A Tale Of Three Thursdays (…Plus One)

Siddharth Chinnakaruppan Rajendran

The major groundwork for this story was laid on the day before the First Thursday, when my portfolio instructor, Nicole Maas, came by my desk to review my progress. She saw my Manchester United themed workplace and liked that I’m into football (soccer for you North Americans). And I was glad she called it ‘football’. That’s when she suggested I email her my resume.

Sid's FIFA Themed Workspace

First Thursday (November 15) was a busy day wrapping up my final project. I was in the middle of a significant thought process when I was interrupted by the buzz of my cellphone. It was an email from Human Resources at Electronic Arts. It was an offer for an interview at the studio. I fainted in my chair after reading it. Now, why was it that significant?

Well, even though I grew up playing Pac-Man, Mario and all those classics, it was when I played FIFA 98 that I first noticed the name of the studio that made the game (because the pop-up goes, “EA Sports. It’s in the game”). Ever since, whenever I said “I want to work in games,” it could always be loosely translated as “I want to work on FIFA.” So, yeah! I fainted.

A week passed preparing for the interview, setting up a date and time. Sure enough, the interview was scheduled on the Second Thursday (November 22), which was also the day of my final project presentation (Unboxed)  at VFS (i.e., at Game Design’s Industry Night event, Pitch & Play). I was super excited, partially nervous, and appropriately confident as I stepped into the EA studio. There were two sessions with three great guys. I felt more comfortable than nervous as the interview went along. We had a few laughs and I answered the questions to the best of my knowledge.

“We’ll have feedback in about a week”, the follow up email read. I wished I could go into hibernation for a week, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep until the next email.

Eventually, the ultimate Third Thursday (November 29) came along. I had no classes that day, so I spent most of the day refreshing my inbox and playing some FIFA 13 to relieve stress. After 6:00pm, I stopped checking my email, since, well, it was past working hours. I was playing more FIFA when my cellphone ran at 7:15. It was from EA. The call I’d been waiting to answer, not all day, not all week, but all my life! I was offered the position of Associate Software Engineer on FIFA!

Looking back now, all I can remember from the last three weeks are those Thursdays that changed my life.

I would like to thank the school, my instructors at VFS, my team (Jon TittleyPablo Ros & Sarthak Kapoor), Nicole, and my friends, who were all a part of my journey.

P.S. The Thursday charm actually kept going for one more week. On the Fourth Thursday (December 6), our game, Unboxed, was chosen as Best Student Interactive Property in the DigiBC annual competition. I’m looking forward to more Thursdays now.

Editor’s note: Sid is now happily working for EA, but he came back to VFS for one more Thursday event (December 13) — his graduation!