Category Archives: Business

Marketing in the Digital City

By Sophia Penna (GDDM ’19)

MKT 350 teacher Mariella Katz in the classroom (Sophia Penna)

Digital marketing (MKT 350) is a new course offered on the Montreal campus, taught by first time teacher Mariella Katz. I decided to take this course because my advisor and I both believed it would be a beneficial class to take as a Graphic Design major. My hopes before entering this class were to learn how to better market myself as an artist as well as any businesses I may work with in the future.

Mariella started her career as a photographer when she was just 16 years old, six years after her family moved from Bulgaria to Canada. She later went on to study interactive media and web-tv in college and then advertising and public relations. Mariella used her experience as an influencer and her background in marketing to take a risk and open her own company, Frenzr, which works with clients by managing their social media accounts and creating relevant, marketable content. They work with clients in an effort to pair them with influencers to make the brand seem more tangible. Mariella also hosts social media workshops where she teaches companies how to use social media to their advantage. Many of the topics she brings to MKT350 come directly from these workshops. Continue reading

Summer (Programs) In The City!

By Ryan Hipgrave (Assistant Director, Montreal Campus)

Ask any Montrealer, and they’ll tell you that the best time to be in this city is the summer. During those sunny months, the streets of North America’s largest French-speaking metropolis pulsate with the vibes of festivals, concerts, outdoor restaurants, and the millions of tourists flitting about our many antique cobblestone roads.

Given all that is exciting about Montreal in the summertime, it makes perfect sense that Champlain College would offer two different, immersive study abroad opportunities in the capital of French-Canadian identity. From May 25th to June 30th, 2018, students are invited to descend on Champlain’s Montreal Campus to participate in one of two exceptional for-credit programs! Through both the Summer Culture and Summer Filmmaking programs, students will engage with the city on meaningful levels as they focus their projects on the unfamiliar territory in which they find themselves.  Continue reading

A Pizza Advice

By Kyle Mays (Multimedia – California Lutheran ’18)

Like the DemoNight I attended last week, this was event where my expectations had to be put in check in a great way, but for entirely different reasons. I hadn’t expected the alumni pizza night to be anything more than hanging out with past students while also getting free pizza. What I had not taken into account was the number of alumni that would show up, that they were nearly all full time developers at professional Montreal game studios such as Ubisoft and Rogue Factor, and that they were mainly there to talk to us!

The Q&A they hosted was full of solid and insightful advice on how to start looking for jobs upon graduating, their workplace environments, and necessary communication skills. Some of the best tips I heard included the importance of being able to read conversations you are having with recruiters at social events, and how important it is to try and be likable and relate to their interests rather than your own personal interest in getting a job from them. They stressed the importance of being able to put yourself out there and practice conversational skills as much as you can, and if you can’t do it on your own, go with a friend who might help keep the conversation flowing and accentuate the qualities you have that you might not even recognize. None of the advice felt like it was condescending or a show they put on for us: it felt really genuine and practical and I really appreciated it.

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Getting In The Game

By Kyle Mays (Multimedia – California Lutheran ’18)

Attending the DemoNight was a fascinating experience, mainly because I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve never attended any sort of developer event like this before, and upon entering the show-floor I was hit with a wave of familiarity from convention parties I had attended in the past back home in California. I wasn’t expecting a stuffy, no-nonsense environment for a night of game demo presentations, but I guess I was not expecting it to be as casual and energetic so it was one of a number of pleasant surprises had that night!

Having not a whole lot of hard-asset skills and very little experience in the field of game-making I found it hard to squeeze into conversations myself, but it was refreshing to see how social the community truly is. Being able to grab a drink from the bar and just talk about aspects of the industry and personal projects with the level of enthusiasm and joy I saw in myriad developers dispersed all throughout the giant room was really invigorating. It felt thrilling just to be there!

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A MEGA (Montreal Electronic Game Arcade) Weekend

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Alex Dalton (Game Producer ’19) had the opportunity to attend MEGA as part of his internship. Alex tells us all about the event.

