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People often ask me why Think Tank is so popular. There are so many things that make us different but the main thing is our level of commitment to our students and our philosophy for learning.
When students first come to the school they are taught a various range of disciplines to help them become well rounded in all aspects of the entertainment industry. By second semester they start to specialize in certain areas that they enjoy the most or are most skilled at, but generally these two things go hand and hand.
Sometimes students come right into the program knowing exactly what they want to do but others aren’t so sure of the path they want to take. These students are generally encouraged to take the path that they most excel at. By the end of second semester students are set on a specific path that will lead them into the mentorship part of the third semester.
This is one of the unique things about our school. The mentorship students receive in their third semester. Students receive a mentor from the industry that excels in the job that they one day hope to have and specifically trains them in that role, be it animation, modeling, visual effects, etc. This is beneficial in more than one way. Not only does it give the student the skills needed to achieve the job they desire but also gives the student a connection in the industry. If the student excels and impresses their mentor then they have someone with experience and some pull who can recommend them for a position.
Since the quality of your demo reel and your personal connections are two of the most important things you need to get a job in the industry it’s really a win/win situation. Not only will they make sure that your demo reel is of high enough quality to get you hired but they will also be a great reference for you. It sure helps to have someone put in a good word for you to make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants but without high quality work to show it won’t count for much. So we are very dedicated to making sure our students have great quality work to show, which leads into the next unique thing about our school.
That other unique aspect is that students are allowed to stay and work on their demo reel indefinitely. We have a room of machines dedicated to alumni who want to put the finishing touches on their demo reels. Not only are they free to stay to finish their reels but they can also sit in on any new classes that they may want to take as our curriculum is constantly evolving to keep up with the industry. It’s important for us that our students get jobs so we make sure they have the resources and time necessary to achieve that goal. So as long as they have the drive and commitment to get that first job, they always have a place here to help them achieve it. We even have students that come back after working in the industry who want to brush up on their skills or update their demo reel. This is still included as part of the initial tuition, it doesn’t cost them anything extra. We measure our success by how many students find the jobs they love, even if that means re-training with us to help them achieve that. Our doors are always open.
This contribution is part of the Animation Career Review College Outreach Program where schools and colleges discuss their animation, design, and gaming programs in their own, unfiltered words. Interested in participating? Learn more.