DreamWorks' Visit to DePaul Provides Valuable Insights

Visit revealed what the animation leader seeks in a curriculum and prospective hires

Poster advertising the DreamWorks presentation on Sept. 30.
Employer Relations within EMM’s Career Center enhances institutional prominence and visibility by establishing connections with top employers. One notable relationship is with DreamWorks Animation, which resulted in a recent series of on-campus meetings and workshops with a recruiter from the premiere global animation company.
 
Starting with a 2012 meeting with a DePaul alumnus employed at DreamWorks, the Employer Relations team has been working with the animation leader to forge a pipeline for placing talented CDM students and graduates into challenging internships and entry-level roles at DreamWorks. After months of planning, DreamWorks’ university relations manager traveled to Chicago on Sept. 30 to meet with CDM faculty and students to learn more about DePaul’s curricular offerings, share best practices with students aiming to work in animation, and promote internship and job offerings.
 
The campus visit from DreamWorks represents the unique and valuable ways that the Career Center brings industry and academia together to improve students’ career outcomes. It began with two meetings with animation faculty and computer science faculty focused on curriculum—course offerings, curricular tracks, points of emphasis—and what, from an industry perspective, DreamWorks is seeking.
 
Five students then had the unique opportunity to have their animation demo reels reviewed by the DreamWorks recruiter for feedback during a group review of student work. Each student received honest, constructive criticism for the benefit of the individual and all the students and faculty in the workshop. Notes from the group review were shared with CDM faculty for dissemination in their classes.
 
The visit ended with a company overview attended by more than 80 students that featured information about DreamWorks’ newly developed outreach program for recent graduates and internships for current undergraduate students.  On average, they plan to hire 40 people a year through the program. Students gained valuable information about the hiring process for all positions. The recruiter stressed the importance of internship experiences and encouraged students to get involved at key academic and animation conferences.
 
Approximately 100 CDM students and faculty participated in events throughout the day, which also included a student-led tour of the CDM building. This visit redefined the typical employer campus visit and gave the recruiter an opportunity to learn about the caliber of curriculum and the students that DePaul has to offer. The next step of the partnership is collaborating to secure more internships for DePaul students.
 
For more information, contact Karyn McCoy, director for Employer and College Relations.