Newsroom/Sun Devil life/ How coursework can impact a career

How coursework can impact a career

April 28, 2020 · 3 min read · By Zac Cunningham
My passion for communication was something that was always prevalent throughout my life, however it was something I didn’t discover until I was in my collegiate years. In my opinion, school wasn’t where you learned important life tools.

Zac's story

It did not teach how to write checks, about 401k’s, about taxes, about social interaction, etc. I really thought school was pointless, until one semester in junior college, I took a basic Communication course. I loved it a lot and I knew the information being conveyed would be applicable to my personal day to day life. It actually gave my education purpose.

While going to junior college, I also taught (and still do teach) jiu jitsu at Gracie University, the World Headquarters run by Rener and Ryron Gracie in Torrance, California. I am the youngest lead instructor on the team and mainly run kids classes, along with assisting the beginner adult classes. This job requires a lot of public speaking, teamwork, leadership, and strong communication knowledge in order to get the job done. This position took years to obtain and I love what I do. There was no question I didn’t want to leave it behind, it is what I want to do for the rest of my life. However, I really wanted to continue my education as well, at a highly reputable university. This is why I transferred to Arizona State University Online.

The information I was receiving about ASU Online was incredible. I felt the positive growth in my life as a result of it, which in turn, upgraded me to the next level. It is crazy to think that due to the Gracie family being who they are, and me learning from them since I was thirteen, I myself am considered one of the best in the world at teaching jiu jitsu. This has been the case since I was eighteen when I started running classes. I say this is crazy because this was before my education at Arizona State University Online, and since receiving the education, my teaching levels and my life have improved astronomically.

I find that because of my education, I am undoubtedly a better jiu jitsu instructor/practitioner. And when teaching, I feel more knowledgeable, more confident, and know that I handle confrontation and interactions with authority figures better. In life, I also feel more confident, open-minded, and knowledgeable. I feel like a better student, like a better partner in my relationship, and a better family member. The simpler way to put all of this is that overall, I feel like a better human being. This degree pathway will give you the essential tools to handle life. My goal in life is to impact every person I come across in a positive way, and ASU Online has given me tools that I will carry for the rest of my life in order to achieve that.

We're so excited to share Zac’s story!

Zac is a part of our #LearnASULive team, an ASU Online brand ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Zac so that you can follow along with his journey. To check out all his posts to date, visit Zac’s Instagram, Twitter and YouTube!

Want to hear from our other ambassadors, too? Use the #LearnASULive hashtag across your favorite social channels to browse through them!


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