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  • Networking Into The Games Industry As A New Grad

    - Patricia Dimaandal
  •  For many new grads, we all want to get out and start our careers. However, 2020 wasn't the most welcoming year. Everyone is working remotely and the job searching process became harsher on those who lack experience, especially in the games industry. I managed to have some success and wanted to share it with my fellow recent grads.

    First Step: Finding the Right Network (and taking advantage of it!)

    In July 2020, I signed up to be a mentee through the Games Research and User Experience (GRUX) Mentorship program. There are lots of great resources there to read through. They also have a Discord that is very welcoming to new grads.

    I wanted to get a better understanding of UX Design in games and see if this was the field for me. I had questions like:

    • What happens behind the scenes? 

    • What part of my UX self-education will I use in games UX?

    • What are some skills I should work on as I job search? 

    • How do you work with clients? 

    In about a week, I got an email from my mentor, Jason Schklar. He's one of the founders at UX is Fine! and a Game & UX Consultant. We chatted a bit regarding what I want to learn more about and he suggested that I intern at his company. At the time, I wanted to keep my expectations low - it's just an idea and there is no guarantee that I will be an intern. But, it made me happy that someone wanted to give me a chance in the game dev industry. This was my first lesson from Jason: 1) Find a network and don't be afraid to use it!

    Initial Internship Expectations

    By August 2020, I not only gained a mentor but an opportunity to intern at my mentor's company! I'll be honest - I didn't expect to get an internship of some kind this way. 

    Before the internship began, I sent over my initial goals:

    "As an intern at UX is Fine, these are my goals:

    1. Understand the UX workflow at a games UX studio.

    2. Build up my skills by assisting with client projects.

    3. Network and learn more about how the field came to be."

    I shared my goals with them and, in turn, they gave me their goals:

    "For UX is Fine, they want an internship for the following reasons:

    1. Identify new talent

      1. The current team is mostly top-heavy with senior designers, researchers, and more.

    2. Want to teach others about the field

      1. Art

      2. Traditional UX

      3. Game Design

    3. Share what we do."

    By outlining our goals, it helped us organize what we want to get out of this partnership. I personally believe that interns can provide a lot of perspective into how an organization is run. Afterall, interns see the company environment in a fresh light. So for those interns out there, be confident in yourselves - you're providing more to the company than you anticipate!


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