Winter Milek, originally from California, shares her experiences of London Met as an undergraduate studying Games Modelling, Animation and Effects – why she chose the course and what her dream job is when she graduates.
Tell us a bit about your course, and what you like about it.
One of my favourite aspects of the course is that it is hands-on. The entire course is project-based – not exams and not theory-based. Our courses are designed to simulate an actual games studio, and we work with the programming course and other courses to get as realistic as we can as to how an actual professional games company works. I think this gives us a huge advantage, while we can also pick our own projects and explore what we are interested in individually.
Have you had any work or industry experience as part of your course, and where/what did you do?
Yes actually! In our final year we have a required work placement, and a final project that often takes form of paid internships in our field. Even for first and second years there are a lot of opportunities. In my first year I was invited to three different games competitions, which led to some invaluable networking. Now in my second year we've been invited to VFX, various international GameJams and competitions, and a rising star program for paid internships. Nigel and Fiona, the two tutors who run our course, really go all out to get us work experience and get us prepared to head right into jobs on graduation.
Do you socialise outside university too? What sort of things do you enjoy?
Most of my socialising comes from a society that I run/am the president of. I run GTSF, the Games, Tabletop, Sci-fi and Fantasy society at London Met. This is our first full year being established, but we already have over 300 members, and events which I organise about once a month. This month we’re holding videogame competitions; next month we have a tabletop company coming to play mecha D&D with us, and in March we are going paintballing. We have a lot of fun, and work with other societies to try to involve as many London Met students as we can. We’re hoping to work with the Sports Society to start an official London Met Quidditch team soon.
Are you both from London originally?
No, I am from California, near Anaheim (where Disneyland is). I lived in Austria for a while after high school, but moved to London specifically for the course I’m on. It was a brilliant choice – I am absolutely loving my time in London and at London Met.
Do you live near the campus?
I live at Walthamstow Central. While not exactly next to the campus, its only about 20 minutes away by tube, so very quick to get to.
What would you like to do when you graduate?
I’m actually hoping to continue on to a PhD at London Met in animation, but after that I would like to work (we’re talking dream job here) for Lego, designing models for their video-games or figures. There’s a couple of other large games companies I’d like to work for if given the chance, like Talltale and Lionsgate. I want to be a part of creating the games I love to play.
What are your best tips for new students at London Met?
Don't be afraid to talk to your course leaders or tutors about issues they may have. The tutors at London Met really care about students who try hard, and they will help you inside of class and out. If you ever have any problems, London Met’s STaR (Student Academic Representatives) program is amazing, and it makes real changes to the way the University is run. Here students have a voice, and we get to work with staff, not against them, to create a place to learn we’re all happy with. If you're outspoken, definitely volunteer to be the STaR of your course. You can really make changes happen to give yourself the best chance after you graduate. Also, join a society! Meet people who have the same interests as you that you never would have met otherwise. Enjoy your time here!