November 8, 2008

You Like Me, You Really Like Me! (34 Days)

Well, it's been quite a long week, but I don't think I could be much happier with how things went. I got lots of positive feedback during the career fair and the networking reception, and I've already been contacted by a couple of my interviewers, which is definitely a good sign. In addition, I've been working with some of my other contacts and I think I have a good lead on a position that would be just perfect for me, so I am pursuing that opportunity as diligently as I can.

With the career fair over and about 20+ applications to almost all my favorite studios, I think I am going to scale back my job search for a little while, at least the part where I apply to new companies. There are still a few places I want to make sure I hit, but then I want to leave time to work on my DFS, my thesis, and I design tests or interviews I end up landing. I have reason to believe that the career fair may result in at least one test if not more, so that's another thing I will be looking to complete on top of everything else, and I want to make sure I have at least some time for it.

Unfortunately, all this career stuff has made working on my DFS difficult from a time and motivation perspective. At this point, it seems like I have enough to get companies interested, which is what I want my portfolio to do, so I'm not sure how much value my current DFS has beyond its necessity for graduation. It's not that I think the project is unimportant, just not as important as the actual job search or trying to finish up my thesis. It's a hard decision to make, but it seems like something has to give right now, and DFS it's the most "bang for the buck" as it were.

Also, it looks like I'm almost definitely going to have to defer my thesis defense until after I graduate. I've been running over the thesis schedule I would need in order to defend before I graduate, and it would basically mean my entire thesis needs to be done within the next two to three weeks. That might be possible if I put DFS on the back burner and my job search doesn't become to intense, but one of those I don't have any control over and the other seems like I am playing with fire a bit. I've talked about it with my thesis advisor and supervisor and they have different views on the matter, so it's kind of a toss up. I may try to talk to my DFS professor just to get his take on it, and at least try to reassure him that I am not just blowing off his class. It's kind of a complicated juggling act right now.

All that being said, I'm pretty happy with where I am right now, especially when I consider where I was about 18 months ago. I mean, at GDC 2007 I was pratically begging for a job and I had absolutely no idea how the industry worked or what a game developer actually did. Now, I have a bunch of interviews and people emailing me to tell me how impressive a candidate I am. I'm not trying to sound conceded here, quite the opposite, the transition just amazes me so much because these two points in time, GDC 2007 and now, really stand out in my mind, and things have changed so much. Anyway, suffice it to say, I am very pleased with how the career fair went, though all the positive feedback on actually getting a job has made working on school projects a little more difficult.

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