Make your passion your job


Guest correspondence

Photo courtesy of Ringling College

In an article on, Steve Olsher wrote: “We are often told that if we pursue our passion and do what we love for a career, we will never, to quote Confucius, have to work a single day. in our life. “

At Ringling College of Art and Design, we support our students in transforming their passion into a profession. And these aren’t just any professions, but highly marketable professions and in demand with some of the world’s most sought-after companies and brands.

The creative skills that our students master today – visual communication, design thinking and even virtual reality – are the energy sources of our future. So what our Ringling College students are learning today will fuel the world in a whole new way for years to come.

For many of our students, when they first enter Ringling Campus, they have already discovered their passion. So it’s our job to give them the education and skills they need to translate that passion into a lucrative career.

In this new column series, we’ll dive into the 13 specialties offered at Ringling College of Art and Design and learn more about how we prepare our students to become the next generation of creative visionaries.

The first step in the process, of course, is discovering your true passion, a process that can happen suddenly or over the course of many years.

Erika Andersen, founding partner of Proteus International, notes in Forbes that while finding your passion is a good place to start, there are other things to consider as you set out to turn that passion into a profession. “When you find something that excites you; something you’re really good at; and something that can drive your economic engine by delivering unique value to people, you may have just found your professional calling, ”she said.

A study by Deloitte University Press ( cites reports that up to 87.7% of the US workforce is unable to reach its full potential because it lacks of passion for his work. “Your passion should be the thing you love and are naturally ready to excel at,” wrote Jacqueline Whitmore, adding that there is an important difference between a hobby and a passion, and that it is crucial that you distinguish the two when considering a career.

For example, for some, playing a computer or video games may just be a fun way to pass the time. While for others, a Cintiq tablet or the building of a world can be the gateway to unleashing their unlimited creativity, their passion, which, with the right training and skills, could translate into a career. rewarding and very profitable.

Ringling College offers a variety of cutting-edge tools for students to develop their passion, including: INDEX (Industry Experience at Ringling College), providing students with professional and experiential opportunities; Makerspace, a collection of interdisciplinary studios on campus; and Ringling College Studio Labs, a 36,000 square foot professional filming and post-production complex.

It is because of such tools and resources and the overall quality of our programs that Ringling students and graduates are attracting the attention of today’s leading companies.

Electronic Arts, one of the world’s leading interactive entertainment companies, currently employs 31 Ringling students and alumni. One of their recruiters said, “When we see the Ringling credential attached to a candidate, we immediately take note of it. And as Ken Maruyama, former executive director of Sony Pictures Imageworks, notes from Ringling College, “The real passion for creativity here is on a higher level than any other school we recruit to.”

And, yes, it all starts with passion. As local author Stephen King wrote, “Yes, I made a lot of money with my fiction, but I never wrote a single word on paper with the idea of ​​getting paid for it. … I wrote because it filled me up… I did it for the buzz… I did it for the sheer happiness of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.

Dr Larry Thompson is president of the Ringling College of Art & Design.

Photo courtesy of Ringling College

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