This was a quick interview with 3D Digital Graphics student Nick Miclette. I asked Nick to share his advice with other 3DDD students regarding internships.
Nick, this is your senior year in 3D Digital Graphics.
Nick: Yes it is! I’ve been looking forward to my senior year since a I was a sophomore. I think it’s pretty special that we’re given the opportunity to choose a year long project of our own choice. It’s the kind of thing you usually have to wait until graduate school for and its great that we’re given that creative freedom.
What types of internships have you done for during your summers?
Nick: Starting my senior year of high school I was given the opportunity to work with Doug Trumbull at his home studio, where I worked on modeling miniatures for superimposing into green screen shots. Then during my junior year here at RIT, I spent half year working with a IGM team under a NSF Grant on a educational AP Environmental Science game.
How did you find opportunities?
Nick: I would have to say a combination of luck and networking. My internship was through a friend of my high school advisor who introduced us, which lead to him setting up a meeting with Mr.Trumbull and I and eventually lead to the internship itself. My opportunities at RIT were through a professor (Shaun Foster) who introduced me to the project lead when a game art position became available in the IGM program.
Do you have advice for students thinking about going after internship opportunities?
Nick: Networking, networking, and networking. I really can’t stress that enough all my opportunities came from other friends/professors referring me which lead to an interviews. I think persistence is also helpful, if you first ask a friend or a professor and they don’t have anything right at that moment check back in a few weeks, showing a consistent interest I think goes a long way with alot of people. If you can be that first person that they think of when an opportunity pops up you’re much more likely to get a reference or an interview. Also don’t forget to apply to the smaller studio’s around your local area as well. The reality of the industry is most of those big studio jobs require some form of prior experience in the industry, so don’t get down on yourself if you don’t land those jobs. Often times spending some time at smaller studio’s gives you the opportunity to use them as stepping stones until you get that dream job you really wanted.
Did doing an internship change your motivation or focus your studies when you came back to school?
Nick: Both my internships we’re really great opportunities and they gave me the experience of working in a production environments. These opportunities definitely reinforced my work ethic, when you’re working 8-9 hours of day on the same project for months on end you learn to really focus in on the project at hand and look for new ways to keep your motivate high. Having the opportunity to work in both a film environment and a game development environment broadened my view on industry, there was definitely ups and downs to both sides of the industry after experiencing both I can’t really say which I like more at the moment. They both have solidified my confidence in my career path as a 3D artist but where that path takes me I’m unsure yet.
Examples of Nick’s work from Real Time Design and some examples of 3D objects Nick is working to convert into printable objects are featured below: