Kristin Territo, BADAS 2004, is the founder and owner of her own business, KT Design Company (KTDC). The award-winning multimedia digital agency specializes in sports production, digital signage, motion graphics, video production, creative services, and more. Before being a business owner, Kristin gained over 13 years of industry experience as the Digital Signage Director for the Miami Heat. Kristin is a four-time Emmy Award nominee, an eleven-time Telly Award winner, and a fifteen-time Golden Matrix Award (GMA) winner — The GMAs are considered the “Academy Awards” of the electronic display industry in sports production.
In what ways did your Digital Arts and Sciences experience prepare you for your career?
I think in all kinds of ways that it possibly could. In college, in general, you have so many experiences. You learn how to manage your time properly, multitask, be a team player, and collaborate with others. All of those things are so important. The Digital Worlds Institute gave us the ability to hone in on those skills while developing new ones. I came into the program without much knowledge of the technical side of production. Digital Worlds exposed me to digital arts and taught me to explore ways to connect traditional art with digital production. The interdisciplinary skills I learned with DAS proved to be paramount as I advanced in my profession.
What do you like about your current career?
Now that I’m a business owner, I like having the ability to choose what kind of projects I want to work on — ones that have a lot of meaning to me, to my team — really being able to be creative with others. But also, the freedom that comes along with owning my own business. I worked in corporate for 13 years after I graduated from UF for the Miami Heat. I loved it; it was a dream job right out of college. I learned so much from so many incredibly talented colleagues that I worked with. It was a fulfilling career path, but now being a business owner, the possibilities are endless. You can be as creative and innovative as you want to be, and the results are incredibly rewarding.
What are some of your favorite memories from when you were in the program?
All of the late nights and friendships made, for sure. I graduated from UF in 2004, so I was one of the first classes to come through Digital Worlds. It was so new, and (I don’t mean this in a bad way) we were kind of guinea pigs of the program. There was no high-tech studio at the time and our curriculum was a hodgepodge of fine arts and computer science classes. The people I met and who were in the program with me, we were all in the grind together. We helped each other through it, and that was important because we were all just trying to figure it out. Developing those friendships and seeing what the capabilities were for the program was cool. We felt like we were part of something that was on the forefront, that wasn’t being done elsewhere, so it’s awesome to see how it’s the program has grown in the past 20 years.
What advice would you give to current students?
The best advice that I can give is to work as hard as possible because it’s your work ethic that will be the driving force of your successes in life. Never grow an ego because you can always continue to learn. I’ve been in the industry for 17 years now, and I’m still learning. Technology changes and software applications change. You always have to grow; you always have to challenge yourself. The second that you develop an ego is where you can start to go backward instead of forward. Maintain an intense work ethic, take pride in what you do and be passionate about the work that you put out.