Great to see some activity on the LJC mailing list, I can't remember a time it was so active.
As we are now getting 100 new members a month I thought there may be many new members that weren't aware of our efforts with students and graduates and how you could help out so I thought I'd let you know. If this scratches an itch, please do forward this on to other mailing lists or people you know in the industry
The most important thing you could do is complete a career interview for our GDC Careers
site. We have already had a handful of awesome interviews completed, but could do with a few more, ideally from developers/senior developers from someone within the social gaming, investment banking startup sectors, as these are where most of our questions are coming from. But we would love them from any corner of the industry. GDC Careers is an effort founded by James Bowkett and myself and our vision is to have[masked] interviews on there correctly categorised. I'll explain it's importance and relevance to what we're doing...
Within the Graduate Developer Community we have been working on the widely discussed disconnect between the academic and commercial industries. We have been trying to understand and bridge the gap for graduates for the last 3 years and whilst we still have a long way to go, we have come a long way. One area we are currently focussing on is helping people understand what they want to do and discover their specific passion for software. At RecWorks
, we are currently organising a series of events through the Graduate Developer Community branded as Meet a Mentor events
. We have partnered with lots of different universities in London (UCL, Kings, Queen Mary etc) and are in discussion with many more to run these events. The events run similarly to speed dating events; small groups of students (3-5) sit at tables with 1-2 experts/mentors. After 15 minutes the mentors go to another group of students and two new mentors come. It gives each student a chance to engage with a few people that have been through their careers to ask questions they would like to know about the various career options. We have had 6 events now and have over 80 mentors on the list representing many major software companies in London, financial institutions, industries and many exciting startups. We are hoping to run one of these events every two week in the next Academic year.
We have received some superb feedback, one recent graduate commenting he'd learned more in one evening than the whole of his final year. Perhaps an exaggeration, but representative of how valuable students and graduates are finding the experience.
The challenge is that the event can not answer every question of every student. It's great when we really help students and answer all their questions, but given everyones specific needs are different this can only happen to a small % of the audience. The intention of the event is to encourage students to start 'thinking' about their careers for themselves (most don't do this until they graduate). If students start thinking about what they may want to do and engage in some further personal research we have found that it leads to engaging with technical communities, getting internships and developing a great passion for what they do. This is where you guys come in. As we all know, the internet has an awesome amount of information, but can be so difficult to track down the right information for you. Many students come out of these events with an idea of what they want to do, others will come out knowing what they 'don't' want to do, either way most come out with more questions than they came in with... either way we want to strike while the iron is hot... take their enthusiasm to work this out and be able to point them in the direction of further research that they can do.
What we want to be able to do is point them to the GDC Careers page, so that they can get more of an idea which industry/job type really excites them. If just 2% of you were able to complete interviews, we'd have 50 extra interviews on the site.
If anyone is happy to complete a career interview, email me directly at [address removed] I will email you the details and process.
Have a great weekend guys.
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