By Candy Wassermann

In an empty theatre, you might find Anna Goodman (BIT/21 Interactive Multimedia and Design), still seated until the very last word scrolls by.

Anna Goodman (BIT/21 Interactive Multimedia and Design)

Anna Goodman (BIT/21 Interactive Multimedia and Design)

For Anna, the credits are almost more exciting than the episode or movie itself. She has always dreamed of being part of a visual effects (VFX) team and to one day see her name appear on the big screen. Despite the short time after graduation, Anna has achieved her goal, receiving her first film credit in a big-name production, Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

How did she get there? A mixture of her Carleton education, co-op placement, and the support of a good mentor.

Fast-tracking Career Success

Carleton’s Co-op Program offers students the flexibility to choose the number of work terms they would like to take. Many students choose co-op to develop their employability skills, explore career options in a learning environment, and graduate with tangible workplace experience. They also find themselves gaining a competitive edge when they are ready to enter the job market post-graduation.

“One co-op term was enough to give me a good jumpstart; not only did I make lots of connections that I then used in my job search post-graduation, but I also learned so much about the VFX industry,” says Anna Goodman.

“Carleton taught me how to use the industry-standard software which helped me a lot when I started learning layout.” She says, “There are so many different jobs within VFX that it would’ve been impossible to choose where I fit without first having that experience as a VFX Production Assistant [at Method Studios].”

Taryn Laurendeau (BIT/17 Interactive Multimedia and Design)

Taryn Laurendeau (BIT/17 Interactive Multimedia and Design)

During her time at Method Studios, Goodman worked with alumna Taryn Laurendeau (BIT/17 Interactive Multimedia and Design), a mentor at the time and now, a friend.

Taryn Laurendeau is no stranger to Carleton’s Co-op Program. In 2016, Taryn created a co-op position as a Junior Pipeline Developer at the Montreal office of MPC Film. Following her time there, she facilitated the creation of two more co-op positions to be offered to Carleton students at MPC Film, leading to her recognition as a Co-op Champion.

“A huge driving force for me is simply the ability to give back and offer others the same chance I was fortunate enough to have,” Laurendeau explains. “I myself would not have gotten the start I did without the particular help of a fellow IMD alumni, Victoria Grey.”

The Power of Mentorship

Laurendeau truly believes in paying the opportunity she received forward by opening doors for others when possible. “Looking at Anna: she did all the work. She had the talent and the passion all ready to go, I just helped remove the barrier to entry and coached her along a little!”

Today, Laurendeau is working as a Development Manager at EA Sports where she’s most recently worked on EA Sports FC 24. Having made the jump from VFX Production Manager at Digital Domain and before that, Method Studios, the gaming industry is new to her.

“I’m grateful for Carleton’s IMD program, which gave me a good and broad base to tackle a variety of technical/creative industries, including the gaming industry,” Laurendeau says.

“Even if students come out of all their co-op terms and find themselves thinking they didn’t connect with any of their placements – I hope they know that that, in itself, is still progress”, says Laurendeau. “The job itself is just one part of the co-op experience. The rest is the immersion into a company and industry.”

What’s Next for These Inspiring Alumni

Both Anna Goodman and Taryn Laurendeau are Carleton graduates to watch out for.

Goodman is very excited to continue pursuing VFX after her first debut in the credits of a prominent piece of entertainment. “I’m hoping to keep working on my skills as a Layout Artist at Rodeo FX, and I am also allowed to share that I worked on The Little Mermaid, coming out soon!”

Laurendeau moved into the gaming industry just last year. “I had an amazing time in VFX, though eventually my priorities and interests shifted, and the opportunity came for me to try something new. EA Sports and the gaming industry have been a great new challenge and I’m excited to see how this path develops!”

These great graduates, like many others, are part of a community of Carleton alumni who are keen to give back to the next generation of inspiring information technology professionals.

“[Taryn] welcomed me into the world of VFX, doing her most to help me achieve my career goals.” Goodman recalls, “I know [Victoria] mentored her when she was breaking into the industry, and we’re loving that the cycle continues; I’ve now received a message from a student looking for an opportunity. I’m following Taryn’s lead!”

Monday, May 8, 2023 in , ,
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