JOBS IN GAMES: How to Level Up your games career

JOBS IN GAMES: How to Level Up your games career

So far our Jobs In Games special, in association with OPM, has looked at various ways into the industry through traditional job applications.

Today, we look at one of the options available for university graduates. Eutechnyx's head of recruitment Erin Turnbull tells us about the studio's graudate scheme, the Level Up Academy:

LEVELLING UP YOUR GAMES CAREER
by Erin Turnbull

At Eutechnyx we know a thing or two about graduate recruitment. We’ve run our successful Level Up Graduate Academy since 2006, having piloted the scheme for several years before this, and know first-hand the benefits of nurturing graduate talent.

Our initial brief for the Academy was to act as a first step into the commercial sector for graduates of suitable game-related courses, offering specialised training and mentoring, resulting in rapid career growth.

We could not have anticipated however, that six years down the line the majority of our Project Managers would have ascended through the ranks of the Academy and now manage our multi-million pound projects or that 40 per cent of our workforce would come directly from Level Up.

As our business develops, as does the Level Up Academy and we now offer graduate opportunities in a range of specialisms including Marketing, Design, Art, Animation and Programming (traditional Game and now Web for our online ventures).

If you are an aspiring undergraduate studying on a games related degree, here are a few tips on making it onto the Level Up Academy:

•    We can’t stress enough the importance of a strong demo or show reel. We look for quality not quantity. We’d rather see one portfolio piece polished to perfection than numerous sub-standard submissions.

For instance, if you’re a programming student submitting a game demo first and foremost make sure it works!

Once it is running ensure that it doesn’t crash or become stuck in an unusable state. These are the essentials! You need to then start thinking about your demo from a user perspective – if user input isn’t obvious, either a readme file or onscreen instructions should be included.

These details may seem small but it’s this polish that our Level Up team are looking for when sifting applications.

•    Ask yourself ‘how can I go above and beyond the degree curriculum?’ We are looking for the brightest and most passionate graduates. Competition for places on the scheme is immense. You must be able to demonstrate that you’ve done more than turn up for University lectures. Taking part in Beta testing and voluntary QA opportunities at a local studio is a great way to gain an insight into the industry whilst you’re still studying.

We are also always interested in candidates who have joined forces with students from other games disciplines for a collaborative project.

It’s great to see a demo from a small team of programmers and designers who’ve gotten together outside of study time to create something special.

This kind of working reflects the interaction between teams in a real studio environment and is an invaluable skill to have when applying for the Level Up Academy.

•    Ensure your CV is no longer than two pages and include the most relevant information first - your university course and grade, a breakdown of your final year module results, a link to your portfolio and any games related experience you have - placement year experience, testing work etc. Keep it brief and to the point!

Don’t forget to also submit a covering letter or email stating why you want to work at Eutechnyx. This is your opportunity to do some research on the company.

We don’t want to see a generic covering letter that you’ve sent to 50 other companies, do your research and tailor this to reflect the ethos of Eutechnyx.

So what happens next?

If you’re successful in gaining a Level Up Academy place you will first be assigned a mentor. This is someone who has progressed through the Academy and comes from the same discipline as you.

They’ll guide you through the process, providing invaluable day to day support as you navigate your way through your first games industry role.

There will be lots of staff in the same position as you (in the past year 14 graduates entered the Academy) and with regular team and company events, you’ll soon get to network with your fellow Level Uppers.

It’s a challenging environment. Eutechnyx values high performance and demands quality at all times. You will be expected to maintain this standard. You’ll be working on real game projects including NASCAR the Game, Ride to Hell and Auto Club Revolution, using the highest standard next-gen tech.

You’ll be expected to make a tangible contribution to your team and will see your name in the credits of your first console game.

With previous high performing Level Up employees now advising on the development of the Academy in addition to their senior roles, the emphasis for Eutechnyx is on fast-track career progression.

If you show the potential and have the right attitude, you’ll be in a ;ead role within a few years - two years is our current record!

With studios in Hong Kong, Chengdu and North America and a regular presence at worldwide tradeshows such as GDC and Gamescom, there are many opportunities for international travel with Level Up and you’ll be entitled to the full range of exciting staff benefits that Eutechnyx offers.

If this sounds like the kind of challenge you are looking for, please get in touch:levelup@eutechnyx.com

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Tags: jobs , eutechnyx , Jobs in Games , career guide , career , graduate , level up graduate academy

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