Meet Zac Cunningham, ASU Online’s newest Brand Ambassador
A California native with a passion for Jiu-Jitsu and love for learning, Zac wanted to study at a university that would allow him to advance his profession, while simultaneously fulfilling his passion. According to Zac, as soon as he started looking at options that would allow working full time and going to school, “Arizona State University seemed like the perfect fit.”
Now a junior, Zac aims to graduate with his Bachelor of Science in Communication this December and looks forward to using his degree to fuel his passion for teaching Jiu-Jitsu full time. “ASU has provided me with a lot…but most importantly, with a new motivation for education.” Read on to find out more about Zac’s background, what led him to ASU, and his advice on receiving an education in an online setting, while juggling his busy – and adventurous – everyday life.
Zac’s Road to ASU
Growing up, Zac loved to learn. His choice to pursue a new degree was motivated by an interest in continuing education and a renewed sense of wanting to belong, wanting to succeed, and wanting to feel excited to learn again. So he set out in search of the right program for him. With those things in mind, Zac also wanted “the recognition associated with going to a well-known school, with the notable nature of a successful programmatic structure.” When it came to selecting a school that would help him thrive in those areas, ASU very quickly became his No. 1 choice – and then, well, the rest is history.
A California native and loyal learner of his craft, Zac’s need for flexibility to create his own schedule and remain close to home led him to pursue the online degree program option in his educational journey. ASU’s Online programming offers the adaptability and accessibility Zac needed to get his degree, while traveling the country doing what he loved to do: teaching Jiu-Jitsu.
Juggling Passion and Profession
Working full time and going to school concurrently isn't always an easy task, but ASU Online makes it possible. When he’s not studying for classes, Zac is pursuing his other passion. Currently, he is the youngest lead instructor at the World Headquarters of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and knows that this is what he wants to do for the rest of his life. His dedication to the sport and commitment to continue growing in his field, puts him on the path to success, and ASU is helping him get there.
Zac is working towards earning his Bachelor of Science in Communication from ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The opportunity to use the public speaking and leadership skills he’s learned through his coursework have been invaluable in helping him grow his career. He brings the skills to life when communicating to his classes of 60+ Jiu- Jitsu students at once. He says, “I wanted something that would give me leadership capabilities and good skills that could be applied to the workforce. I love the way that my communications knowledge is useful in my everyday life!”
How does he do it? How does Zac juggle school, life, and work and still come out ahead? “I try to look at my list of priorities: ASU, Jiu- Jitsu, my girlfriend, and my family. Those four things wouldn’t be my priorities if they didn’t motivate me on their own. In the sense that I can use each one for motivation to push forward. I try to take it day by day.”
What’s next for Zac? He’s driven to reach the finish line and graduate this December. He said while he has “all of these exciting goals ahead of me,” Right now, he’s just “taking it week by week to get there and staying on my path and see where it takes me.” ASU provided Zac with valuable insight on his education and life, as a whole – it awarded him a new perspective on learning.