When many students think of the near future, it is accompanied by cringes and ugly cries. It’s hard enough to figure out what you want to eat for lunch tomorrow, much less what you want to do with the rest of your life.
However, not every student has this issue. Some people are able to use their skills and jump on board their careers early on, like UT alumnus and Advluence founder Ryan Littler.
In high school, Littler did freelance graphic and web design, while working with a local rapper from his hometown of Pittsburgh, who is now known far and wide as Wiz Khalifa. By the time Littler graduated from UT with his Advertising/PR degree in 2011, he had already made his mark in the Tampa area by helping build Legacy Production Group, LLC, which boasts online as “Tampa’s premier nightlife and event marketing company.”
“It almost seems as though advertising decided I was the right fit for it. I was simply doing something I enjoyed and people started liking it,” Littler said. “People started turning into clients and a hobby turned into my business, and ultimately my career. Every day is fun for me, always something new and never stagnant.”
The freelance design that Littler worked on during college developed into Advluence, his very own full-fledged advertising agency. Advluence’s impressive client list ranges from local businesses like The Outpost, to big names like Showtime Networks.
“I initially didn’t start my company with any intentions other than doing what I love,” Littler said. “I have always been a very visual and creative person, which lead me to find that I was an exceptional graphic designer. It started out by designing for fun, and through Legacy, I was able to work with restaurants, nightclubs and bars all the time. When they needed help with menus, business cards, flyers, etc., I was able to offer my skills. From there, my business was able to grow through referrals and people who trusted me.”
Littler explained that the best thing about advertising is the diversity of the projects his team works on for different clients. Advluence offers a wide variety of advertising services including design, video production, web design, ad campaigns and product launches.
“[In school], Ryan had an intense work ethic and that is often a sign of entrepreneurship. He was positive, enthusiastic and confident,” said Lisa Brock, a public relations adjunct professor. “But more than anything, he was willing to work. That effort makes a difference and is a compelling ingredient in achieving success. “
Not only does Littler keep in touch with his past professor, but he also works with UT alumni Miles Cable, Dylan Sellbery and Tyler LoPilato. Cable leads the video production team, Sellberg leads new business growth and LoPilato leads the web development team.
Littler advises fellow Spartans who might be looking into starting their own businesses.
“Be passionate about what you do,” Littler said. “ After you know you’re focused on your goals, be willing to make every sacrifice for your business. If you don’t ruin at least a relationship or two because of work, you’re doing it wrong. It is important to learn everything you can about your business, and when you think you know enough about it, learn about other companies in that field and how they operate. Be prepared to learn something new every day.”
Bianca Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org