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Career Feature: ‘Stories from the Intern-to-Hire Frontline’

Career Feature: ‘Stories from the Intern-to-Hire Frontline’

February 22, 2008 | By Jill Duffy

In its coverage of the 2008 GDC and IGDA Education Summit, sister web site has a new feature article about four students who recently graduated and are now working in the game industry. The pivotal moment in all their stories is having an internship.

A panel was put together recently at the IGDA Education Summit, where the graduates talked about how much their education and internships prepared them to work in the industry. Here's an excerpt from the summary article:

"The first question posed to the panelists was: Which of the following contributed most to you getting your first job: coursework, portfolio, internship, connections, placement services, other? Every panelist said hands-down, it was the internship.

Of course, the problem with internships is finding them, and then getting them. Robert Smith, who attended the Art Institute of San Francisco and now works at Shaba Games, said he found his internship through a well-connected professor who just happens to maintain strong connections with intern-seekers.

Matt Highison, who works at Cryptic Studios, said that while the internship is what directly led to a job offer, it was his art portfolio that got him the internship. Cryptic, he said, focuses very heavily on the portfolio work of the artists they hire. "Every piece counts," he said.

When asked about networking, the panelists were quick to point out the importance of networking within their own school, which is sometimes overlooked in favor of professional industry networking. But as Highison and several others mentioned, it was professors -- not game developers -- who helped them get an internship.

Doing some professional networking while an intern will be beneficial after graduation, but the professor networking is probably more important to landing those initial internships."

To read the complete article and the rest of the advice the game developers have to share, visit

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