IGDA Scholarships Presentation

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The IGDA Scholarships Presentation I gave for IGDA Chicago in October 2012, in which I detail the scholarships program and how students can put their best foot forward when applying. Includes tips form Scholar Alumni from around the world!

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IGDA Scholarships Presentation

  1. 1. presentsIGDA Scholarships The Insider Look
  2. 2. Heather M Decker-Davis, who?• Secretary, IGDA Chicago Board of Directors• Two-time IGDA Scholar• Currently on IGDA Scholarships Committee• Technical Artist at Spooky Cool Labs• …etc.
  3. 3. What is the IGDA?• Largest professional organization for video game developers – with chapters all over the world• Unites, advocates for, and enriches the lives of developers• igda.org
  4. 4. What it IsIGDA Scholarships get students into the most prominent industry events.Scholarships include:• Highest pass to the event• Mentorship• Studio tours
  5. 5. What it Isn’t• IGDA Scholarships are not:  Money towards tuition  A random drawing  A cash prize
  6. 6. Why Scholarships are Awesome• It’s a tremendous honor!!!• Get the ultimate access to conferences• Make amazing new friends from all over
  7. 7. Scholarships are Awesome +1• Connect with tons of insightful professionals in your field• Discover unique opportunities• Overall have a unique experience you’ll never forget
  8. 8. 2013 Scholarships Events [not yet announced to the public]
  9. 9. 2013 Scholarship Events• GDC• E3• Develop Brighton• IGDA Summit / Casual Connect• TGS• CEDEC
  10. 10. ApplyingQualifications• Meet the application deadline!• Full-time undergraduate, graduate or doctoral students are eligible• Must be at least 18 years old at event date• IGDA member in good standing
  11. 11. ApplyingConsiderations• Be realistic o You may apply for multiple scholarships o You are responsible for travel, accomodations, food, etc.• Supply and Demand o Limited number selected for each o GDC will inevitably receive the most applications and be the most competitive
  12. 12. Anatomy of an Application• All of your basic info• Short essays (250-500 words each)
  13. 13. Anatomy of an Application• Topics have included: – How do you volunteer in the game development community? – How do you volunteer outside of game dev? – Why do you think it’s important for developers to help other developers?
  14. 14. Anatomy of an Application– Describe a game project and what you learned.– Career Goals.– What is a specific initiative you’ve taken for your professional development?
  15. 15. The Judging Process• Applications are collected and judged by industry professionals• Each judge receives a group of applications, reviews them, ranks them, and returns the results• Little by little, applicants are whittled down to the best and brightest
  16. 16. Tips from Scholar Alumni
  17. 17. Luke DickenScotland, United Kingdom • Dont undersell yourself. • Your achievements may seem boring and dull to you, but they are often so much more and you dont realise. • Take pride in your achievements and showcase them in your application.
  18. 18. Luke Dicken Scotland, United Kingdom• Apply even if you dont think you will win. – If you dont win, learn from it and try to become the kind of student who will win next time.• If you do become a Scholar CAPITALISE ON IT• The Scholarship isnt a golden ticket to be experienced, its an opportunity to be seized.
  19. 19. Rebecca FernandezNew South Wales, Australia • Sit down and think about WHY you want to go to the event. • I wanted to go because Id just started my own company and I wanted to make contacts and learn as much as I could about the industry. • Wanting to go just so that you can hang out with "cool" game devs isnt really a reason.
  20. 20. Rebecca Fernandez New South Wales, Australia• Being able to show that you have initiative is really important. Getting involved in the local and/or online games community will really further your application.• Volunteer for things!
  21. 21. Rob MartinOntario, Canada • I would not be where I am today without the IGDA Scholarship Program. The relationships and contacts I made during my scholarship have directly led to my current employment at Ubisoft.
  22. 22. Rob Martin Ontario, Canada• Get on Twitter. It has the ability to put you in direct contact with people you would normally never of had the chance to meet. Start following and interacting with the IGDA community. It can be a great ice breaker and may give your application or name a "familiar" feeling. At the same time, be careful on how you represent yourself online. Dont say or post things that youll regret later or things that make you look like an idiot. Expect that the person reviewing your application will google you.
  23. 23. Rob Martin Ontario, Canada• Get involved in your citys game development community. Go to game jams, join an independent project and volunteer at events or conventions. These are things any prospective game developer should already be doing. Volunteer work goes a long way on an application.• Talk about some of your interests outside of video games. If you didnt like video games, you wouldnt be applying for the scholarship. Its okay to talk about some of your other interests. Maybe youre in to competitive wrestling or extreme barbecuing?, talk about it. It shows youre a balanced person.
  24. 24. Kyle RentschlerNew York, United States • Make it clear to the judges that the way you think about games has the potential to change games at large for the better, and that youre passionate about games. • Theres "thinking" about games versus truly THINKING about games, and "loving" games versus truly LOVING games, and its best if you dont come across as just another fanboy who merely "thinks" and "loves" in only the most superficial ways.
  25. 25. Kyle Rentschler New York, United States• Answer EVERY question, whether its optional or not. And dont just put a couple of sentences, but, if you can, use up all the space they give you.• Check for errors! If your essays are riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes, it will be held against you.
  26. 26. Nicholas Cassleman Illinois, United StatesApplying• Write your application early – Let it cool off for a week or two before editing – Ask for feedback from those who can provide critique – Make them remember you – Be specific and concrete – Apply your knowledge of game design!
  27. 27. Nicholas Cassleman Illinois, United StatesPreparations• Write down every date on your calendar• Look for funding sources – Your school may be able to fund you• Solidify accommodations early – Contact friends in the area – Coordinate with fellow scholars to share a space• Make yourself accessible – Print business cards – Tidy website – Work on elevator speech
  28. 28. Nicholas Cassleman Illinois, United StatesCourtesy• Make good use of your mentor time – Have a list of questions ready – Work around their schedule – Keep in touch afterwards, but dont overbear• Make a good impression – Be friendly and polite – Write stuff down• Be on time for meetings – Communicate if you cant make it• Send thank you notes
  29. 29. Overall Advice• Be yourself• Be honest• Be genuine• Communicate your deep passion for making games• Consider your audience when applying – Seasoned, volunteer professionals • Be clear and concise
  30. 30. On Standing Out• This is a competitive field.
  31. 31. On Standing Out• Get Involved! – Professional organizations • IGDA – Organization – Your local chapter – Global Game Jam – Clubs • School or community
  32. 32. Standing Out +1• Get Out There – Competitions • Independent Games Festival • Imagine Cup – Game Jams
  33. 33. If Youre Chosen• Professionalism++ – Be polite and courteous – Be punctual – See also: • Effective Networking in the Game Industry – From Darius Kazemi’s blog – tinysubversions.com/effective-networking/
  34. 34. Post-Scholarship• Definitely Must o Write a report for the IGDA o Share your media with the IGDA  pictures  videos o Market your Scholar self!  add IGDA Scholar to your resume  mention it in your bios
  35. 35. Post-Scholarship• Should Also o Stay connected with your scholar friends o Give back to the program  mentor  volunteer
  36. 36. How to Apply• Applications will open soon! • igda.org/scholarships• Follow IGDA Twitter – @igda• Keep tabs on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/IGDA.org• Prepare your awesome self!

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