When you first look at Montreal, you would probably see the vibrant history of the city. If you look carefully you would be able to see the thriving technology scene. From Place des Arts to Centre Phi, tech is everywhere. The game industry is thriving in Montreal. A number of students, myself included, have managed to land internships within the game industry. When I was seventeen, I wanted to be where I am right now. I work as a production intern for an indie studio in Montreal. The internship has been great and towards the end of the internship, I was given the opportunity to go to MEGA. MEGA or Montreal Electronic Game Arcade was an event similar to the concept of Penny Arcade Expo. MEGA was meant for developers to show off their projects and receive feedback. I had a good time. Continue reading

The Internship Chronicles – Alex

Alex Dalton (Game Production ’19) tells us about his internship at indie studio, Back to the Game, during his semester abroad in Montreal. Alex also had the opportunity to table the game he was working on at MEGA and MIGS.

When a student comes to Champlain College, what do you think they came here for? For many, it was the opportunity for a higher education. For me, it was all about the internship opportunity. Champlain College offered a number of connections that I could use to break into the highly competitive game industry. Upon arriving in Montreal I was thrilled to be starting my internship. Unfortunately for me, I did not find one for a few weeks but when I did, I hit the jackpot. I landed an internship at Back to the Game. Back to the Game or B2TG was founded by my boss Richard Rispoli, three months before I came around. The team was small, consisting of industry veterans. Richard worked in the game industry for fifteen years prior working on platforms ranging from PC to the Nintendo DS. Our lead programmer Ivan has been working with Richard for quite some time and I have become quite in awe of his programming skills. Back to the Game’s lead artist Michael is a quite and talented soul. Michael has worked on some great projects like Disney’s Zootopia and I have been honored to work with him. The same goes for everyone at Back to the Game. I could not be the producer I am today without the continued guidance of Richard.      Continue reading

The Internship Chronicles – Nick

Nick Oprisu (Game Production ’19) tells us about his internship at Illogika during his semester abroad in Montreal.

There is a good deal of discussion and debate about what a game “producer” does. Is it mainly business tasks like budgeting and marketing, or is it more project management role? Is it an equal mix of both, or is it something else? This uncertainty is partially why I was drawn to this type of work. Self determination and independence are traits I value highly in people and companies, and the chance to forge my own mark on this new profession is a welcome opportunity. While we can debate the role of them, producers are key to managing even small teams and making sure a game goes from an idea to a product, and a successful one at that. The successful producers figure out this balance fast and adapt their style and work methodology to the team they have. This tightrope walk of managing the product and managing the business is what separates the bad producers from the good ones, and understanding when their current model is failing separates the good from the great. Continue reading

Champlain Montreal Turns 10!

By Karisa Desjardins (BUSA ‘16)

Our amazing student volunteers, who made everything possible! (Hannah Cartmel)

In 2007, Champlain College realized a long-held dream to open a study abroad campus outside the United States. Montreal, Quebec, Canada was chosen not only because of its eclectic mix of languages and cultures, but also due to the city’s exciting learning and professional opportunities in Emerging Media. Since then, Champlain Abroad Montreal has seen more than 600 students pass through its doors, placed 131 interns at companies like Ubisoft and Behavior, and now has over 20 alumni working and living in the city. With all of these achievements and more, it was time to celebrate!

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The Internship Chronicles – Katie

By Katie Boynton (GDDM ’17)

Maybe it’s the sentimentality of these Montreal days, or the rapidly approaching end of my college career, but I can’t seem to stop reminiscing– sorting through and reliving my memories of the past four years. I don’t mean this to sound bleak. In many ways, my introspection is happily and embarrassingly self-indulgent. I’m beyond proud of everything that I have been able to accomplish during my time at Champlain College, but this semester has definitely been the cherry on top.

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Gaming the City

By Laura Reilly (EGPR ’18)

Montreal is a huge gaming hub. What I mean by this is that Montreal is full of not only great game companies like Ubisoft or Compulsion, but Montreal is also home to some of the greatest gaming opportunities for either developers or those that just love playing video games. To name a few would be an understatement, so I’m here to name all of the different aspects of gaming culture here in Montreal!

  1. In the classroom

If you’re majoring in a division of the Game Studio, chances are your professors are developers themselves at different companies. For example, artists here learn VFX  from a developer at Behaviour, and two sections of Production ll learn from a producer and a gameplay programmer at Ubisoft! Since our professors are in the industry themselves, they have the firsthand experience of working in the industry to apply knowledge into the classroom. And if you’re lucky, they’ll invite recruiters to come and play your Production games! (Some are coming next week to see mine…help).

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