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Jon Writes:

Howdy, I’ve been reading everything you have on your site about building contacts and networking but I’ve found a snag that I was wondering if you could help me with. Currently I’m a student and the University of Texas A&M. I’m majoring in Architecture with plans on joining a graduate level program designed to teach 3d modeling, 3d programming, animation, and basically anything related to the special effects field of movies. But I want to get into games.

Here’s my question about your page. Where did you start? The bottom pages of your blogs are you talking to new contacts that you met through other contacts. How did you meet them? I don’t know anyone working professionally in the gamming market. I do know several animators that are currently unemployed .wince. be nice if they had a job, would make me feel better about the market. I would like to get into production as well.

I think the graduate program would prepare me very well for trying to tie everyone’s work and progress together, but I don’t think that alone will land me a job. I’m a member of TAGD, or the Texas Aggies Game Developers. But the project they are currently working on isn’t in need of artists or any form of supervision. So, um, where did you start? Again, thanks for your time.

My Reply

As far as my networking efforts are concerned, they started with my immediate friends and family. I sent a mass email out to the people I knew regardless of whether I had any reason to suspect they might know someone in the industry. In that email I told them what I was doing and who I wanted to meet (anyone related to the game industry in some way). Then I partied: I spent more and more time socializing and it just so happens that everyone asked about my profession. I told them I was working on learning more about the game industry. These two things got me a lot more leads than I expected…often from people I never would have guessed. My next lead generation tool was this website and domain, which turned every email I sent (scott@iwanttoworkatea.com) into a little advertisement for what I was trying to learn about. The website URL got forwarded because it was buzzy, and it reminded everyone I emailed that I was interested in meeting people in the game industry. My third set of tools were cold-calls and emails which I talk about here (sorry, forum link removed).

Updated on October 10th, 2013

Removed the link to a forum post that no longer exists.