I was very pleased to find out that the school’s Connect site ran the article I submitted to them a few weeks ago on this morning’s blog. Woohoo!
That is officially my 16th publication since I’ve started sending out my work in July 2012, so I’m feeling pretty excited for what the future holds in store for me in the coming months.
Since I cannot link directly to the article, below you’ll find a copy/paste. I hope you find the information useful!
Networking Beyond the Classroom: Get Connected Wherever You Are
Posted on Mar 12, 2013
With more than 50 percent of the student population studying online, it’s no surprise that your instructors are constantly encouraging you to network with your classmates and to get involved in the industry before graduation. But how, exactly, do you get started if you don’t live in the area? Here are a few simple suggestions.
Classmates: They’re More Than a Discussion Board Post
Every day you log into the FSO portal, you’re potentially coming in contact with hundreds and hundreds of industry professionals. Students of all ages and professions are studying at Full Sail University, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. Use the discussion boards on Connect to engage in positive dialogue and build relationships. Even if your classmates aren’t established in the industry yet, you do not know how far they’re going to go in the future!
As an example, several of the Full Sail 13 graduates who worked on the hit game, Red Dead Redemption, knew each other from their Game Development program – and that’s how some of them got pulled onto the team.
Hop Online: Researching Your Area
The Internet is for more than just watching videos and creating hilarious memes. At your fingertips, you have an unlimited directory of industry resources just waiting to be found. For example, if you’re an aspiring filmmaker, websites such as Meet-Up and Video University are great for connecting with local editors, videographers, photographers, and even actors. If you’re an aspiring writer, check out your local public library – chances are that they host several writing workshops and/or book clubs that you can take advantage of. For those living in the Orlando area, a great [free!] workshop can be found at the Maitland Public Library.
And don’t forget the many, many professional sites that serve as communities for people in specialized professions, such as Spline Doctors for animators or AIGA for designers.
Not Much Going on in Your Hometown? START SOMETHING!
If you’re having a hard time finding groups in your community that share your common interests, start one yourself! Sites like Meetup, Eventbrite, and yes, even Facebook can be used to create a social group and spread the word quickly. You can host physical meetings (most libraries will let you borrow an office/room without charge) or use online platforms to have digital meetings. A few free webinar hosting sites are WebEx, AnyMeeting, GoToMeeting, and GatherPlace, but you should choose the one that works best for you; you may decide that Google Hangouts are the way to go.
Don’t Wait for Graduation
The sooner you start networking, the bigger your network will be. If you wait to get involved, you’re going to be behind the eight ball at graduation. Even if you have to start on a small scale, begin collaborating on projects, attend workshops and events in your neighborhood, and work to get your name known in the local writers/gamers/filmmakers community. The more people you know and the larger your portfolio by your graduation day, the better off you’ll be when you start your job hunt.
Optimistic I’m going to have two good days in a row,