On Friday, January 25, crowds of hopeful students with resumes in hand filled the Redmond Marriott Hotel for the fifth annual DigiPen Internship Fair. With 103 representatives from 26 game and tech companies — including giants like Nintendo, Epic Games, Insomniac Games, Xbox, Nvidia, and Crystal Dynamics — the fair was DigiPen’s largest yet, having more than doubled in size since its 2015 incarnation.
“Two years ago we had about 45 representatives registered,” Director of Career and Alumni Development Mojan Ahmadi said, “but we’ve encouraged more representatives to come from each company, so instead of having one, now we’ll have four or five.”
Those extra representatives had tangible, positive ripple effects for students hoping to land that big internship at their favorite company. For one, more reps meant faster lines, allowing students to chat and share their resumes with more employers. More reps also meant a broader range of disciplines were reflected, leading to conversations with students more tailored towards their unique skillsets, be it game design, software development, audio engineering, art and animation, and beyond.
One of the most visible signs of the Internship Fair’s success? “A lot more alumni working at the booth,” Ahmadi says. For the first time, alumni doing recruiting from behind the company booths were marked with a special “ALUMNI” ribbon attached to their badges.
It wasn’t just alumni who appeared at the company booths — some current DigiPen students greeted their fellow classmates as well. Take BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation senior Arin Domning, for example. She was on-hand representing Seattle indie game studio Midwinter Entertainment at this year’s festival, despite the fact that she hasn’t graduated yet. “Last year, I talked to Midwinter first at the internship fair and I loved it,” Domning says. “It was the best conversation by far I’d had with an employer.” Domning landed an internship with Midwinter, which snowballed into a part-time position as a software engineer, with a full-time offer on the table as soon as she graduates this year.
Fellow Midwinter engineer and Real-Time Interactive Simulation alumni Chase Rayment told a similar story. Currently enrolled in DigiPen’s Master of Science in Computer Science program, Rayment got an internship at Midwinter that turned into a part-time job, with a full-time job on offer once he graduates.
“It’s definitely a weird feeling being on this side of the booth,” Rayment said. “But it’s a really cool experience because I love getting to represent the company and talk to other people about what the industry is really like.”