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Developing careers in gaming


Four students from Newcastle University have joined Reflections, a Ubisoft studio, for internships during which they will help develop several highly anticipated video games.

Computer Game Engineering postgraduate students Alex Brown, 21, Wojciech Musialkiewicz, 23, Lauren Brown, 22, and Dimitrios Kamileris, 25, have started a one-year internship at Reflections. The interns, who are working with the teams developing Just Dance 2015, The Crew and Tom Clancy’s The Division, are the latest in a long line of recruits at the studio from Newcastle University.

Alex, from Seaton Sluice Northumberland, said: “Being involved in a wide-range of projects and working with multidisciplinary teams is extremely rewarding. The feeling of achievement when you help bring a quality product to millions of people around the world is amazing.

“This internship is a great opportunity to continue learning and building up on my academic training. I would recommend a placement to anyone who considers a career in gaming – it’s a great way to build a portfolio of skills and practical experience.”

Lauren, who is from Lichfield near Birmingham, is a part of the gameplay team developing Tom Clancy’s The Division. She said: “Going from the lecture theatre to the studio and working on one of the biggest names in the gaming industry is a great opportunity to do something I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid.

“A highly anticipated game like the Division demands quality and high standards. Luckily the Computing Science courses at Newcastle University have given me the skills and experience to tackle the challenge”, added Lauren.

The gaming industry in the UK generates more money than the film and music business put together, according to the industry trade body TIGA. The majority of game developers have a background in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. And whilst there are incredible career opportunities, the video game industry still suffers from skills shortages. 
The Computer Games Engineering group at Newcastle University works closely with the UK game industry to equip graduates with the scientific and mathematical skills to ensure a successful career in game development. 

The MSc Computer Game Engineering programme at Newcastle University is accredited by the industry body Creative Skillset. This year Creative Skillset is providing 50% of the interns’ funding to Reflections - a collaboration that has enabled the studio to double the intake of university interns. 

Dr Gary Ushaw, Computing Science Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University, said: “We are very proud of our relationship with Reflections, as a leader of the games industry in the north east of England, where our graduates have achieved great success.

“Over 95% of graduates from our Masters course in Computer Games Engineering attain employment in games or related industries. This employment often starts with a placement studentship. I am certain that, with the twin foundations of study on our masters course and invaluable experience with Ubisoft working on top-selling games, Alex, Dimitri, Lauren and Wojciech will go on to have very successful careers in game development.”

Giselle Stewart, General Manager of Reflections, said: “Newcastle University’s computing science degree course is top class and the students consistently outperform their peers in the recruitment assessment process.  Year after year the programme turns out high quality graduates with the exact skills we need, and this year’s cohort is particularly strong.  

“We aim to provide an experiential learning environment and external opportunities for professional development for our interns. This further boosts their practical experience and cements them as a truly desirable asset. To that end, we have hired every intern we have ever taken on from Newcastle University.”

Reflections is Ubisoft’s Newcastle-based studio. It employs over 200 people and is proud to this year celebrate a 30 year legacy of making games in the North East. 

Latest Government figures show that last year 93.7% of Newcastle University graduates were in employment or further education six months after graduating, the highest rate amongst North East universities. 

published on: 24 July 2014