My placement at EA Guildford
Tom was in his third year of Media and Communications BA. He made great connections and earned experience in the industry of his choice.
This had a lot to do with his placement year, which each of our students have the chance to undertake. Tom found his way into EA Games Guildford and had a fantastic time there. Read on to hear all about how he found it, and how Coventry helped him along the way.
Hi! My name is Tom Woodhouse, I’m a third-year Media and Communications student currently on my placement year down in Guildford with Electronic Arts. I work in the Communications and PR team at EA, working on titles like FIFA 17, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
Getting the placement
I first decided I wanted a third-year work placement early on in my second year. I quickly realised that without relevant work experience my chances of getting a job were going to be slim, so throughout my second year I worked with local charity Arty-Folks as well as being a freelance videographer for local bands, the Good Food Show and Coventry University.
This gave me the experience I needed to secure interviews with 8 companies who I’d applied for placements with. Sadly, I got rejected from 7 separate interviews back-to-back which wasn’t ideal, but I soldiered on to my last, and most important interview at EA.
I was and still am a huge gamer and my interview there was so warm and friendly as well as the job being incredible that I made sure I was as prepared as I could possibly be. Luckily, things worked out and those 7 interview rejections allowed me to nail my last one and get the placement!
I’ve learnt a ridiculous amount whilst being on placement and I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
I’ve had the chance to work professionally with huge names like Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones' Margaery Tyrell) and Robert Pires (French footballer and coach), managed the Sims Facebook page, networked with hundreds of press outlets and gaming industry contacts and most importantly – not had to make any cups of tea!
Assistance from Coventry
Coventry University have been incredibly helpful with employability, giving me a huge amount of opportunities with my freelance videography work last year.
I did numerous videography projects for the Central Careers Team last year and the Art and Humanities department as well, that was a great CV bolsterer – the opportunities are always there if you look for them.
The learning curve
It’s a huge learning curve and at times I’ve been rushed off the face of the earth but I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling or exciting placement year.
Whilst I have learnt a huge amount about the specifics of the games industry, I think what hits home after a year of placement is the sense of general business understanding that you gain working in a multinational corporation.
One of a kind
Before this year I didn’t have a clue what a financial year was, how purchase orders worked and I’d never even been in a proper meeting! It’s these kinds of experiences that I think are invaluable for graduates today and that’s the main reason I’d recommend more students to consider the placement option at Coventry.