STAFF SPOTLIGHT – CAMI SMITH

What is your role at AIE?

Building relationships with employers so they will think of AIE when they have open positions, projects, or internships that might be a good fit for our students. Work with students to build their best professional profile. That includes resumes, portfolios, LinkedIn and social media profiles. Help students with strategies for finding employment.

What is your favorite part of the job?
It is exciting to be working with creative students that will be taking animation, VFX, VR/AR to the next level and beyond. Honestly, we are training the next generation for jobs that have not been invented yet. These are exciting times to be in the game and technology industry.

What is your favorite video game and why?
I have to admit I love Pokemon. They finally found a game I wanted to download. I love how it gets everyone out of the house and off the couch!

Do you have any hobbies outside of AIE?
I have lots of hobbies...cycling, kayaking, I am a mixed media artist, and I enjoy going to hear live music, everything from blues, hip-hop, to opera! My latest favorite band is Helio Sequence. Not enough hours in my day to do all the things I want to do.

What advice do you have for students?
It's simple really, just talk with people. Some people call it networking. That word evokes formal meetings and can sound intimidating. It should be more natural and authentic. Go places where people are doing what you like to do. Talking to someone about what you are interested in is more natural. If you don't have a job, share your amazing super powers and help a non-profit or a small company with a project. Remember your skills are needed in every industry. You never know where your volunteer work will lead you.

I got my last job walking my dog! No kidding. Every day I bumped into someone who was also walking her dog down the same block. We started to chat about dogs, the weather, the neighborhood and just random things. Then it evolved into what we did. We found out that we had a lot more in common than our little dogs. Surprised to find out she was the vice president and when she had an opening she ended up hiring me for a great job where I spent the next 8 years. Relationships are the best way to get a job, and your next job, and your next job. You always need to be building relationships so just keep talking with people.

That is why my job here at AIE is mainly a "relationship building job". It is like planting seeds. If you plant and water enough seeds something is bound to grow.

What are you expecting to bring into the role?
I am bringing a toolbox of resources to help students navigate the hiring process. In this competitive job market, you have to use every resource out there. Tools like LinkedIn are being used with recruiters and companies all over the country with keyword searches.

Best advice for students.
Always keep working on and improving your portfolios.
Talk with people in the industry. Ask them what you can do to improve your work. Ask them how they got their job. Ask them about the tools or software they prefer using. Ask them where they see the industry headed. Just ask lots of questions! People like to talk about themselves ... so ask them lots of questions.

How do you feel about this new position?
I'm one of those people that is happy to go to work every day. I hope that doesn't sound too corny. I am excited to be part of this team of amazing educators that care about student success! Everyone in Seattle and Lafayette sincerely care about the students. It is great to know we play a part in helping the next generation get launched.