Interactive Ontario’s annual Black Youth Action Plan Hiring Fair creates opportunities for emerging Black professionals and students looking to get into game development. Ubisoft Toronto are proud supporters of this initiative and this year, Shaun Jennings, Technical Art Director on Far Cry 6, joined the panel to talk about his own career journey.
He inspired participants with his experiences alongside other top-talent from Electronic Arts, Northern Arena, and Snowed In Studios. From breaking into the industry to working as part of a large team, here are some of Jennings’ tips for achieving success.
Do you want to break into the games industry?
Jennings has worked in the games industry for over 15 years. A self-proclaimed “generalist”, he believes it is vital to stay open-minded and adapt to various projects. From developments in technology to new stories to be told, the gaming industry is constantly changing! Individuals from different backgrounds and skillsets are needed to share their expertise, from botany to rocket science. The trick, according to Jennings, is to find a way to apply your skills in a practical way by learning to collaborate, manage time effectively, and understand strategies and best practices.
To do this, here is his advice:
- Watch virtual conferences, workshops, and skill sharing sessions – many organizations post them online for free!
- Join online communities to network, stay on top of trends, and share your work
- Apply for internship and mentorship opportunities through programs like Ubisoft Toronto NEXT or The International Game Developers Association (IGDA)
Making the most of your first job in game development
Breaking into the industry is one thing, reaching your full potential is another. Panel moderator Carl-Edwin Michel from Northern Arena asked Shaun to reflect on the lessons he learned when he began his career, and the best decisions he made. This is what he shared:
Ask questions. When you get out of school, you think you know everything. This can be a good thing, but [it can also lead to] imposter syndrome and hold you back. It’s not about knowing the answers but understanding where to find them… I had a lot of mentorship and guidance [when I started], but I was very apprehensive. The best decision I made was when I decided to dive in.
The Black Youth Action Plan Hiring Fair is an annual event for students and emerging Black professionals to find quality work in game development and interactive digital media.
If you’re a student with goals of entering the video game industry, learn how you can land a paid internship with us this summer through Ubisoft Toronto NEXT!
Not a student? No problem. Find an opportunity that is right for you on our Career Page.