Annual West Coast Trip

The week before the spring semester starts, the ETC first year students participate in our annual West Coast Trip (WCT).   During this networking trip, the students visit potential employers in the entertainment technology industry as well as meet ETC alumni in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.   The WCT also includes a day at Disneyland, not only for enjoyment, but also to look at the park with the new perspective they have gained about making interactive experiences during the Fall semester.

The site visits start in the greater Los Angeles area on Monday morning, with the students divided into three tracks based upon which industry they hope to enter after graduation.  These tracks include: games, storytelling or themed entertainment.  The students visit two or three companies each day.  They are able to visit established companies in the industry, both large and small, as well as start-ups to get a feel for the different work environments and cultures.  On Tuesday and Thursday nights, there are alumni dinners which allow students to network with ETC alumni in the area to learn more about their post-graduate careers.  ETC students were able to meet 30 alumni in Los Angles and 85 in San Francisco during the these dinners.

This year’s WCT had 33 unique site visits, 17 of which included ETC alumni participation.  There were 9 new companies the ETC had not previously visited while some students visited companies like Disney Animation, Electrosonic, Naughty Dog, Electronic Arts, Lightswitch and Industrial Light and Magic, which have been regular stops for years.

Check out the CMU ETC  flickr page for more pictures of the site visits and the alumni dinners.

ETC students visiting Electrosonic in Los Angeles, along with ETC alumni Sean McChensey and Patrick Shore Los Angeles Alumni dinner Students and alumni at the San Francisco Alumni Dinner ETC students at ILM site visit ETC students at Naughty Dog, with alumnus Neil Druckman

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