started college right after high school--before he was ready. "I was going to Century College in 2015-16, and dropped out," Sam remembers. "I just wasn’t ready to give it my full effort. And, before that, I hadn't enjoyed my high school years at all."
Owning a Successful Business
Flash forward to Spring 2021, and Sam, owner of Uel Weddings, a wedding video company, has just earned his AAS degree in Century's Filmmaking and Video Production program. In the intervening years, he got back on track. He started his own business in the summer of 2019, when he posted an ad on Craigslist, offering his services as a freelance videographer. Within a day, he had several jobs lined up, and within 2 days, he was doing a wedding. Soon he built his own website, had business cards printed and designed his own logo.
"I love the wedding environment. Everyone is happy, and it's a celebration," Sam says. "When shooting a wedding, it’s live. I'm under pressure to get that one good shot, and it's a great feeling of satisfaction, when you get that perfect shot."
Refining Skills and Knowledge at Century College
Besides working on his business, Sam decided to finish what he started at Century College. He wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of videography, and to learn more about business in general. "I was ready to take my business more seriously," Sam notes, “And professional training is super helpful.”
Sam learned the most from instructor Mike Eddy's video classes. "Mike really helped me with the nitty-gritty of the video business--helping me refine what I already knew," Sam says, "And instructor Emily Anderson helped me learn the business side of things, like perfecting a logo design."
Sam also loved his other Century College classes, and includes a (humanities) class about the history of American film as one of his favorites, as well. "I"m really interested in learning more about storytelling," he says. "It's another important skill to have, in my business."
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Sam's business went down, as couples delayed their marriage plans; however, things are starting up again. He has plans to spend more money on marketing, and may include other video-related jobs. (He first started working with creating music videos, then pivoted to weddings.)
Sam is looking forward to continuing to grow this business. "People getting married are typically easy-going and super happy. It’s cool that they’re trusting me with their videography—I want it to turn out well," he says. Ideally, Sam would like to build his business to the point where he is shooting one wedding per week. In time, he wants to have extra video work for a small staff--and that would include getting drone footage of weddings, creating more value for his services.
In the meantime, he's looking for work at local television stations, and he would love to get more experience as a production assistant or a producer.
Advice for New Students
For those how may be considering Century, Sam offers the following advice: "Century College is for everyone, a good school, and it's a really good option to get your generals done. You’ll save a lot of money doing that. I’ve seen what happens when friends go to universities when they aren’t ready, and they drop out, racking up a lot of student debt, and then, they can’t go back.
"I really believe that students should go to college when they're truly ready, and when they will put their full effort into it. When they know what they want to do." Sam added, "I was able to graduate without debt—I paid as I went. Why not go to Century College? You'll get a great education and save money."
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