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#1 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:28 AM

Some of you might remember me, but I'm a student at Northwestern University struggling to get a summer internship in game design or production. For long-term career goals, I'd like to get more into the business side of making games (product management, marketing) but I haven't really seen a good break-in opportunity for either. I've been spending a lot of my time over the past six months learning how to do something in the games industry, and am really enjoying it. However, the frustration of not being able to get an interview has left me considering other alternatives. I've been advised by several relatives and a games entertainment marketer that I should find email addresses of people (not departments) and send my resume directly to them, saying "I'll be in L.A. from March 18th-28th if you have anyone that can sit down for lunch and an informational interview" or something like that. I've tried going through the "normal" system but am having very limited success. I cannot go to GDC as it's during my exam schedule, and I'd prefer keeping my focus on my studies. I'm going to see some family in L.A. and San Fransisco, but obviously am really trying to get a break in job. It seems like a good break-in tactic, but it also seems like it could be disastrous. I'm worried I could get on a "do not hire" list, or it would just seem desperate (though I am starting to get desperate). I don't want to burn bridges for post-graduation opportunities. Is this a good idea, or should I continue sticking with the normal system?

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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22737

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 06:37 AM

Few companies are hiring right now.

Those that are hiring can take their pick from many experienced workers who were laid off or are still leaving companies that treated them poorly.



Sending out your "interview me" request like that won't land you on a do-not-hire list at big companies because they discard most solicitations like that. It may have an impact against you on smaller companies if they remember you, but probably not. It also probably won't get you an interview, but you never know, so do what you feel is best for your career. It should be obvious, but be prepared to pay for your lunch and theirs if they accept; they may bring more than one person, and they will be expecting something better than McDonald's.


You are correct to keep your focus on school. Even when the market is good, few companies are interested in entry-level workers they complete the degree.

#3 SigmaX   Members   -  Reputation: 317

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 07:04 AM


If your looking into the business side of things, expand your search to outside the gaming industry. Experience is so important when finding a job. If you can get a job in any field as a project manager, you'll have a much easier time getting into the gaming industry as a project manager. Generally with business most skills are transferable from industry to industry.

If your having no luck with gaming companies, move out to the IT industry. You might have an easier time getting a job there. Once you have experience, people will be much more interested in hiring you.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10161

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 07:50 AM

Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
I've been advised by several relatives and a games entertainment marketer that I should find email addresses of people (not departments) and send my resume directly to them, saying "I'll be in L.A. from March 18th-28th if you have anyone that can sit down for lunch and an informational interview" or something like that.

No need to include the resume if you're suggesting lunch or requesting informational interview.
Not many will respond, probably.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:53 AM

Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
I'd like to get more into the business side of making games (product management, marketing) but I haven't really seen a good break-in opportunity for either.

Just checking - are you contacting companies and asking if they have any internships, or are you just looking for advertised positions? many companies wont advertise internships or entry level positions because they don't need to. They get plenty of applications without advertising.

It is also important that your application is clearly aimed at one position. Marketing and production are two totally different areas and a generic application for "marketing or production" is going to appear unfocused when compared to an application that is focused on just one.

I would also echo SigmaX's advise. Especially in relation to marketing you should widen your field and apply to any entertainment related industry. The basics of marketing apply across every industry so experience gained elsewhere will be useful in the games industry.

Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

#6 Orymus   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:43 PM

My personal advice would be to "get in" first, and "push in a direction" later.
I personally went the QA road, being perfectly honest about my longterm plans during the interview. You would be surprised how fast things can go from there if you're as serious as you claim :)

#7 nilkn   Members   -  Reputation: 960

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 06:33 PM

If you want to do marketing, you should absolutely avoid only applying for jobs in a very specific field. Many people in marketing start in a field they are not necessarily an expert in but develop an expertise over time.

With marketing, you sort of are going to have to allow yourself to go wherever the flow takes you at least at the beginning of your career and, what is more likely, for its entirety.




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