Graduate Success

Lila Gibbens

Where did you go to High School and how did you end-up choosing Yoobee for further study?

I went to Westland High in Hokitika. They didn’t do a lot of the academic classes, but rather a lot of hands-on drawing, art and graphics, metalwork and computing, like Microsoft Office.  I didn’t get into animation until I graduated from High School.

I was thinking of joining the Navy after High School but I failed to gain access, which was a bit sad. That was a turning point in my life when the movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 came out, I went to see it seven times! I loved the animation and the details of the movement, it was amazing. From that point on I knew I wanted to be in that field.

What did you bring to the interview and what course did you choose to study?

I remember bringing my graphic design work to the interview and some art I had done in the past as I didn’t have anything digital. I’d heard about the software programmes before, but never actually learnt any of it. I joined the level 3 Certificate in iCreate course and everything I learned was new. I continued on with the level 5 Diploma in Animation and Film Production course and level 6 Diploma in 3D Graphics course.

You had your 3D Graphics class animation short screened at the Women in Tech, Guest Speaker event. What was the experience like to be a Producer for that project?

The top five students in class was given the lead role, chosen by the tutors based on their skills and leadership, I was appointed as the Producer and got to lead the team. It was a great experience that opened up doors and opportunities to my current role at Cerebral Fix. Although, I did find it to be challenging – especially when expecting your team members to do a certain job, but they weren’t carrying it out and everything falling behind - that was the frustrating part. But overall, I had a lot of support from the other team members and the tutors as well.

How did you find out about the opportunity to work at Cerebral Fix?

Three months before graduation, we had a workplace visit organised to go to Cerebral Fix. Nadia the Head of Studio was doing the tour at the time. We got to learn the cool games they did there, as well as innovative projects on health education, which was a Virtual Reality project to teach students how to use the X-Ray machines. Few months later Nadia was invited to Yoobee to do a talk for the Women in Tech - Industry Speaker Series. I went to speak to her after the event and asked how the VR Project was going, and we got talking afterwards. After that we just stayed in touch, and then I had three different interviews after that. It was originally going to be a Tester role which was once a week, then I graduated and got a full-time job at a petrol station.

I was on trial for a month and I didn’t really tell anyone about it. I remember my first day setting-up my own work-station and after that there were plenty of trials. I did a lot of trying out in different roles before settling on a 3D Modeller and Animator role. I consider myself to be adapting well to the new work environment.

I think it’s really important to put yourself out there. Because that’s how I got my job. I visited different events and participated in them as well.

The cool thing about what I studied is that the programmes are accessible to the public, and you could either get it for free or at a discounted student rate. I spent a lot of time beyond the required class hours, because I knew if I had really good grades and records then I’d have a good chance of being successful out there.

Lila Studied