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Rockstar New England visits Becker College

Rockstar New England visits Becker College

Published on: February 12, 2020


Becker College Interactive Media Design students listen to a presentation from Rockstar New England in the Colleen C. Barrett Center on the Worcester Campus.

Becker College Interactive Media Design students listen to a presentation from Rockstar New England in the Colleen C. Barrett Center on the Worcester Campus.

Steve Genovese, senior environmental artist at Rockstar, provides a portfolio review to Becker College student Haley Jarzosz, a senior Interactive Media Design student with a Game Art Concentration.

Steve Genovese, senior environmental artist at Rockstar, provides a portfolio review to Becker College student Haley Jarzosz, a senior Interactive Media Design student with a Game Art Concentration.

Representatives from Rockstar New England recently came to Becker College to speak to nearly a hundred Interactive Media Design students about what it’s like to work at one of Massachusetts’ premier game development studios.

“The Rockstar event was great,” said senior Chloe Tibets, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interactive Media, with a Game Arts Concentration. “I enjoyed having the opportunity to hear from industry professionals.”

Rockstar New England Senior Producer Gary Conti organized a team of seven individuals to visit Becker and provide students with an overview of the company. Based in Andover, Massachusetts, Rockstar New England is an American video game developer and a studio of Rockstar Games. Among other projects, Rockstar New England is known for developing elements of Grand Theft Auto IV‘s Microsoft Windows version (2009), Red Dead Redemption (2010), L.A. Noire (2011), Max Payne 3 (2012),  Grand Theft Auto V (2013), and Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018).  

Grand Theft Auto V has shipped over 110 million copies since its release in September 2013, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time.  Rockstar, a leader in the market, is known in the video game industry as an innovative company, player-centric in its philosophy, and consistently comes up with ways that transcend and re-imagine existing game genres.

“I truly believe this event was one of the best and most valuable game-related events held on campus so far,” said junior Jeffrey Lopera, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interactive Media, with a Game Arts Concentration.

Becker College’s Interactive Media Design program, which boasts a 12-year history and over 500 students, is recognized as a global leader in game design education. Students enrolled in the School of Design & Technology have access to a world-class education taught by expert faculty with years of experience in the field.

“Much of the success our game program is due to Becker’s unique merging of the creative, the technical, and the business side of interactive media—the whole video game ecosystem, from development to esports,” said Paul Cotnoir, Ph.D., director of Design Programs at the College. “This is an inclusive and diverse approach that ensures our students are engaged in a wide variety of real-world projects throughout their education.”

Becker partners with companies, government agencies, and non-profits to develop entertaining and educational games, simulation experiences, and interactive museum exhibits. Since the inception of its Interactive Media Design program, the College has been dedicated to fostering the growth of the gaming and technology industries in Massachusetts.

“Our students graduate not only with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a top-rated program, but also with a resume that propels them to succeed in a competitive job market,” said Alan Ritacco, Ph.D., dean of the School of Design and Technology. “We give students real-world experience by having them work with clients in the industry.  This experience allows them to jump-start their careers, launch their own companies, and dive into positions across the game industry. For this reason, I want to personally thank the employees of Rockstar New England for their time and efforts in making this such a successful event.”

Following a formal presentation and a question-and-answer session, the team from Rockstar provided one-on-one portfolio reviews for Becker undergraduates, MFA students, and recent program alumni.

“Having Rockstar give advice on my resume and portfolio was very beneficial, said senior Victoria Yong, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interactive Media Design, with a Game Development and Programming Concentration. “Being able to talk to a professional in my discipline provided perspective on what they look for in a candidate. This was such a great opportunity, and I would happily do it again.”

“Chris from Rockstar gave me really great advice to make my website a little bit more streamlined for someone doing a quick portfolio review,” said Dexter Stein, who recently graduated from Becker with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interactive Media Design. “I felt like a learned a lot and had my work validated.”

The portfolio review event was cosponsored by the Center for Career Education & Advising (CCEA) and the School of Design & Technology.

“Our students were super-energized for the event, came prepared with numerous insightful questions, and were grateful for the opportunity to have an industry expert review and provide feedback on their portfolios,” said Leslie Germond, associate director of the CCEA. “It’s these types of activities and partnerships that provide additional value to our students’ education by helping them better prepare for a rewarding career after Becker.”

To find out more about Rockstar Games, go to https://www.rockstargames.com/. To learn more about Becker College’s Interactive Media Design program, visit Interactive Media Design

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