Internship Journal: Will Stewart
The internship journal is a series that gives each of our interns an opportunity to showcase the projects they’ve worked on as well as their insights from work experience in the industry. We love our interns because they bring ambition and fresh perspectives. It’s also our way of injecting the world with more people who love to do cool work.
Our doors are always open to curious cats who love to experiment with tech and story, if that’s you, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I first heard of S1T2 while internship-hunting on my university’s website – they had put up a job posting for a position I definitely was not qualified for. But I emailed Tash, who was the point of contact and explained my situation. He was more than happy to meet me for an interview, and just like that, my journey with S1T2 began.
When I first started working, I was overwhelmed by how little I knew- it was actually pretty scary. But from the beginning, I could tell that there was a unique and vibrant atmosphere, and I was eager to become a part of it. I was interested in real-time and 3D rendering, so I started playing around with Unreal Engine and learning a bit of Maya.
The very first real project I worked on was making an artwork for the ‘Fables from the Threshold’ exhibition. Where I basically teamed up with a designer to conceptualise and execute an interactive artwork in time for opening night.
Our game, Mind Over Matter is based on the idea that ‘everyone’s brain is identical – but every mind is unique’, an exploratory interactive piece, which questions the concept of human thought and decision-making. Specifically, the aim is to demonstrate the duality of our mind and brain in which they are conceptually separate yet inextricably linked, through a framework of a fun and simple interactive piece. The user is encouraged to questions whether they are truly separate, or where their consciousness truly lies.
While this was definitely terrifying, I learnt a lot on the fly being placed in a position where I was forced to think both creatively and technically. I used the Unreal Engine for and a Kinect to track players walking on an LED floor. This project was a huge stepping stone for me- not only in terms of technical skills- but other important things like working with a designer, pitching ideas, developing a project through feedback and criticism and much more. All along the way I had really valuable input and help from lots of different members of the team, but I also really appreciated the degree of freedom I was given to explore.
From that point onwards, I was involved in a lot of different projects using all different kinds of technology. I have worked on developing a Virtual Reality Android application in Unity for The World Bank. Using Unreal again together with the Kinect to help create an interactive projection display for AECOM’s Subterranean City, a part of Vivid Ideas. Recently, I have even used the Houdini Engine to create animations used in a VR experience for Ford. Each one of these projects was- at times- difficult and stressful, but also incredibly an engaging and rewarding experience that teaches a lot.
In my 6 months here I already feel as though I have learnt more than 2 years that university could teach me. Of course, my development in technical skills and understanding of things like Unreal, Unity and other 3D, real-time rendering stuff has been huge. However, the unique opportunity lies in an internship providing technical knowledge applicable in the real-world. Things such as how projects are managed, the best way to collaborate with a team, managing client’s expectations, and addressing users needs aren’t things that can be taught, but learnt through experience.
Perhaps the most important thing I will take away from this experience is a new perspective about what my future career may hold. Coming to S1T2, I had never really thought too hard about what kind of career I would pursue after studying. But my time here has opened my eyes to the possibilities of creative technology. Working in the realm of technology, but being creative and artistic at the same time is really exciting for me, and I look forward to investigating further the possibilities.
What makes me really happy interning at S1T2 is the environment. There is a visceral sense of collaboration, creativity and fun with a strong core of hard work and pushing boundaries. I think generally that small businesses are perfect for internships, as you get much more of a chance to be directly involved. Being able to participate in such interesting projects, and really feel that you are at the forefront of innovation. But the most important part of S1T2 are the people- the whole team is welcoming, friendly and helpful. It really makes me look forward to coming into work every day, and I hope to maintain the relationships I have built up here.
I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed all my time here- even when under the crushing pressure of a deadline or frantic preparation for an event. Not only has it been incredibly educational, but genuinely fun. So while I have to go back to uni and finish my studies, I look forward to maintaining a relationship with S1T2, and seeing where they go into the future.
If there’s a Will, there’s a way. That’s the best way to sum up Will. Working with him is easy and breezy, he’s reassuring and manages to make challenging work look like a piece of cake. He’s easy to communicate with, from interpreting art direction to functionality, and bringing that into completion through his creativity. We’ve really enjoyed having Will on the team and we’re excited to see what this avid learner has to offer the world.