Landing a job just three months after graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is helping to make Luigi Platania’s career aspirations a reality.
The Audio and Recording Technology graduate is working as a junior sound designer at Dovetail Games, a British video game developer specialising in simulation experiences that recreate real-world hobbies and put players at the heart of the action.
Despite coronavirus forcing Luigi to work from home since starting his role, the company helped him to relocate closer to its headquarters and set him up with the equipment he needed for the job.
“It’s an exciting place to work and the people are great,” said the 26-year-old from Italy.
Implementing sound into games is one of Luigi’s main responsibilities, requiring technical expertise and a good understanding of programming.
He said: “The role is perfect for me because I want to steer my career in a technical direction rather than a design one.”
Luigi was able to secure the job thanks to the valuable grounding in programming that he gained at DMU.
“I’m very lucky because I chose programming as an optional module during the second year of my degree and fell in love with the discipline, so I carried it through to my final year,” he said.
“The most exciting thing about it is the problem-solving process. Thinking around things and trying to implement new strategies is fascinating to me.
“I’m really grateful to my tutor Dr Ross Clement who taught me everything from scratch – before him I had never written a single line of code. He had a frustrating way of never telling you the solution to a problem, but I can really see the value of what he was doing now.”
The course provided Luigi with a broad set of skills which he continues to develop further. After finishing work at 4pm, he dedicates a few hours each evening to both study and practice programming techniques.
He said: “Taking advantage of all of the opportunities available in the UK is important to me. Before I came here I was doing a history degree in Italy, but I realised this wasn’t the right choice for my future. I dropped out in my second year and decided to follow my true passion.”
After extensive research into different universities and relevant degrees, Luigi found DMU’s offer to be the strongest.
“DMU’s facilities made my decision easy – the fact that you can book a studio 24/7 to do your coursework and personal projects to develop your practical skills,” he said.
“One of my highlights was connecting and working with students from other courses, something that’s really encouraged at DMU. For example, I did the sound design for an Animation student’s final-year project, which was a great experience.”
Another one of Luigi’s university highlights was setting up DMU’s Sound Design Society, bringing together students with the same passion. Members met weekly to redesign audio clips from existing films or video games.
He said: “At the end of each workshop we would give some feedback on each other’s work. This was the most important part in my opinion, understanding how to both give and receive constructive feedback is essential in the game industry.
When it comes to applying for jobs, Luigi has a tried and tested tactic to share with graduates.
He said: “Search for your ideal jobs on LinkedIn and look at the requirements. Collect them and see if there are any patterns in what companies want. That way you can make yourself more marketable.
“All the roles I was interested in required a certain level of programming, so I made a portfolio to showcase my skills in this area and that really helped me to get interviews, and ultimately, my job.”
Dr Sven-Amin Lembke, Programme Leader for Audio and Recording Technology at DMU, said: "Students like Luigi, who are committed to their studies but also explore extracurricular opportunities, develop portfolios and skills that keep convincing employers across a wider range of audio professions.
"As lecturers, we strongly encourage and support this kind of proactive, ambitious mindset in our students."
Posted on Monday 1st February 2021