DePaul Diaries: Life as a Social Media Intern

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


Have you ever wondered who’s behind the scenes on all of those social media accounts for your favorite brands and companies? Have you ever wanted to be the one creating all the funny and captivating posts you see on your timeline? Well, James Breslin, a Digital Cinema and Business Marketing major had the opportunity to be a social media manager during his internship at Facets Multimedia.

HiResJames originally found out about the opportunity to work at Facets during his freshman and sophomore years at DePaul, but finally decided to apply on Handshake this year as a junior. James’ official role was Social Media/Marketing Intern, but he spent a lot of time running the companies’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr accounts. He gained valuable experience in the social media world, as he spent much of his time writing copy for the accounts and other advertising initiatives. James said this experience was crucial to honing his practical skills, since, “[he] was given a lot of freedom, allowing [him] to set his own goals and problem solve in ways that worked for [him].”

While James said he really enjoyed his experience as a Facets intern, he was initially hesitant to accept the position because it was unpaid. However, he said, “I felt as though I was getting a good experience out of it, especially working for a nonprofit, and so I never felt as though I was putting in less effort just because I was not getting paid.” James’ experience with Facets shows that while unpaid internships aren’t for everyone, if you can afford to, they are still just as worthwhile.

I felt as though I was getting a good experience out of it, especially working for a nonprofit…

Along with the skills he worked to develop through the internship, James also worked on his professional development through the UIP 250: You, Your Work and the World class. James really enjoyed the class, as it gave him perspective on the professional world and helped him identify and apply the skills from his internship into a professional environment. He also said that the biggest thing he took from the course was the ability to market himself; James said he learned how to do this through a class assignment where he had to create a portfolio of all of the materials he worked on over his DePaul career.

Lastly, James said that the biggest piece of advice he would offer to future interns would be to “have a very positive attitude while working, as it makes all the difference in the world.” He also recommended networking with as many people as possible during an internship so these new connections can help down the line with references/recommendations and other job opportunities.


Want to learn more about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

 

The Gaming Industry: An Inside Scoop

By: Brett Prank, DePaul University computer game design major ‘19

I had the privilege of interviewing the DePaul University Fundamentals of Game Design Professor JJ Bakken, and ask him a few questions about the gaming industry. Not only does JJ teach at DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media, but he is also a producer for the gaming company, Wargaming.net, which is known for the popular “World of Tanks” games.

Brett: What got you interested in game design?

JJ: I’ve been playing video games for basically my whole life. I’ve always been interested in tinkering with and creating things, so when it came time to start thinking about what to do in the future, I thought, ‘Video games are real neat, I bet I could make those!’

Brett: What is your position at Wargaming and what are your goals?

JJ: I’m a producer. The Production department is the one that’s traditionally given the responsibility of being the glue that combines engineering, art, design, and QA. Our goals include managing the project, creating schedules, prioritizing work, etc. I personally run all our localization for World of Tanks. The game is translated into twelve different languages and I manage this process making sure that all new English text is translated on time and implemented into the game correctly. I also schedule all our Tank Production work, which means I make sure all the new tanks get made and put into the game on time. Finally, I also work with our external partners like Sony to ensure each new version of the game arrives safely and securely on the PlayStation 4.

Brett: On average, how much work is required of you in a single day?

JJ: I work a standard day; the great thing about Wargaming is we strive to have a good work-life balance. The goal is to make sure the game is running on time, and nobody has to work crazy long hours.

Brett: What has been your favorite moment working at Wargaming?

JJ: It may be cheesy, but February 12, 2014. This was the day that World of Tanks launched on the Xbox 360. I started my career in mobile games, but this was my first time shipping a console game. It felt great to see the game servers go live and people start playing the game. The reaction was positive! So many new people got to enjoy the game and we received some really great feedback.

Brett: What has been your least favorite moment working at Wargaming?

JJ: I don’t have a specific “least favorite” anything about Wargaming, but it’s always tough when some aspects of a project change unexpectedly or don’t finish on time. This is always a reality of making games, as it’s a complicated process! Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but it’s important to be flexible and have some plans in mind for when these things happen.

Brett: Is there anything you’d like to share with people trying to start a career in the gaming industry?

JJ: The best part about making games is that everybody can start doing it immediately. You don’t have to wait to finish a degree or get a job; the resources exist out there to start right now. There are tons of information and tools that exist for free on the Internet for people to make their own games. Even more basic than that, people can create board or card games in their living rooms tonight. As far as getting into the industry is concerned, the best advice I’d give is to be passionate. If you want to make games and that’s your passion, you need to work hard at it, spend those nights and weekends creating games, reading about design, art, or engineering, whatever your goal is. The key to success is just putting in the time to really understand and grow your skills.


Are you interested in connecting with a professional in the gaming industry? One way to get insider perspectives on an industry that interests you is by searching for a DePaul ASK mentor on Handshake! ASK mentors are here to provide information about what it’s like to work in the role or industry that excites you.