daVinci Col­lege

Tech­ni­cal skills that ben­e­fit the grow­ing gam­ing in­dus­try

The Coast - Career Minded - - NEWS -

Aaron San­ford grew up watch­ing movies and play­ing video games. She con­sid­ered dig­i­tal me­dia a large part of her cul­ture and who she was. Yet in­stead of pur­su­ing her dream ca­reer in the dig­i­tal arts, she spent years work­ing in cus­tomer ser­vice.

How­ever, once San­ford par­tic­i­pated in Ka­ti­mavik – a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fer­ing young adults the op­por­tu­nity to gain valuable life skills through pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence in vol­un­teerism – she re­al­ized she needed to drop cus­tomer ser­vice in or­der to fol­low her pas­sion. San­ford heard through a col­league about daVinci Col­lege and their fo­cus on the tech­ni­cal arts, and af­ter some re­search, she re­al­ized it was the most ap­peal­ing pro­gram out there.

“Be­fore I started at daVinci, I wasn’t en­tirely aware of the num­ber of stu­dios or the grow­ing game in­dus­try that ex­ists in Hal­i­fax,” San­ford says about the con­nec­tions made through daVinci Col­lege. She is specif­i­cally aim­ing to­wards the video game or film in­dus­try and is cur­rently study­ing an­i­ma­tion for games, film and vis­ual ef­fects at daVinci.

2D/3D An­i­ma­tion and Dig­i­tal Art is a two-year di­ploma pro­gram fo­cus­ing on the tech­ni­cal skills needed in dig­i­tal me­dia. The pro­gram al­lows stu­dents to work with in­dus­try stan­dard soft­ware in learn­ing clas­sic and 3D an­i­ma­tion tech­niques.

“Our in­struc­tors have in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence and help us to learn the eti­quette of deal­ing with other pro­fes­sion­als. They give us di­rec­tion on how to prop­erly ap­proach fu­ture em­ploy­ers in the re­spec­tive in­dus­tries we are try­ing to en­ter,” says San­ford. She is at the point in her school ca­reer where she and her class­mates are pri­or­i­tiz­ing de­vel­op­ing port­fo­lios and work­ing to­wards their ca­reer fo­cus.

The an­i­ma­tion pro­gram of­fers teach­ings in a wide va­ri­ety of tech­niques, which San­ford says can be dif­fi­cult to bal­ance but is worth the range in port­fo­lio pieces. She spends long days putting in the time and ef­fort to­wards her projects to en­sure the best qual­ity prod­ucts, and it shows. “With this pro­gram, I have gained con­fi­dence in my­self for my fu­ture in the work­force. See­ing my own per­sonal growth, and pro­duc­ing work of a high stan­dard, I feel like I can en­ter a field that I am pas­sion­ate about,” says San­ford.

In Hal­i­fax’s grow­ing game in­dus­try, it’s im­por­tant to have a niche but also to present your­self as a per­son with mul­ti­ple tal­ents. The en­vi­ron­ment pre­sented to San­ford through daVinci helped put her un­der artis­tic pres­sure, where she could work well within dead­lines, while fos­ter­ing creative ideas for fu­ture projects. The in­struc­tors pre­pare her in every way so that she has the best pos­si­ble chance to suc­cess­fully en­ter this field.

“The work­load is heavy, and ex­pec­ta­tions that the in­struc­tors put on you are high, but this is what helps you later with the in­dus­try. This work is based off of the mer­its of your work, and is in­te­gral to get­ting the job you’re look­ing for.” This pro­gram may not be for ev­ery­one, says San­ford, but if you’re pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing things, daVinci is the en­vi­ron­ment for you.

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