i'm an international student in the us. I had a master degree in design. but i realized when i graduated, i know a little bit of everything but master none. At school, i used to spend so much time on something that only meets the degree requirement like thesis project research, paper, elective courses etc. It seems that a master degree in design is more advanced level but we still need the technical stuff to make a living. A lot of students find it hard to get a job except only a few were good because of their background and they know what they were doing. At school, i did take a lot of different classes to experiment what I want to do for my thesis project and future. i took basic 3d intro modeling. Due to my art background, my teacher didn't recommend me to do 3d. After graduation, i sent out tons of resumes but no one responded. Even if i found an intern, they couldn't offer me full-time but my optional practical training was denied. Is it possible to find a paid fulltime job immediately? no. One of my weaknesses is portfolio. It's not specialized and like an assignment to class not professional. I know degree means nothing without a decent portfolio. What should I do to really have some experiences in the industry? Should I go back to school? I know schools can't change my situation anymore but what about gnomon school like that? They're specialized, intense and industry-oriented.I heard a lot of good stuff about them and students' work looks amazing. i'm interested but i have some concerns before taking this big step because of another huge investment of time, money and energy.
1. I know that I don't need to go to a school to learn 3d and they are a lot self-driven. but everyone is different. i'm an International student. To keep a legal status here, I have to go to school. Most importantly, school can help and push me to learn something much faster than self-taught. for example, if i teach myself with tutorials to build a complicated tank model, it can take one or two months. maybe in school, it takes me about two weeks. It just wastes so much time if I am caught up with something, even to find where a specific tool is and don't really know what to do, go to online cg forum for help, or google it. After two years of school, i probably can find a job but if it can take four -five years to teach myself for that? My question is that what kind of employees do most of the industries look for? Do they prefer good portfolio or work experiences or both? I mean school is still school and it's different from a real job. Does the stuff that's produced at gnomon meet the requirements in the industry? or they prefer work experience? maybe we have the skills but can't do what the industry does. what if an potential employer offers me an intern because i have no experience though my portfolio is nice, but for my situation, i can't intern without opt unless someone can sponsor me.
2. Health concern. How is the workload at gnomon? I know it's very stressful and intense. 6 classes per term. 60-70 hours per week with no break and non-stop between terms. i was wondering if it's possible to get at least 7 hours of normal sleep everyday? Do gnomon students never sleep and eat well? Does everyone have big dreams, like to work in pixar, dreamworks or disney and blizzard etc not in regular 3d company otherwise they won't invest so much money and time to do it? Is that why the program is intense and difficult? I know success comes from hard devotion but without health, it's like you can make $1000,000 after gnomon but "1" is your health.
3. 6 classes per term. i'll have homework for each class per week. what if i go to class, do the homework and pass it. i mean it's obviously not enough for a job. does that mean besides 60-70 hours, i need extra 10-20 hours per week to polish every assignment? but I'm worried that are there unnecessary classes even if i know what my focus is? is it waste of time and i don't time to make everything super nice?
4. I don't have a clear picture of what it'll look like after two years. There is no guarantee that I can get a job in the industry. right? It is uncertain how good my work will be, it depends on a lot of things, especially for international students to succeed in this field. Passion and dedication are not enough. right? Skills first and creativity is most important. I need to catch up with the fast paced 3d technology or I'll fall behind. I need to build connections with industry people instead of working at school all the time. I need to show myself to the world, like to have my work published in 3d magazines or websites and go for 3d competition. but who knows i'll win 3d award,or have my work published or get a job eventually because it's like empty talking without actually doing something. everyone is just different. some have creativity and others sacrifice their health to achieve their goals. Could it be a disaster if i leave gnomon with no job.
5. If I go to gnomon, what area of 3d is more demanding in the industry? Is it modeling and texturing if I want to get into film industry? Or 3d generalist? Which path is right for me? All the student work is best of the best. It is uncertain that my work will be as good as theirs after two years? If not, is it hard to find a job? What if the results are different from what I expect when I start the program?
I want to think all the potential difficulties ahead so it's never too late to change my mind later. I know i have to make my own decision for the future but at this moment, I really appreciate some advice and insights that I can benefit from for my career.
Thank you so much!