Press Office


Students take gaming to the next level


Students from Newcastle University are on track for career success after being taken on full-time after an internship at a major North East computer game developer.

Jack Taylor, 22, Jordan Wise, 22 and Sam Collier, 23 are all just about to finish the final year of their MSc in Video Game Engineering and had the opportunity to work at video game developer Reflections, a Ubisoft studio, as part of their studies. They impressed the company so much that they have now been given permanent contracts to start work this month.

The three programmers are all working on new games, including Just Dance 4 (Xbox 360 + PS Move), which was only announced in June at the E3 entertainment conference in the United States.

The internship was a chance for them to put the skills learnt in the lecture theatre to the test in the real world.

Jack, from Four Lane Ends, said: “I’ve learnt so much in just the short period of time I’ve been here. It’s a real eye opener. It’s interesting to find out how companies operate within the teams, for example, we work directly with an artist on the part of the game we are working on. I’m delighted to have been offered the job permanently.”

Jordan, from Keighley in Yorkshire, said: “I would recommend a placement in industry to anyone who is considering it. It just makes everything you learn come together clearly. We work with Ubisoft studios all over the world and you are aware that if you make a mistake you will be wasting a lot of people’s time. You learn fast when the pressure is on!”

Reflections based at Newcastle Business Park, employs 140 staff and has created and collaborated on a huge selection of award winning video games, including the multi-million selling Driver series, Just Dance 3 (Xbox 360 and PS Move) and Ghost Recon Future Soldier.

Michael Troughton, Director of Technology at Reflections, said: “We have been very impressed with the level of the students. They have brought a lot of fresh ideas to the company and it’s great to see, that is why we decided to hire them full-time.

“It’s important for them to get a close look at the real world of computer game design and to learn how to operate as part of a team, so the internships are something which benefits us and the students.”

Latest official Government statistics show that last year 93% of Newcastle University graduates were in employment or further education six months after finishing their studies. We are also in the top twenty of universities which are targeted by graduate employers.

Nick Keeley, head of the Careers Service at Newcastle University said: “We encourage and help students to undertake work placements as it is known they can both enhance graduates' employment opportunities and also increase their academic performance.

“This is why Newcastle University is investing so seriously in collaborating with regional and national employers to enable more and more of our students to do a placement during their studies. It also helps to explain why the University does so well in national employment league tables.

“It is great news that these three have had such a great start to their careers.”

published on: 13 August 2012