April 25, 2019
“We are always looking for interns and I try to pick my interns from CIA all of the time, every year.”
By Jessica Moore
Jess Williams, art director at American Greetings Interactive, visited CIA during Spring Show to talk about her career path and to offer advice to students on landing a position or internship. She spoke candidly about the not-so-glamorous positions in her early career and also the hustle she put in before landing her current position, one that she’s passionate about. After her talk, she sat down with us for a Q&A.
How did you hear about Spring Show?
Anthony Scalmato (assistant professor and chair of Animation) reached out and asked me to speak about American Greetings, which is something I’m very passionate about because I love working there. We are always looking for interns, and I try to pick my interns from CIA all of the time, every year. Anthony’s been a great connection to have, and the program is just unrivaled from what I’ve seen. It’s just wonderful. We’re always looking to have options for when we have openings.
Have you been to Spring Show before?
I stopped by last year to see it in the evening, but I haven’t been a part of all the day’s activities. It’s super exciting.
Have you had a chance to look at the student artwork or interact with the students?
I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the students, and I got to speak with my intern from last year, Alex Marek (CIA Animation senior). I haven’t had the chance to walk through the building enough, but all of the artwork that’s up is incredible. It’s just a great vibe throughout the building.
What’s your impression of the students based on the interactions you’ve had with them?
I am so blown away by how professional and polished and comfortable your students are. They’re so confident in their work, and rightfully so. Their work is polished, they present themselves well, and they have a variety of styles. They’re all just really well-rounded artists.
What kind of skills are you looking for?
In my department, we’re looking for animation skills. In-house, we’re looking for people that have a variety of skills, and we’re looking for freelancers who have a particular skill that we want. So, we’re looking for somebody who’s really well-rounded, and most importantly has great ideas.
What advice would you give to students?
I guess the advice I would give to students would be to not stay so held on to your one dream. My dream was to work at Pixar. Be open to following your career and seeing what opportunities are out there. There are so many opportunities out there in this field, and every year, more and more things that need animation. So be open to seeing what kind of possibilities are out there. That’s how you get to the big jobs.
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