When Valerie Do first came to Think Tank she was expecting to expand her animation skills. However, while progressing through our full-time diploma program she soon discovered that her passion became creating environments. Fast forward to present day and that aspiration has now turned into flourishing career. Valerie has been working as a level artist at The Coalition Studio (Microsoft) since this last summer. We recently caught up with Valerie to hear more about the journey that took her from student to working professional.
I found out about Think Tank during a high school presentation and attended one of the open houses. At the time, I only had a photography portfolio and thought I wasn’t good enough to apply, so I ended up doing front-end web development and design for a couple of years. However, I soon realized I wanted to explore other options, so I thought of Think Tank again and decided to give it a shot. I was intending to study animation but after being exposed to the other options offered, I discovered that I loved creating environments more.
I would absolutely recommend Think Tank. The school provides the resources that most schools don’t give you. Whether it’s mentors, programs or references, the school will provide it for you if it’s viable. For the most part, it is really up to the students to use it to how they see fit. If the school didn’t allow me to borrow a free computer then I never would have finished my demo reel or even be hired now!
I honestly thought it was pretty difficult. I was always surrounded by talented people who passed their learning curve much quicker than I did and this got me down so many times. However, I always tried to pick myself up and keep moving forward.
My advice would be to not give up so quickly. Jobs will always come and go but if you don’t challenge yourself to improve or learn then you’ll never get better.