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  1. Student Feature
  2. The Position Is Filled
Yellow post it note with the words Animators Wanted written on it

What could be getter than finding your dream job before you even graduate? We chat to three recent 3D Animation students who did just that.

The holy grail of any student is to be fully employed after graduation. For this blog post we talk to three animation students who managed this feat PRIOR to graduation. Chey Kidd, Ryker Duquette and Alison Gerwing are all currently CAT students in the Animation for Game, Film and Visual Effects program, and will be graduating at the end of this term. They are also already working.

Chey Kidd

CAT: Introduce yourself by indicating the studio you’re at and the position you have.

CK: I am a Junior Animator at Stellar Creative Lab.

CAT: How did this opportunity present itself?

CK: An email popped into my inbox, titled “A wild offer appears!”. It was from Kevin Kyle, my amazing mentor. He’s the Animation Supervisor at Stellar Creative Lab and previously taught at CAT.

CAT: What was the experience like getting the job? (the interview process, hearing that you got the job, etc…)

CK: After the initial email with the offer details, I was ecstatic! I happily agreed to an animation test in which I was given an audio file and 1 week to animate a 10 sec scene. After it was confirmed that I passed, we discussed a starting date and arranged a meeting to review and discuss the official contract.

CAT: What was it like in the early stages of your job?

Initially I was faced with a huge learning curve and complete schedule shuffle to accommodate my new work hours. It was incredibly daunting at times, but the team did a wonderful job at helping, reassuring, and aiding me with any struggles I had. I slowly, but steadily, found my footing and was able to genuinely enjoy the opportunity to work on a real TV show.

CAT: What do you feel specifically led to being hired for this position while still training in school?

CK: I took the initiative to reach out and ask Kevin to be my mentor. Not only did it really establish a connection with him, it also proved super useful in refining my animation skills and deepening my understanding of the animation industry. It drove home the point that hard skills (like animating) are pretty worthless without the soft skills of communication, understanding, and work/life balance.

CAT: What are your hopes for the future now that you have your foot in the door?

CK: I hope to continue to renew and renegotiate contracts at Stellar because it’s an amazing environment where I can really grow. Past that, I hope to one day have the skills, knowledge, and rapport to start my own studio in SK.

Stellar Creative Lab Logo, animation studio
Stellar Creative Lab

Ryker Duquette

CAT: Introduce yourself by indicating the studio you’re at and the position you have.

RD: Hi, I am a Junior Animator at Atomic Cartoons!

CAT: How did this opportunity present itself?

RD: This job presented itself through the company’s post on LinkedIn. I applied and was ecstatic when they messaged me for an interview opportunity.

CAT: What was the experience like getting the job? (the interview process, hearing that you got the job, etc…)

RD: I feel the interview went well, and they had mentioned they liked my first piece in my reel. I was nervous about the outcome when they later messaged that they hired me; it was nice knowing I’ve been given a chance to animate with an artist-driven team.

CAT: What are your hopes for the future now that you have your foot in the door?

RD: Overall, I have high hopes for the future! I’m not too sure where I see myself later in this career, but my biggest goal would be to one day work for Bungie!

Atomic Cartoons Logo, animation studio
Atomic Cartoons (CNW Group/Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.)

Alison Gerwing

CAT: Introduce yourself by indicating the studio you’re at and the position you have

AG: My name is Alison and I’m currently working at Stellar Creative Lab as a junior animator.

CAT: How did this opportunity present itself?

AG: This opportunity came from the previous 3D animation teacher, Kevin Kyle. He saw potential in my work and was able to support me and get me into Stellar as a junior animator.

CAT: What was the experience like getting the job? (the interview process, hearing that you got the job, etc…)

AG: Kevin approached me with the job offer and sent an animation test. Using an audio clip that Kevin provided, the final animation had to be completed in one short week. After I submitted, it felt like one long week until I heard back from Kevin that they were finalizing the details of bringing me onboard. I was super relieved and excited once I heard I was accepted.

CAT: What was it like in the early stages of your job?

AG: In the early stages, it was very overwhelming and intimidating. There were many new resources I was introduced to, and many unfamiliar steps to correctly open and set up the scenes I would be working on. Eventually, I did get the hang of it through repetition and writing stuff down.

CAT: What do you feel specifically led to being hired for this position while still training in school?

AG: I feel that my connection to Kevin was what led to this opportunity. I am also confident in my animation skills and ability to produce quality work.

CAT: What are your hopes for the future now that you have your foot in the door?

AG: I hope to continue to have a steady line of work at Stellar working on more TV shows. Perhaps in the more distant future I would also like to work on a feature film. It would be cool to see my name in the credits.

Stellar Creative Lab Logo, animation studio
Stellar Creative Lab

 

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