From passion to profession: iACADEMY alumni pave their non-traditional career paths to global stages

From passion to profession: iACADEMY alumni pave their non-traditional career paths to global stages

When it comes to building a career, following one's passion often isn't the obvious choice. Many people feel compelled to pursue traditional professions as dictated by cultural and societal expectations because such career paths are perceived to offer more stability and financial security.

Due to lack of awareness or understanding of the potential opportunities and growth within the creative industry, pursuing non-traditional career paths are seen by most as risky compared to other more common options.  However, some individuals dare to follow unconventional paths, pursuing their passion, and from there become true game changers. 

Forging unconventional career paths

Joshua Villena, iACADEMY graduate of BS Animation batch 2020

In a society where passion and profession often seem like two disparate paths, Joshua Villena proves that they can indeed coexist. Joshua, now a New York-based artist and designer, graduated from iACADEMY with a degree in Animation. Initially working with various animation studios, he eventually followed a non-traditional career path adhering to his passion, showcasing his art in exhibitions across the Philippines, Italy, Paris, and New York.

Joshua's journey to becoming an artist was not easy. His parents were initially opposed to his decision to pursue Fine Arts, especially given their financial struggles. As a result, Joshua started college studying Information Technology. However, his passion for art remained strong. In his third year of college, Joshua took a bold step by sending his application and portfolio to iACADEMY. Recognizing his exceptional talent, iACADEMY offered him a scholarship, which became the launchpad for his creative career.

In April, Joshua debuted his first solo exhibition, "The Arrival of Yeshua" featuring ten original artworks and a new streetwear line called Yeshua. This milestone not only highlights his individual success but also sets the stage for Filipino creatives on the global scene. As Joshua reflects, "Being a game changer is about not limiting yourself to what you know but always evolving and making space to learn. I want to be that representation in the creative industry."

Sabrina Maybituin, iAcademy graduate of BS Animation batch 2012

Sabrina Maybituin also took a non-traditional career path on her way to success. Starting as a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Animation, she quickly rose through the ranks to become Head of Client Relations at Top Draw Animation Inc. “My interest was really illustration, but being exposed to the production and opportunities to work with global creators such as Nickelodeon, it really sparked my love and passion for animation,” Sabrina shares. Her career began with the critically acclaimed first season of Jimmy’s Got Tentacles and progressed to iconic projects like The Tom & Jerry Show and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Netflix.

Ruka Azuma, iAcademy graduate of AB Multimedia Arts and Design batch 2022

Ruka Azuma’s career is a perfect blend of artistic vision and strategic thinking. As a former student leader, Ruka's leadership skills and creativity were evident early on. As a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker, Ruka operates his own studio, creating compelling short films while serving as a Senior Creative Strategy Officer at Eventscape Manila. His diverse career portfolio illustrates the various roles and industries one can take when pursuing a non-traditional career path.

Nuke Dumayas, iACADEMY graduate of BS Animation batch 2021

Nuke Dumayas, now a Technical Director at Puppeteer Animation Studios, found his calling through the mentorship and rigorous training provided to him back when he was still a student. His is a story of dedication and expert training that equipped him with the expertise needed to become a leading figure in animation. Nuke’s journey from a passionate student to a technical director underscores the importance of quality education and mentorship in transforming passion into professional expertise. 

Reinventing education for the future

The success stories of Joshua, Sabrina, Ruka, and Nuke show that forging a career path out of passion is not only possible but can lead to exceptional success.

These stories are a reminder that following one's passion, supported by the right environment and resources, can indeed become a viable and rewarding career path. Institutions like iAcademy, which is committed to reinventing education to meet the ever-changing needs of industries, produce game changers specializing in design, technology, and business excellence.

By embracing non-traditional career paths, iACADEMY demonstrates how a forward-thinking education fosters creativity, innovation, and leadership, empowering students to thrive in their respective fields.

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