Get the latest Education e-news
 
Old 09-07-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
MAEnthoven
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss30
Location: Evanston, IL
Default Cold Calling?

Starting to panic once again. After a year of trying, I've still had absolutely no luck getting even an ounce of human response out of the industry. I feel like I have a great resume, blog, and portfolio. I'm doing everything I can on a daily basis to try to improve my portfolio further.

I refuse to give up.

For those who want the quick "about me" section, I'm currently a senior at Northwestern University graduating with a degree in Industrial Engineering this June. I have minors in both Computer Science and Marketing with just above a 3.0 GPA. Gaming wise, I maintain a personal gaming blog that's becoming pretty popular along with writing for worldofmatticus.com. I'm a guild leader of the #55 World of Warcraft guild in the United States, and we play together about 10 hours each week. Lastly, I have a portfolio consisting of an WoW add-on that's the "top" of its category along with two simple standalone games. I really want to bust into the industry through QA or design.

I've gone through the conventional channels and am about to resort to extremes:
- I've got a friend at the career services department at Stanford University who's letting me attend their career fair this October. Blizzard Entertainment and EA Games will both be there, and I'm hoping to make an initial contact and actually get some face time for once. This is "extreme" in the sense that I'm dropping $900 for a 1-day trip.



I'm considering cold calling. Does anyone have any specific tips for the game industry that might facilitate its success? Or is this just a terrible idea to begin with?
__________________
Portfolio/Resume: http://www.MatthewEnthoven.com
Blog: http://www.blacksen.com

Last edited by MAEnthoven : 09-07-2010 at 11:46 AM.
MAEnthoven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
tsloper
Super Moderator

Activity Longevity
4/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss1849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default

As I replied at GameDev's Breaking In forum:
Hi Matt, long time no see.
Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
1. This is "extreme" in the sense that I'm dropping $900 for a 1-day trip.
2. I'm considering cold calling. Does anyone have any specific tips for the game industry that might facilitate its success?
3. Or is this just a terrible idea to begin with?
1. Wow! From where?
2. Local calls only, of course. But who are you going to call and what are you going to say?
3. Depends. Where are you calling from, and where are you calling to, who are you calling, and what will you say?
__________________
Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done. www.sloperama.com

PLEASE do not use this website's PM feature to contact me.
tsloper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
MAEnthoven
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss30
Location: Evanston, IL
Default

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Hi Matt, long time no see.
Hi Tom. Glad to see you're still around. Replying here and on GameDev's Breaking In forum just for consistency.
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by MAEnthoven
1. This is "extreme" in the sense that I'm dropping $900 for a 1-day trip.
2. I'm considering cold calling. Does anyone have any specific tips for the game industry that might facilitate its success?
3. Or is this just a terrible idea to begin with?
1. Wow! From where?
2. Local calls only, of course. But who are you going to call and what are you going to say?
3. Depends. Where are you calling from, and where are you calling to, who are you calling, and what will you say?
1. Going off of the tickets I bought a week and a half ago from ORD to SFO for this weekend (including things like hotel and taxi's). It's probably cheaper if I buy now, but I can't buy until I verify I don't have a midterm or anything on that day. My classes don't start until September 21st. The benefit is that I have more time to decide.

2/3. I'm planning on directly calling individuals in the HR departments of a few companies. I'm probably going to end up getting voice mail, but that's okay. I'm still working on exactly what I'm going to say with the university's career services. It will probably be something like "Hey, this is Matthew Enthoven calling. I'm currently a senior at Northwestern University and was referred to you by <insert employee name>. I'm trying to get into the games industry after I graduate this June, and I was hoping to learn a bit more about life at <insert company name> and the career opportunities that you have available. If there's any time that anyone in your department has for an informational interview, please call me back at <insert phone # here>."

This is a rough, rough draft, but you get the idea.

In terms of how I got their phone number and the employee name, I've been a guild leader now for 3 years. I've talked to a lot of people in various games, and have recorded an out-of-game contact every time someone says that they work for a game company. I contacted all of them to get contacts in their respective HR departments - about 50% responded. I've got 11 HR phone numbers.
__________________
Portfolio/Resume: http://www.MatthewEnthoven.com
Blog: http://www.blacksen.com
MAEnthoven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
EccentricDuck
Junior Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 11/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssssss5
Default

It's interesting, I just got back from PAX and there was a panel addressing this. The consensus seems to be that when they ask you to apply a certain way - you apply the way they ask. They often turn down and throw out people who go outside the process they've set up (in many cases they say something like "submit on-line, do not drop-off/fax resume"). Big game companies get hundreds of applications every month and have HR departments that have processes for dealing with that. They like the process because it's nearly impossible to get applicants into a computerized database when they're all applying through different methods. Those resumes, unless received at something like a career fair, tend to get put to the side and forgotten about.

You're doing one thing that is definitely something that they liked to see. When asking about someone being out of school, they're glad to see someone continually improving their skill set and improving their resume - more so than recent grads who didn't have any experience with out-of-school learning and projects.

They love seeing people who make contact through things like BlizzCon or the GDC. Here's another thing, how is your resume tailored? When someone looks at your resume, do they go "Yeah, he's obviously QA" or do they go "Wait... what specifically was he applying for?" The people at the panel were emphasizing just how important it is to tailor yourself to a particular position. Even within programmers, they wanted to know if you were looking at the engine, physics, graphics, AI, UI, tools, database, client-server/networking, etc. Send in two resumes if you're looking at two distinct fields (I assume something like engine/physics programming could be one resume, but QA and Design are very different).

That's just what I heard from the people who do the hiring at some larger companies. Most of all, be sure not to come across as someone who's stalking them or being creepy by approaching them where they don't want to be approached. They told stories of people who waited outside of Blizzard and other places to talk to the programmers and get them to give them an "in" to the company. It almost always wound up with them being asked to apply normally and being blacklisted in more extreme cases.

Remember, they want to hire someone who they feel is a good fit, and they really do want to find out if you are indeed a good fit. Make it easy for them.
EccentricDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2010, 04:20 AM   #5
kbaxter
Member

Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssssss90
Default

You'll probably have a lot more luck getting ahold of someone closer to graduation. HR departments are very busy, so they're not all that likely to respond to you if they don't even have the option of hiring you right away. If they decided they wanted to hire you, they'd have to wait almost a year for you to graduate. And who knows what positions they'll be hiring for in a year!

I tried to contact a bunch of studios during my Senior year, but didn't hear back from any of them. Then, about a month before I graduated, I met some HR people from a local studio, applied through them, and got an offer. I really think my timing was just wrong earlier in the year.
__________________
Katherine Baxter
Programmer at Irrational Games
@kate_baxter
kbaxter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:08 AM.






UBM Tech