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Graduate stories – making Minecraft

19 October 2015

Jess Hider graduation

Jess Hider graduated this summer from Abertay, stepping straight into a job as a Junior Artist on the console edition of the global hit game Minecraft.

Jess studied and took part in the Dare to be Digital game design competition, where her team Five Pixels took the Artistic Achievement Award for their game Seek.

The team continued developing Seek during their final year, receiving a BAFTA New Talent Award. The game was release for iPhone and iPad, attracting over 100,000 downloads.

We caught up with Jess recently to hear about her next big challenge – and her advice for current students.

How does it feel to start work on the one of the world’s most successful games, straight out of university?

“Quite honestly, unreal. I didn't expect to get to work with such a well-known game straight out of university. There's a lot of pressure to make sure my work is up to standard, but this is balanced out by how exciting and rewarding it is to be able to create content that will reach such a wide audience.”

How did Abertay help prepare you for this job?

“Abertay gave me the time and teaching to learn how to use the software and technical skills that I use in my day-to-day work.

“It also prepared me for working in a team and to tight deadlines through the group work modules.”

What's your favourite memory of Abertay?

“The lecturers. They are some of the funniest, most caring and passionate people I've met. Throughout my four years they were always full of humour, fun and kindness.

“Their advice and support motivated me to keep working and improving, and without them I wouldn't have come this far.”

Do you have a message for current students at Abertay?

“Get involved with everything you can and make the most of all the opportunities on offer. One of the great things about Abertay is all of the extracurricular activities you can take part in, ranging from studying abroad to joining societies.

“Showing that you are committed to your career by actively participating in your industry outside of your studies really helps you stand out when you graduate. It's a great way to advance your skills and build your network while having a lot of fun!”

For more information about studying at Abertay, please see the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games course pages.

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