We followed up with Jess O'Neil who won an internship through The Rookies last year. She tells us about her experience as an intern at Method Studios in Melbourne, Australia.

Tell us about the internship you won through The Rookies?

The internship at Method Studios has been a fantastic experience! I've been working in the assets team doing organic and hard surface modeling and a little bit of texturing.

What were you most surprised about when you first started?

It wasn't as fast paced as I expected as I started in between projects. So I had some time to learn the pipeline and how things worked before the next projects came in which brought a higher workload.

What did you enjoy most about working for Method Studios?

The people. Definitely. I'm very shy but really enjoyed getting to know the people I work with. They're always very kind and helpful, the work they do is amazing and it's been great to see them do it and learn from them.

How does the company support newbies?

Everyone I spoke with was very patient if I had a question or needed help, not just in my team but people from other departments as well.

If something went wrong with an asset I was making or I was having software issues, most often people would explain to me why it happened rather than just fixing it, which meant I was able to learn from the experience and avoid repeating the same mistakes or could solve it myself in future.

Did you feel prepared with your education that you were ready for the industry?

Studying through CGMA really helped to prepare me for the industry. Both of my lecturers taught the skills to do the work I was interested in, but they were also very informative about how things work in a studio and what's expected of a new starter.

What were some of the highlights?

Working on some really cool assets I didn't expect to work on. My team and my mentor have been very supportive and welcoming. Another highlight would be the Mario Kart costumes (carts made by my hardworking coworkers) for the Method Christmas party!

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Ask questions! Try to understand how things work, and listen to feedback even if it's for someone else; you may find this helps to improve your own work too.

How did you find The Rookies experience?

Very smooth! I read the articles on what should and shouldn't be included in the submission and tried to stick with this as they were very helpful. I also looked at winners for previous years and blog posts to get an idea of the quality of work the judges tended to look for.

I was really excited just to be a finalist for an internship as I didn't expect to win anything, mostly I entered just to see how I compared with other newbies like myself.

When I won I had to keep checking the site to make sure I hadn't imagined it! Soon after, I was contacted by Alwyn via email telling me I had won and putting me into contact with the Artist Manager at Method Melbourne so we could arrange a start date.

I learned I was being too critical of some of my skills, and while I still have a lot to learn I was pleased at how I compared with the people I work with.

What inspires you?

I like watching nature documentaries, or just getting outside. Also the work of other artists I admire can inspire me to try something new.

What do you work on in your free time?

Learning as much as I can about animal anatomy. I'm about to start a giraffe study!

What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?

The Good Place. I was eating lunch.