NetEase Discuss Internships During Academy Visit
(L-R) NetEase User Researcher Jim Stanhope, Lead Artist Ada Liu, Product Manager Alex Liang and Human Resources Assistant Eva Hsu. Photo by Bob Toy.
BY NINA TABIOS
If you’re familiar with NetEase Games titles such as “Fantasy Westward Journey,” “Eternal Arena,” “Tome of the Sun,” “New Ghost,” the next big PC or mobile hit from the China-based camp may have an Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development alum in its credits.
On March 23, students packed into Room 825 in 180 New Montgomery to hear NetEase representatives from the company’s North American studio speak about the opportunities available to young developers and artists.
NetEase Human Resources Assistant Eva Hsu and Product Manager Alex Liang opened the event with an overview of the company’s history, accolades and aspirations, including how they are aiming to “harness experiences of success to build and offer new games here in the West that players of all types can enjoy.”
“Eastern players have different behaviors than western players,” shared Liang. “Our goal is to figure out how we can re-tool certain aspects—settings, themes, character—to fit into the culture on this side of the globe.”
Currently, NetEase is offering six paid internship positions for summer and Fall 2017 sessions: 3-D artist, game engineer, graphic designer, video producer and editor, game designer and user researcher. Interns can work in different stages of game development, from pre-launch to post operation. They emphasized that as an intern, students can learn about gaming culture from both ends of the globe and there’s tons of opportunity to immediately make an impact.
“We value your ideas because you guys know your needs and of those around you,” said Liang. “Our target audience is you guys, young people. You are the next generation driving society forward.”
NetEase User Researcher Jim Stanhope and Lead Artist Ada Liu offered tidbits on their experiences breaking into the game industry. For Stanhope, his own story was about creating the opportunities himself. After he lost his job as a high school teacher, Stanhope researched gaming majors, worked for low wages with independent developers and worked his way up until he landed the job at NetEase.
“The goal is to reduce the uncertainty in your capabilities,” he told students. “Get involved in something with real stakes. Doing student projects should be your basis but the goal should be to also make your own path.”
Liu, on the other hand, studied several different art disciplines before she got into game art. Her main advice to students was to know what you want in the future, including what they want from their school career and training, and to “showcase” their portfolios to the company and position you’re applying for. When it comes to portfolio building, it’s about putting your best foot forward.
“You’re competing with others who have worked in the industry for years,” she said. “Your portfolio should be focused on what you want to do and eliminate everything else.”
As the discussion went on, the guests’ speeches became less specific on gaming and art and more focused on how to solidify a successful career. The advice they gave could be applied to any discipline, art or otherwise. They spoke on having a good work ethic, being confident in your skillset, communicating across different departments, being a team player and ultimately, finding your niche.
“Find out what you’re really good at, something you can pitch to a company,” said Stanhope. “If you get really good at something, companies will find a place for you.”