I am so excited to share my interview with my very good friend Riley Maruyama for this episode, all about kicking his student debt to the curb. Riley and I go way back. 

We were in the same 30-person film program at Simon Fraser University back in 2005, we helped each other as crew members on multiple film shoots, and I even passed down my first basement suite to him after we all graduated (it was a really good deal, so we kept that suite in our “friend family” for quite a few years).

Since I’ve known Riley, he’s always been a true artist. In film school, he was known as the experimental filmmaker out of all of us. But why we got along so well was he was never that stereotypical art school kid. He had (and still has) the best sense of humour, but at the same time is incredibly philosophical.

And it very well could be because he’s equal parts creative and thoughtful that he realized how important it was to pay down his $35,000 student loan while still pursuing a career in the arts. Not an easy feat, but Riley is seriously talented and does not give up.

It’s certainly no surprise to me that he was able to crush his debt while eventually landing a job as a cinematic artist in the gaming industry.

Since I mentioned a few of the projects Riley’s worked on over the years in this episode, I’ve linked to them below (including his grad film!). I really hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did.

What I really wanted to share was that it’s not just a success story if you pay off your debt in record time. If it takes you a bit longer but you still end up paying it off — that’s still a huge accomplishment!

Riley’s Grad Film

Riley’s Demo Reel

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