I've just spent the last week in sunny, warm San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference. While this post is not going to be exactly Tepper-experience-related, it is related to my own ambitions post-MBA.
GDC, as it's known, is a week-long conference for people in the video game industry. They had a Free-To-Play summit at the beginning of the week, which confirmed my attendance for the entire conference. There was also a Career Expo in the latter half of the week, which is what I've been waiting for all second-year to truly kick start my fulltime job recruitment experience.
Last year, I only attended the Friday Student day, as GDC coincided with Mini 1 finals. This year, it only fell in with week 2 of Mini 4, so I figured it would be all ok.
I learned a lot about the industry and the state it's in currently. I found that to be very useful, as I'm finding myself leaning towards mobile and social games in terms of career - where my MBA will be the most useful - as opposed to big studios where MBA is usually concurrent with either Finance or Marketing. The Free-to-Play (F2P) business model is also fascinating to me - I don't think I've encountered anything like it in any other environment, so it seems unique to video games. Being involved in the early stages of a successful business model is very enticing, I'll admit. I also discovered that a lot of Product Managers in this space assist in the actual game design - to try and integrate monetization methods primarily - which is also just as exciting. To be able to help design a game would be very very cool and tap into that creative side of me that rarely gets any light of day under normal working conditions.
On the other hand, I was a little disappointed with the Career Expo. I was there primarily to network and get a lot of opportunities for fulltime positions. My experience last year looking for internship was tepid - very few people had opportunities for MBA interns; the majority was full-time hire. And there were a lot of companies at the Expo. This time, it seemed that there weren't very many opportunities at all because the number of companies there were fewer! Casino games have become the Next Big Thing, and I really really don't like casino games.
Overall, it was a fun but exhausting week. I reconnected with a contact I made on LinkedIn last year, who I've been in regular email discussions with, and he's taken it upon himself to be a champion of me of sorts - absolutely amazing! I met a good number of people too, of which I have to follow up on.
It was rather sad to have to come back to school and this learning environment after having been immersed in the industry. I wanted to go back to work to apply the things that I knew, not just sit on them to be later forgotten.
As an aside - I am one of the 8000 Google Glass Explorers!