Student's Sony internship turns to job offer

September 8, 2011

By Ivy Hillman ’12

Emily Berger ’11, a double major in interactive media (IM) and computer information systems, had a busy summer working as the only Technical Artist Intern for Sony Computer Entertainment America. The elite California internship began June 1 recently culminated with a job offer.

“This internship gave me quite a bit of hands-on experience in the industry. To top everything off, I’ve been offered a contract position as an Associate Technical Artist with Sony to continue working on an unannounced title,” Berger said.

Berger found that being the only intern in her department worked to her advantage. The position came with a great amount of responsibility, but also unique exposure to industry professionals.

“There are many roles a Technical Artist can fill, but with regard to my role in Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, a ‘Tech Artist’ is an artist who is essentially the intermediary between the artist and the programmers. I also worked closely with the Environment Artists at the studio,” Berger said.

On top of the various people she worked with, she also got to know the Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop programs and computer languages such as Python, MEL and JavaScript.

“These tools are to help increase the efficiency of the artists’ workflows and pipeline. During the whole process, it is my job to constantly check with the artists to make sure it will be easy to understand how to use the tool,” Berger said.

Once she had all of this worked out, she created a presentation with demonstrations, all on top of many other tasks she completed as part of her internship responsibilities.

“I was part of a mailing list that receives emails on things in the studio breaking. Sometimes I was required to pause working on my tool to fix other issues that could be disabling the artist or designer from working. I was also highly encouraged to document all of my tools,” Berger said.

In order to land this fast paced internship, Berger shared her skills with industry professionals at two game developers’ conferences.  At one, she met Bradley IM alumna Diana Hughes, who introduced Berger to the internship.

Berger is proof that solid skills, good connections and a tenacious work ethic can turn internship experience into career options.