By Danielle Castillo
Assistant Content Director
From selling custom Lake Norcentra T-shirts in college to now running his own business, Rochester University alumnus Ryan Koral embodies thriving.
Koral graduated from RU, then named Rochester College, with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication in 2002. While a student, Koral worked in RU’s enrollment office, and he continued in that job after graduation. He was in charge of promoting events for enrollment, and in 2004, a year before YouTube launched, he acquired a video camera and began creating promotional videos for the university and later for his church.
A photographer friend asked if he was interested in shooting a wedding video for a couple on short notice. Koral said, “I was like shoot, $500 bucks, that sounds awesome. I don’t know how to shoot a wedding, but I’ll figure it out. So I figured it out and had a blast.”
Koral said he fell in love with making videos, and in 2005, he started a small video production company, called Epic Motion, where his company created cinema-style digital films for weddings and events. For the next decade, Koral said he was on a “hardcore mission trying to create legacy pieces for families.”
In 2012, he expanded his brand and started Tell Studios, which focused on video projects for corporations and organizations. Tell Studios has three full-time employees and various contractors to create content for clients. Koral said Tell shares “stories that captivate, influence and sell their audience. We use the power of story to help our clients get noticed for the things that make them great.”
Reflecting on his time at Rochester, Koral remembers designing and selling “Lake Norcentra swim team” T-shirts. He said he and several of his friends once swam in the lake’s murky brown water to the small island in the middle of the lake.
Koral also said spending time with professors outside of class, whether being invited to their homes for dinner or seeing them at other campus events, was special. “I felt like they cared for my overall person and success, not just academics. I think that was really super valuable to be a part of a small school that could offer that. That’s pretty unique.”
Koral said he made some of his best friends at RU. They laughed, cried, prayed and lost friends — all of which they did together. “Yeah, it was pretty amazing.”