Computer Games Technology student wins the Outstanding TIGA Graduate of the Year award

Recognised by a panel of industry experts for his hard work and fantastic academic achievements, our Computer Games Technology graduate, Daniel Hind, has been awarded the Outstanding TIGA Graduate of the Year! Find out why Daniel won this award, why he chose to study here and what advice he would give to students joining in September.

What is the  Outstanding TIGA Graduate of the Year award?

Universities are able to nominate and select students based on their academic achievements to TIGA for their annual education awards; these nominations are then trimmed down into a shortlist and each student is awarded a Graduate of the Year accolade. From that shortlist, a judging panel of industry experts will then select one student for each category to receive the Outstanding TIGA Graduate of the Year award. You can find out more on their website.

Can you describe the feeling of receiving this award?

It means a lot to me to be recognised by a panel of industry veterans and it feels great to have the years of hard work acknowledged. It really puts into perspective how much I’ve learned over the past four years and how far I’ve come, both academically and professionally, in such a short period of time. I’m proud of what I have achieved so far and I am thankful for everyone who facilitated my progress along the way.

What does it mean to win this award?

Although I’m happy in my current job and I am not looking to move studio anytime soon, winning this award is a nice accolade to add to any future job applications. Since posting about the award on LinkedIn I have already had multiple recruiters reach out to ask if I would be interested in interviewing for their studios, so it certainly seems to be an accolade that employers respect.

What do you think were the key factors that contributed to you obtaining this award?

The judging criteria for the award was “best degree result, best module grade, best showreel, best project and most improved student”. I feel like my assessment results through the years have been consistently good with the majority of my final grades above 80%, so that likely contributed. I am also happy with the range of skills portrayed in my showreel which demonstrated a clear progression year on year, alongside showing my contributions to real projects within the industry.

Can you tell us why you chose to study Computer Games Technology at Birmingham City University?

I chose to study Computer Games Technology because I had a passion for programming, technology and maths and I really wanted to pick a course with a clear path leading to a career. Of course I also had an interest in working in the games industry due to being an avid gamer and enjoying working collaboratively in teams. I chose BCU specifically because the course content at the time contained many modules that interested me, but also because Birmingham is centrally located and ideal for game developers due to being near to Leamington Spa which is one of the UK’s main hubs for games studios.

What challenges have you faced on your course?

For me I found that in the first year of university I had a lot to learn in the first few months due to having little experience with software and programming languages used for assessments. But once I overcame those initial bumps and adjusted to the University process and lifestyle, I found the subsequent semesters much easier and far more enjoyable.

In my final year I was working part-time as a programmer for the same studio that I spent my placement year with, and while everything ultimately did go smoothly, I did also struggle to keep on top of the workload at points and had to juggle my time carefully.

What are the main skills that you’ve acquired from your course?

The course covers a wide range of subjects and was good at giving a broad overview of several disciplines within the games industry. In particular, the many group projects allowed me to try out different roles within a team and develop crucial teamwork skills.

Do you have any advice for other Computer Games Technology students?

Particularly for games students, do a placement year in industry, it’s incredibly important. I can’t stress enough just how valuable a year in industry is, especially for this field, so make sure that when you enter your second year you’re prepared to apply for placements and you have brushed up on your interview skills.

In my placement year as an intern gameplay programmer I learned more from hands-on experience than a university could ever teach, and if you’re lucky like I was, you’ll also be offered to return full-time once you finish your final year. So instead of worrying about job applications in your final semester, you can instead apply your industry experience to your final year project!

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