April 17 – GRADUATES OF DADA RETURN! – Panel Discussion

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I’m looking forward to seeing our talented DADA grads return on Wednesday.
We will discuss their path after graduation, their practice and careers.
Let’s have a lively discussion!
Here’s the gang:
Steve Day
Deborah Allison
Joe Rothenberg
Elizabeth Willy
Ryan Kravetz
Melissa Bouwman
Greg Araya
Lisa Anderson
Matt Steidl

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29 comments on “April 17 – GRADUATES OF DADA RETURN! – Panel Discussion

  1. Lisa Chung says:

    When it comes to getting a job, I’m always hearing, “It’s who you know.” I’m actually interested in the opposite. How many of you’ve landed jobs successfully through cold emails and/or cold calls? If so, can you please talk about your experience. Do you believe this is a smart approach (to open up your options) or is it just a waste of time? From your experience, do companies generally go off recommendation of a colleague/ hire people they know?

  2. Linda Jules says:

    I would also like to hear about any success you guys have had with good old fashioned cold calling/online applications.

    I am also curious to know if you’ve been surprised at what employers most enjoyed about your reels/portfolios. Did you consistently get a lot of interest in pieces that you didn’t consider your strongest? Did you get different feedback when you changed the order that pieces appeared in your reel?

    Lastly, it would be nice to hear what kind of real world feedback you have gotten on improving reels & websites.

  3. Cecilia De Jesus says:

    What is the one thing you think current students should know or do while they are in school? Is there anything you wished you had done, looking back at your time at USC?

  4. Erin Shea says:

    My question is a variation of Cecilia’s question above, but I’d like to know about specific tools and techniques . . . are there skills or software programs that you use at your jobs that were/are absent from the USC curriculum that might have been helpful to learn while you were still in school?

  5. chaoqi zhang says:

    Welcome back!!!
    As a alumni, Basically I want to know that how do you guys figure out your career of animation and how do you work it out? I also want to know where do you think the industry is going?

  6. Ivan Sayon says:

    To those who have experience within the festival circuit, I’m curious if this path helps towards the commercial career path, or if one should just concentrate on freelance, internships, or just landing a full time job. Any advice for someone who desires to just jump straight into the workplace after school?

  7. Josh Weisbrod says:

    What are some opportunities here that you wish you had taken more advantage of?

  8. linhuiwang says:

    Thanks for the lecture tonight.
    general and specialization are also always my questions…one side, I don’t wanna be a tool, another, I also wanna get a job. How to make a balance between them. I’m still thinking about that…

  9. Joanna Barondess says:

    It was a great experience being able to hear about the different paths USC Animation graduates have taken. It was a breath of fresh air knowing that there are many paths to take after an education at USC and that no one path is the same. I liked being able to hear what happens beyond the studio and what kind of challenges must be faced in order to be happy post-graduation.

    Overall, I think it’s fantastic that we were able to know what happens after thesis.

  10. Dan Wilson says:

    This group of alumni was great. I’m glad we got to see a mix of graduating years and fields. A lot of our guests got into the industry 20 or 30 years ago, when entry was a lot different. Tonight’s guests were able to give us a look at the industry that’s as fresh and relevant as it can get.

  11. Dustin Reno says:

    Thank you for returning to USC to share your experiences afterwards. A transitional time from school to the professional world always pretty daunting, but hearing your various experiences in different aspects of how you applied your skills and knowledge from studying in the program was both reassuring and encouraging.

  12. Yizhou Li says:

    It was good to hear what many graduates that leave our program do after they graduated. It was interesting to see how many different ways our degree could be used to get a job in the market. I’m glad they were able to come speak to us!

  13. Andrew Malek says:

    I had a similar experience to seeing the USC graduates as I did last year which was hope. Somehow when people you know and have talked to seem to be happily holding down jobs it helps to wash away a lot of the fear that gets instilled by other guests who remind how tough and competitive it is out there. While it still seems like its really hard out there its good to know that good work does not go unrewarded and that there are a multitude of options.

