Hey guys. I just graduated from college (RIT in Rochester, NY) but the job market has been kicking my ass.
What I'm looking to become:
What's going against me:
- Future Marketing Exec. Mktg is my main thing, and I'd love to be in charge of marketing and communication initiatives for gaming devs/pubs one day, like Reggie and Peter Moore. I feel that some execs today aren't in touch with what gamers really want because they weren't gamers since childhood. I want to change that. There doesn't seem to be many mktg opps at gaming companies since they outsource that kind of thing.
- Producer. I don't know anything about coding, but I have project management experience from my college major (more on that later), so I know what it takes to manage people and timelines. Fit that with my knowledge of the industry, love for games, and years of experience reviewing/critiquing games, and I think I could be a decent producer. But as Mr. Sloper has mentioned before, you have to breakthrough the industry egg somewhere else before you get to the Production gigs in the yolk.
What I have going for me
- I'm Canadian, and not American. I've gotten agonizingly close to scoring marketing gigs in the industry, but usually get turned down because they would rather have local candidates. (I had a great interview w/ Telltale Games on the E3 showfloor, literally, but got turned down because I wasn't located in SFO).
- Location. I'm currently living in Edmonton, Canada with my parents, being a recession orphan. The only thing gaming-related here is Bioware. Our career advisors always told us that 80% of jobs aren't posted, they are acquired through networking and knowing the right people. Networking doesn't seem to be an option here in Edmonton.
- Grades. I did Engineering as my undergrad and only realized it wasn't for me in my last year, so I lost a lot of motivation. The marketing and the gaming industry was the only thing on my mind. I came out with a 2.88 GPA. I wouldn't mind that, but it's keeping me from getting into an MBA or grad school that will help me move towards marketing.
- Parents. Sadly, since I'm currently broke, my parents quite the say in where/what I do because they're going financing my endeavors. The only way I can get out Edmonton is A) get a job and get out of their pocket/roof (hopefully), or B) take classes or go to grad school they approve. Grad school only starts in the Fall, and I doubt my sanity can last until then. No, I know it can't last. I would just leave home, head to the Bay Area and look for a job, but there's the not having money thing and Cali is expensive to live in.
- Good writing portfolio. I've been a games journalist for over 2yrs or so, for a Toronto-based games website and my college mag. I scored a press pass at E3 '09 and even got invited to the Microsoft press conference (one of the best moments of my life, great show). People have really enjoyed my writing over the years.
- Decent Marketing portfolio. I've done a lot of marketing work during my spare time during and after college. They've gotten me more interviews than my engineering degree. I've also done an internship with a gaming PR company; some of my clients were Terminal Reality (Ghostbusters) and Switchgames.
- Games Industry Exp - with the writing work, marketing work, PR internship and E3, I do have some industry work under my belt. Some people have none at all.
So what do I do?
One idea was to move to Vancouver. Aside from Montreal, it's the Canadian-equivalent to the games industry in the American west-coast. I was thinking of taking certificate courses in Project Management (or Mktg) at UBC, while networking and looking for jobs. Although there are less available opportunities to work in the industry in Canada, I should be a better candidate since I'm Canadian. [Anyone from Vancouver/BC that would like to share their opinions?]
Aside from that I'm clueless. Suggestions are appreciated. Applying for jobs from Edmonton is becoming incredibly frustrating.