It all started with a simple phone call, I called “The Molecule,” a motion graphics and visual effects company based in NYC and LA. Immediately, a woman answered named Audra. I asked if they had any internship positions open; she said they did not have the office space enough for that at the moment.
This had been my fifth call of the day, and I thought it was about to be my fifth rejection. I replied to her, saying, “okay, I understand,” and was ready to hang up the phone. Suddenly, I heard her say that she’d like for me to send her my resume and portfolio for potential opportunities later on. This was a bittersweet moment for me, because I had been through this process many times and nothing ever came of it. However, I tend to keep a positive mindset, so I wrote her email down and sent her my resume a couple of days later.
Hours, days, and months went by and I received no reply from her. Once again I began feeling discouraged and excluded, until I received an email back from Audra, who apologized for the long wait and said that I should keep her updated on whatever I was doing in school. I sent her my final project for photography class, as well as some other work, and she replied immediately the next day saying how much she loved them.
This is a company that works with TV networks, feature films, and TV series such as, FOX, The Purge, and House of Cards. Audra and I went from not speaking at all to speaking on a constant basis for six months. We discussed a day during the summer where we could meet at her office to talk about the rising trends in the industry, and how
I might be able to use them in my final senior projects.
The first person that I told about landing an interview was my dad. When he heard he started tearing up. He was the person who helped me when I first started learning motion graphics and animation in high school. My first project was a five minute film that had taken two months to make, and it was made on my laptop.
I am so appreciative of what he and my family did in the early learning stages of my career. It was definitely an accomplishment for myself just to be able to say that I went to New York City for a company that creates animation/special effects for Netflix and feature films.
As the day of my interview approached, I was very nervous waking up that morning because of how serious I knew this interview was going to be. This was the biggest meeting of my career. Once I threw on that blazer, I zoned in and became more relaxed. It’s something that I have learned from being an athlete for so many years, striving in the times of pressure, to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
This was New York City, not a small town like Henniker. I was walking by so many successful people. I knew that I had to keep my confidence among them, because like me, they all were once in my shoes, and a reason for their success might just be keeping that confidence consistent. I walked into the company building and all I saw were these posters of Netflix shows, among them a picture of ‘The Rock’ Dwayne Johnson. I was immediately amazed, saying aloud to myself in the atrium, “wow!”
I met Audra upstairs in her office, and there we spoke about what I had done this past summer during my internship with a photo editing company. I gave her a copy of the Henniker Review, for which she helped me pick out my submissions. She was impressed with my work and thankful for the book.
She gave me a tour of the place and introduced me to many of her co-workers. They showed me what they were working on and how they were doing it. As we sat back down, she started to talk about my schedule and availability. I grew a bit scared, because I thought she knew how I needed to finish my last year at school; usually when people talk about availability it means that they are about to give you the job.
I reminded her that I was going back to school, and she mentioned that she completely forgot. She gave me a sense that she was about to offer the job to me and that definitely gave me hope for the future. As the interview ended, she said to seriously stay in touch and that is exactly what I plan to do.
It was such a humbling experience. Not many people get the privilege to receive this type of connection in any industry, let alone the best in that industry. I was so happy and relieved that all of my hard work to get in the door had paid off.
I want my story to show others how anything is possible, even if they are against the odds. Being an athlete and a digital artist has so many obstacles to overcome, but it can be done and I have learned life lessons along the way.
Find these lessons throughout anything you do; grow, achieve, learn, be disciplined, and, most importantly, believe in yourself.