Zak Ciotti – Featured Alumni of April 2014
Zak Ciotti graduated from Dixie State University in the Spring of 2012. He was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Being partially home-educated allotted him to spend time on unorthodox crafts like costume/prop design and tricking an old DOS computer leading him into making his first animations in 1996. His parents bought a camcorder which he used off and on until he was 19, when he bought a digital camera.
He made brief scenes and short films while serving his church in north-eastern Europe, and continued when he returned to the United States. He moved to Utah and married his wife the next year. It was in Northern Utah that he worked with Adobe Company and was introduced to high-end video and motion graphics programs.
He attended a community college in Pennsylvania, and Brigham Young University. After looking into the several other schools, he found Dixie. Its sweeping communications program enveloped the best of all media, and its Center for Media Innovation had him sold. The program was new and changing every semester, giving students room for taking the initiative and doing things outside of the box. With the help of key members of CMI, he was given more hands-on opportunities that meant more to building his career than any other aspect in academia. His portfolio was outstanding after he graduated. He was the second person in his family to obtain an undergraduate degree. All the while, he sought out opportunities to grow his portfolio to represent the skills he knew he had, working almost solely in his field, and remaking his resume and managing his online reputation.
The summer following his graduation, he landed a senior position in the Creative Marketing Services department of an NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he won his first Emmy for a Promotional Campaign. He even delivered a Commencement Speech for the graduating class of an area media college. “Kind of crazy, I know. But I’ve not given too much counsel to my fears, and that’s led me in great paths.” -Zak
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