It’s been a long while since I’ve written anything on this website. I admit with shame that I became caught up in the whirlpool of shenanigans surrounding the end of my internship at Disney, and haven’t been in the frame of mind to put words to all the experiences I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned.
I am so glad I decided to extend another 6 months at Disney.
If later in my life I look back on a moment when I made a spontaneous decision that ultimately opened up the most amazing doors for me, it would be when I chose to extend my visa out another 6 months at Disney World and stay for the maximum duration. In May I had this small feeling that I was not done yet; that I still had so much more to achieve and fulfill. Little did I know that the second half of the year was going to be jammed with monthly flights to California (much to my leader’s dismay) visiting friends and building connections. As 2014 dawns I have doubled the number of industry folk that I can honestly turn to for advice and questions without hesitation. Building friendships alongside developing my knowledge and broadening my scope of the industry from the inside rather than out has become a tremendous learning experience. In December, I was even invited to Obsidian’s 10th Anniversary Celebration and toured the Blizzard campus a second time.
I have gained access to resources specifically regarding game production (which for those interested, I’ll share in later blogs) as well as closer-nit ties with recruiters who in turn have educated me further on ways to make myself a stand-out applicant for an opening position. Regarding working in the U.S., my understanding of the legalities and processes that obstruct international hopefuls from entering into the industry has also become significantly more clearer, and I will share some insight later. The greatest boost in staying late last year was my ability to figure out what I was going to do after I finished at Disney (i.e. how I was going to stay close to the industry once my visa was up). Thanks to the University of California in Irvine, and after extensive interviewing and consulting of information regarding the F-1 (Student) Visa, I landed a place in the International Graduate Studies Preparation Program (IGSPP), which will work towards my M.B.A. The program gives international students a chance to take classes that will allow their international degree to become more equivalent to the American education system, and thus more suitable for applying to American graduate schools. In March 2014, I will move to Orange County, California.