According to Bay College graduate Tyler Myrick, he applied to Bay to save money while deciding on a career path. However, he did not expect how much of an impact his experiences here would have on his professional career.
Tyler graduated from Escanaba Senior High School in 2012. That autumn, he started taking classes at Bay.
“Honestly, I wasn’t 100 percent set on what I wanted to do. I originally started studying criminal justice, but I wanted to knock out my first couple of general education courses at Bay,” he said.
After his first year as a Bay College student, Tyler decided to switch gears. He had long been interested in the performing arts, and he had gotten involved with several plays when he was younger. Still, he did not plan to turn this interest into a job – at least, not at first.
“I watched a movie at Willow Creek Cinemas 8 here in town. After I watched that, I had a change of heart and decided to do what I wanted to do as a career,” he said.
Tyler greatly enjoyed the two years he spent as a Bay College student.
“I thought the Bay College experience was phenomenal. All the teachers were fantastic. It’s also nice for your first few steps to be in your hometown and in a smaller college environment,” he said.
In addition to his classes, Tyler was able to gain additional experience by working in Bay’s theater department. There, he helped Ed Dwyer run lighting and sound for events on campus.
“I loved it – I was able to get a head start working in a field that I wanted to have a career in,” he said.
Tyler earned an associate of arts degree from Bay, graduating as a Phi Theta Kappa member at the end of the winter 2014 semester. He went on to University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in drama in December 2015.
After college, Tyler headed to Los Angeles. He worked in the LA TV and film industry for three years.
“Then, I moved back to Milwaukee and started my own business. I do freelance videography, photography, and marketing,” he said.
That business, known as Portage Point Productions, is still active today. However, Tyler is no longer living in Milwaukee.
“My wife and I had a daughter during the pandemic, so we made a family decision to move back to our mutual hometown,” he said.
Tyler and his family moved back to the Upper Peninsula in May 2021. He said things have still been going smoothly for Portage Point Productions since the move.
“Business is still going really well. I’ve connected with a lot of local small businesses that I’ve been able to work for,” he said.
According to Tyler, the services provided by his business fill an underserved niche in the area.
“We’re so isolated up here, everything’s a little bit behind. To reach a bigger audience, you need to change and focus on digital marketing,” he said.
Though years have passed since Tyler last took classes at Bay College, he said he is still in contact with some of his instructors.
“I really connected with my teachers. I still touch base with Crystal and Ed – I’m close with them and my other teachers. They taught me a lot about how to be a better person and a better student,” he said.
He also encouraged people in the area who plan to attend college soon to give Bay a chance.
“Everyone wants that full college experience right away, but I think Bay is a fantastic place to start off your next step in life,” Tyler said.