KOKOMO, Ind. — Even a CEO has to do his homework.
Anthony Rentz balances his final semester of Indiana University Kokomo classes, a full-time job at a local school, and owning a video production business. He looks forward to completing a Bachelor of Science in New Media Communication in May, so he can concentrate on his company.
“I look forward to pursuing a career, and a future, and not having to do homework every night on top of it,” Rentz said.
His classes, together with real-life work experience on campus and in the community, prepared him for the challenge of founding his live video production company, A-List Media, nearly a year ago.
“IU Kokomo paved the way for me,” he said. “It opened the door to the future, and I used what I learned in my classes as a springboard to a successful career.”
Rentz, 21, took his first classes on campus as a high school senior. Gregory Steel, associate professor of fine arts, was his instructor and told him about a potential campus job as a videographer with the Office of Media and Marketing. Having that opportunity solidified his decision to choose IU Kokomo.
“It was the right place for me,” he said. “You truly get a one-on-one experience with your faculty, who are truly invested in your success.”
The support of campus and community scholarships made having a job less important to pay for school, but the work gave him valuable hands-on career training and connections he’s already benefitted from having. As he grows his business, he makes a point of hiring students, paying it forward.
“Completing my degree without student loans made it achievable to start a business and reach out in a way that would not be possible with debt looming over me,” he said. “I try to reach out to young kids like I was, to offer them opportunities to work in video production, and learn from that experience.”
His campus job, together with his classes helped him build his video production skills.
“I experienced a whole different world, working on campus,” he said. “Mike Glassburn, the IU Kokomo videographer, was my number one mentor. We spent many late nights working together, and I learned a lot from him. That experience opened the door to other ways of growing my skills.”
That job led to an opportunity to work in video production and photography for the City of Kokomo, and then to his current job as technology integration specialist at Kokomo’s Taylor Community Schools.
Rentz, a Taylor High School graduate, is responsible for all corporation data reporting to the Indiana Department of Education, managing classroom technology, and repairing student devices in the one-to-one technology schools.
About a year ago he started his company, offering live video production for clients including The Sound of Music Rockstar Training Academy, Dance Elite’s annual recital, and the Kokomo homeschool graduation.
“I have a passion for live video production,” he said. “There’s the thrill, because you only have one chance to get it right. I offer an affordable way for people to get high quality video production in our community.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.