Summer Internship Recap

Well, this week completes my summer internship with Big Tent Entertainment in NYC. I’ve had an incredible experience working there, and will never look at Domo-Kun without smiling at the memories behind him. Big Tent is a licensing & marketing agency that “brings brands to life,” including PixFusion, TLC, Discovery Kids, Domo, Science Channel and more. The people there are great, and the potentials are endless. I could not have asked for a more supportive environment for my first internship ever….All the fears of being a lost, confused little kid in the big Apple completely dissipated, and I am excited to take on the next challenge.

I had originally applied for the Digital Marketing Intern position, but was fortunate enough to be recruited as more of a Games Specialist Intern–which was perfect for me, since I chose Marist specifically for the Communications & Media Arts major with the Interactive Media/Game Studies concentration. I’m finally seeing where this broad combination can fit in 🙂

This internship experience provided me with incredible opportunities to work with larger companies, engage in interesting projects, conduct substantial assignments independently, contribute creative ideas and overall gain a well-rounded hands-on experience in several different marketing and game-related areas of interest. Here are just some of the projects I was fortunate enough to be involved with:

Planet Domo Facebook game

  • QA testing
  • Video production of the official gameplay trailer
  • Track and analyze metrics in conjunction with marketing efforts
  • Develop a Facebook community management & marketing plan
  • Work with the Head Developer & CEO of the social game company TheBroth

Market research on the gaming industry

  • Completed an intensive market research report on the gaming industry (overview, with a look into current trends, demographics and business models) and gaming companies (profiles of 90 of today’s most prevalent companies, highlighting the top players in each category)
  • Tracked the top social and mobile games & companies, and studied what makes their games and marketing effective

Game-based learning initiatives for Discovery Kids

  • Helped select appropriate mini-games for the Discovery Kids website, based on the brand & demographics fit
  • Investigated & evaluated various opportunities for Discovery Kids game extensions
  • Provided feedback of a new potential game-based learning website partner (identified strengths & weaknesses (navigation, engagement, learning experience, aesthetics), proposed solutions, recommended ways to enhance the game-based learning user-end experience, proofread and tested content)
  • Identified potential areas & approaches of promoting Puterbugs on some TLC & Discovery websites

Branded-games effort for Big Tent

  • Contributed input regarding which Big Tent brands fit into which gaming avenues best
  • Designed game concepts for current & potential future brands — particularly in the social & mobile areas

I am very grateful for this unique experience, and would definitely recommend it to any college student who wants to be involved in a variety of areas including social games, video production, community management & marketing, game industry market research, game-based learning, branded-games and game concept design. As much as I would have enjoyed sticking around, it’s time to focus on the upcoming semester. The knowledge and skills I’ve obtained through this experience, though, will be carried with me and further developed throughout the next couple years for sure.

Now that I’ve been exposed to different areas under my umbrella of strengths and interests, it’s probably time to start narrowing down into a specific area…and I do not yet know where that’ll be. Reflecting on this summer, the game-based learning and social gaming areas revolving around content and design seem to stand out most to me, along with community management & marketing of Facebook games. This semester I’ll be taking on several production classes in which I can indulge in After Effects, Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop and Maya (and Unity on my own). So between the experience I just gained and the skill sets I’m about to grow, we’ll see where the future takes me!

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