  14. Ruthie Williams says:

    Thanks to all the alumni that came back this week to give us advice and perspective about what is waiting in the job market. I was so relieved to hear from such a diverse panel and be reminded that there are many different paths I can take with my degree. I appreciated Lisa Bouwman and Deborah Allison’s points of view as individuals who took their degree outside of film and gaming, and I was also happy to hear that Joe Rothenberg is developing his own game. It was nice to be reminded that we don’t need to ask permission to make films. We have the foundation and hopefully the portfolio leaving DADA to be marketable, but also we have the understanding to put together any film or project if we really want to make it, and you don’t need a job title to do that.

  15. Caress Reeves says:

    I really enjoyed seeing alumni, and hearing their different experiences in a variety of industries that aren’t even necessarily animation! For a lot of us who aren’t sure how our interest fit into a big studio, and don’t entirely like the peril that comes with freelance, it was a breathe of fresh air to hear from those that manages to find work arenas that catered to their talents. Thanks!

  16. I think this most recent panel was pretty well organized and had a good range of people coming in to talk. I think in the combination there was a very well rounded group of opinions, insight and career paths. Looking at the life of generalists and specialists, there’s a great deal to offer on both sides. I’m wishing all of them the best as well as my classmates as we leave the confines of USC and venture out as well. Hopefully we’ll also have great things to come and talk about too.

  17. JavierB says:

    It nice to showcase work , but I think more time is need to really critic everyone’s work , and save the compliments for later and just stick to the facts on how to fix it.

  18. Ryan Gillis says:

    I agree with everybody above. There are times when the outlook of the future can look grim- so it’s wonderful to see our peers out there making it work.
    For me specifically, it was nice to meet Greg. Not only does he seem to be in a position that I’d like to see myself in the future, but after his talk I realized that he left USC in a remarkably similar situation to one I’m in now. So it was great to be able to talk to him and get his insight.

  19. Joseph Yeh says:

    This was really nice- it was great to get some perspective from these great alumni. I was also very happy to see some familiar faces.

  20. Tristan Dyer says:

    I like the range of the panel a lot. You can tell that some of them were the rock stars while they were here and others were the ones that plugged along and did a good job. It’s nice to see them all finding opportunities with a range of approaches to the industry.

  21. Einar says:

    I think it’s always very useful as well as interesting to see what happens to people once they leave the program oneself is in. They offer a fresh perspective on what can be achieved for people of diverse talents.

  22. Amy Lee Ketchum says:

    Glad to hear talented people talk positively about post-graduation life!

  23. Yang Liu says:

    It’s great to hear from our alumni! The best part is seeing a lot of them are very positive about the industry and career, giving me confidence and hope after graduation!

  24. Louis Morton says:

    This semester’s panel featured mostly alumni that were very recently in the program, which was super useful in that it gave a very fresh and current perspective on what it’s like after USC. Thanks to everyone who came and congrats on your career accomplishments.

  25. lanzhujian says:

    It is great to see the DADA graduate’s work. Such an inspiration for us. Thank them give us the experience in the industry.

  26. This batch of graduates was, in my opinion, a nicer spread than last time. We saw very recent to veterans and with a wide array of fields. It was also a bit more positive than last time and they gave more specific advice.

  27. Robert Calcagno says:

    In my time at the seminar (I unfortunately had to leave early due to a rather irritating muscle spasm in my shoulder…), I appreciated their honesty about the nature of the market and just trying to find what you feel comfortable in is just as important as actually finding a job. This school teaches many skills if not necessarily as specialized as some would like so it’s placed on your shoulders to excel on your own terms to get into the occupation that you feel you’d contribute best to.

  28. Emily Chung says:

    It was great to hear form the DADA graduate!!!

  29. Simo Liu says:

    It’s a great opportunity to know our graduate’s experience and how they work. It is an inspiration for us.

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