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Jobs, Internships, and Co-Ops in the Video Game Industry

As a student in university, what are some steps one can take to become better prepared for a job in the video game industry?
Dear Gamasutra, I am in search of some advice. I am currently a second year student at Drexel University, in the department of computer science, with a goal of working in the gaming industry, and I was wondering if I could poke the minds of industry professionals for some advice. How do fresh-out-of-college programmers get jobs in the industry? Many of the classifieds I look at, even the junior level positions, require 1-2 years of experience and demonstrated work on a shipped title. How does anybody without prior experience get their foot in the door. And that leads me to my next question. Is it common practice for students to seek internships while still in school? And if so, how do they find these internships? I know that many video game developers and publishers are not looking for inexperienced workers, so they are not recruiting for young talent. However, I know that some companies must have internship programs. How do I find these companies and apply? And that leads me to my next question. Do gaming cmpanies often (if ever) offer co-ops? For those of you that don't know, Drexel University is a co-op school. This means that for 6 months out of every year, students are required to get a full time job related to their profession. This oppurtunity gives students a taste of what their respective professions are like, builds resumes, and gives students a chance to network with proffessionals. I am approaching my co-op cycle (September to March), and I am currently looking for a position. Is there a specific place I should be looking, or should I jusy apply to internships and explain the co-op situation? I would love to get a co-op in industry, but the school database has nothing of the sort. Any tips on where to look? I am really curious to hear some of your stories of how you got involved in the industry. Who knows - maybe your story could help this college kid achieve his dream.

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