I can’t get a job because I don’t have any experience.
It has been over six months since I’ve graduated from Humber College for the Advanced Public Relations Diploma. That means the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is banging on the door for loan re-payments. There is only one problem, I still haven’t found a job.
I posted a rant three months ago about starting my journey into the video game industry. It seems there is no way into the entertainment sector for a recent graduate. Every employer wants “3-5 years experience” in anything. You name it, they want experience in it. By experience, they want previous careers in that role. The endless cycle (see above image).
There is one medium I haven’t used to rant: video. I picked up Sony Vegas Pro 12, and produced this video in a few short days. Take a look and let me know what you think!
It’s no secret what career I’m aiming for, however, it’s time I start going public with my search.
The reason I started this blog over two years ago is to show a video game company that I enjoy building and interacting with a community. The sense of people coming together to discus a common theme; to help improve a product and create a whole new world around it is thrilling. My goal to help build a community around a developer, and create a loyal fan base has never ceased, but getting started in this industry is discouraging.
Starting requires an internship
The closest I’ve ever got to a “job” in the video game industry is an internship with Ubisoft Toronto in the Communications Department. The Toronto studio for the French-native developer is responsible for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which is planned for release in Spring 2013.
At the time I was already doing an internship with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and my co-workers really encouraged me to go for another internship. I assume they could sense my enthusiasm and excitement for this awesome opportunity. Even though money is tight with only a part-time job to pay rent and bills, I went for it.
After some emails and phone calls back and forth between Heather Steele, the Communications Director at Ubisoft Toronto, I received an interview over the phone by someone in the HR department.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the internship. I guess the person on phone didn’t get the same vibes as my co-workers at MLSE. I sent off an email asking for an explanation, but it went unanswered.
Okay, now it’s up to me
Afterwards I thought if I build up a community around, well, me as a blogger or maybe even a writer of some sorts; it would make me more attractive to a potential employer. I redesigned ThatShortGuy.com and started blogging a lot more shortly after my internship with MLSE. It helped traffic, but no job offers. So I started looking around the internet to see what video game developers are in Toronto.
I found two different lists of video game companies in the Greater Toronto Area; the GameJobHunter list and CanDevs.ca list. My thought was to find a small developer; they would more likely be hiring and, at least in my opinion, be more open to hiring someone new to the industry (as long as they can prove they can do the job).
I found Bedlam Games. They where small and hiring! Jackpot!
However their last post is from June 2011, and they are the creators behind the poorly rated RPG, Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale. That probably should have set off some alarms, but I kept positive.
No worries, I thought, after some research I found Bedlam Games has some top-tier talent from developers such as Rockstar, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. And maybe they are two busy creating the next AAA game to keep their website up-to-date. All they really need is some constructive criticism from gamers that played the RPG and some PR work; something that I’m more than happy to do for them.
Before I sent off a résumé, I decided to ask the Toronto Video Game Community group on Facebook. The people in that group are highly knowledgeable of the video game scene in Toronto. I thought I could get the Communications Manager’s name (or the equivalent for a small company) and some more background information on the developer.
I got a quick response from Samantha Fraser. You may have seen her on Electric Playground, InnerSPACE and other media outlets.
It turns out Bedlam Games is, unfortunately, no longer with us.
So the search continues, but what does Toronto offer a recent graduate in the video game industry?
The big developers in Toronto like Ubisoft and Rockstar would probably want me to do an internship. That is, work for free first with no guarantee of a job afterwards. If I was still living with my parents, I’d jump at the chance to do an internship with either of those developers, but I’m not. Bills are piling up as it is.
Smaller developers in Toronto, on the other hand, are creating games for mobile, which is awesome, but I’m stuck with a Blackberry until my contract is up. Not to mention mobile games don’t interest me as much as console or PC games, but that could be due to not being able to play them.
So I’m stuck, but I’m not giving up! I know what I want to do with my life, I just need a chance.
So, dear gamers, what do you think I should do? Should I send a résumé to the big developers anyway? Should I try mobile game developers even though I probably haven’t play their game? And, on another topic, what do you think makes a good Community Manager?
We enjoy exploring Toronto’s geek culture and sharing it with you. Recently we took to The Richmond to test the Wii U and to get Nintendo’s Matt Ryan to answer your Wii U questions. We want to do more of that, but, alas, it all revolves around the all mighty dollar. Did you know it cost us 100 bucks to travel to and from The Richmond? Yikes!
You could support us with the donate button, but who wants to sponsor something that hasn’t done… much. Officially, we have been to two video game events, but only the last one did we ask you want you wanted to know. That’s how we want to continue doing things; attending Toronto events with your questions in mind. If you help us.
How about taking advantage of the deals below? While we get some commission to continue exploring Toronto’s geek hide-outs, you get a great new toy!
All deals end July 11, 2012. So hurry!
Hope you like these deals, and here’s to seeing how geeky Toronto can go!
There is something about sharing an experience that is truly romantic. Going to a concert with friends leads to memories that you’ll tell your grand kids one day. Dining out with family lets everyone try some new food together. Even watching a new movie with your girlfriend or boyfriend (as long as you’re watching the movie) gets you talking about a common experience. Yet you can’t truly share the experience of finding a cool article or video on the internet.
I use the word “romantic” loosely here. It’s not all lovey-dovey when you share an experience. It’s the fact whatever you share or comment on an article or video it says something about you. Something very… personal. You may get really excited over a new game, or you may outright hate it; those few words define you. But we have no medium to show the world our thoughts.
Think of it, you and I are just one of 140 million active accounts on Twitter. We are the needle in the haystack. A gem hidden from everyone, just waiting to be found. That’s where @TSGFeed comes in.
The account is set up to automatically share articles from reliable sources from around Nerd Kingdom. Think of the Twitter account as a public RSS reader of geeky news. The feed includes stories from Kotaku, to Hollywood Reporter to Gamer Unplugged plus many more. There is a twist, however. And this twist sets @TSGFeed apart of other automated feeds.
Unlike other automated accounts, I pay attention to the @mentions. That means any comments in response to a story that was posted on @TSGFeed, gets retweeted. Your comment will not only benefit your followers, but broadcasted to the many other followers of @TSGFeed.
There are two ways to make sure I notice your comment:
1. Use the old school way of retweeting. Copy and paste the tweet, add “RT @TSGFeed:” and put your comment infront of the “RT” or
2. Hit the reply link on the tweet in question, so that other people can follow the conversation back to the original story.
Now we can all experience the latest geeky news together with @TSGFeed being a medium to new followers and friends. Isn’t that romantic?
This is a continuing blog about my internship at Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment to help me with my final report. To read more posts about the internship, click on the “MLSE” link above.
That’s it. It’s all over. Four months of my life that just flew by. My internship with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has come to an end.
This entry can easily become a giant “thank you” post but that would serve no purpose to any students that wants to know about interning at MLSE. So let me quickly say “thank you” to all those that I worked with during my time there. Interning is a bittersweet gig; you gain friends knowing you will have to eventually say ‘good-bye’.
Continue reading “MLSE Internship: It’s All Over. Want to intern at MLSE?” »