The new work from home climate has given third-year Interactive Arts and Sciences (IASC) student Fariha Khan the unique opportunity to intern with a local game development company.
“While the coronavirus lockdown may have proved a burden to many companies who might otherwise have offered an internship this year, it managed to create an opportunity for Rocketship Park,” says Jim Squires, CEO and co-founder of the local game development company. “Like so many start ups, we have chosen to forgo the costs and complications of a formal office space. Our team works entirely remotely.”
Rocketship Park uses a distributed workforce model, meaning each employee works from home. It’s a model used by many start-ups and even larger companies like GitLab.
Working remotely meant that the company couldn’t take on Brock student interns, as the internship program previously required meetings take place in an approved company facility — something Rocketship Park simply didn’t have. Now, with most people working from home, the company was able to bring Khan on board.
“Working from home is a great experience,” says Khan, who moved to Mississauga to be with family during the pandemic. “It made things a lot easier than I expected.”
Khan is excited to work with Rocketship Park on their next game, Love: A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories.
“I have seen the creators of Rocketship Park, Shane McCafferty and Jim Squires, in a lot of workshops and events at Brock,” she says. “When I was sent an email saying they were interested in having me as an intern to help with their game, I could not refuse the offer.”
Khan’s work came to the attention of McCafferty and Squires through her work in IASC 3P97, a course that helps students develop their portfolios, resumes and pitches. At the end of the course, students present their portfolios to a team of industry professionals for feedback.
Khan is using the skills she developed in a 3D modelling course as she creates multiple apartment designs for the new game.
“This experience really helps me understand what it’s like to work in my field, especially how I need to communicate and share data,” says Khan. “Working here is also helping me in future courses since it is teaching me how to work in different climates.”
“All our meetings have taken place over video chat, and we stay in regular contact through the use of tools like Slack, just like our regular workdays at Rocketship Park always have,” says Squires. “The work from home internships are a great opportunity to focus on self-management and organization.”