Anaheta Agahian, BADAS 2020, is a co-owner of Ani & Cat LLC. She began working in the digital arts as Lighting Technician and Design Assistant for five years before pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida. She currently works in video production, design, motion graphics, and photography for corporate and municipal clients.
In what ways did your Digital Arts and Sciences experience prepare you for your career?
I started my career a bit before coming to the Digital Worlds. I had first worked as a theatrical lighting designer for several years, then eventually moved into co-owning a digital media company. Having that background, I think the biggest thing that [Digital Worlds] offered me was this diversity of experiences. At that time, we had started working on projection mapping; we did videography and photography and branding for events. I thought it was really, really amazing to sort of get an understanding of each one of these industries as a whole. The knowledge that I had existed primarily in videography and design, so I think that was the biggest thing: I gained insight into so many different fields at once. I’m not sure any other degree program offers that to such a big extent.
What do you like about your current career?
I love meeting people, talking to people, and (this was more of a pre-pandemic thing) getting to travel and see new places. A lot of what [my company] does is governmental work, so we work with cities on their identity initiative and to support their branding. Pre-pandemic, we used to travel around and do that in all sorts of different places. It’s really neat because you get to understand a city more intimately and dig into why it’s a great place to live. Even in my hometown these past few years, I’ve learned so many amazing things about it that have made me love living here even more, but I just never would have paid attention to it before.
What are some of your favorite memories from when you were in the program?
I have to say; I think my favorite memory would be that I did the degree entirely online from California. If I had to choose one, I think it would be my first convocation. I attended remotely and was actually at a job site, so I took it in my car from my phone. I thought it was such a funny thing that in this day and age, I could be in California somewhere and go log on with my phone to a classroom that’s in another state. I felt like it was a special moment because it’s just wild that we can do that. Sharing those landmark moments online is becoming more and more like a part of our everyday lives, too.
What advice would you give to current students?
Be open to exploring and trying new things, because again, this program has such a wide breadth of different topics that you can cover. I’d also say that every professor I’ve ever had here is really open to helping you. If you want to learn more about a topic or delve deeper, all of them are very interested in helping you succeed in that field. It’s invaluable to have people from so many different fields put together in the same room where you can pick their brains about each topic!