Speaker Notes

Glenda Martin

Glenda Martin, the Career Development Consultant in Ulster University, gave a talk about CVs, Cover Letter and employability in general. Glenda is based in the Career development centre on the second floor of the library. Glenda talked about the Career development centre and the various ways it can help, including:

  • Career Management Modules
  • Employer Events/Talks
  • Information, Advice and Guidance
  • Online Tools and Resources (‘My Career’ section of the UU portal)
  • Career Masterclasses programme with employer insights.

Top 10 Desirable skills for employment:

  1. Commercial awareness
  2. Communication
  3. Teamwork
  4. Confidence
  5. Problem Solving
  6. Attention to detail and accuracy
  7. Organisation
  8. Motivation and Perseverance
  9. Ability to cope with pressure
  10. Negotiation and persuasion

Application Forms:

Ensuring that your Skills, Abilities, Knowledge and Experience (SAKE) fit the person or job’s specification is vital to a good application form.

It is important to research the company, its mission statement, markets, products, expansions, development and values.

The form should be filled in as instructed and thoroughly checked for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes (possibly by another person). It is important to keep a spare copy of the form to read it before the interview.

USP (Unique Selling Point)

Identify three things about yourself that make you the best candidate for the job.



When writing a CV it is important to list your skills in such a way that they are applicable for the job in question. It can be helpful to provide evidence of these skills.

The CV should be presented in a logical order, in a layout and design appropriate to the role you are applying for. You should sell yourself using positive verbs with the most prevailing, powerful words to the left hand side.

What to include in your CV:

  • Personal details
  • Skill profile
  • Career Objective
  • Achievements
  • Interests
  • Education
  • Employment history
  • Referees


In an interview, it is important to be positive, show enthusiasm and smile, and to allow the interviewer to easily obtain information.

When answering Interview Questions, find a suitable scenario from your own experiences which reflects the key skills being asked for. The STAR mnemonic is helpful in these questions:

  • Situation – What was the situation?
  • Task – What did you do?
  • Action – How did you complete the task? What steps were taken?
  • Result – What was the outcome?


In an interview, impressions are as important as what you say. It has been said that only 7% of the interview is decided by your words, 38% by your tone of voice and 55% by your body language. It is important to ask a question at the end of any interview, such as “Are there opportunities for an employee to grow within your company?”

Laura Livingstone (Ntropic)

This week we had a talk with producer Laura Livingstone from Ntropic. This talk was useful with regards getting a job in the Animation and VFX industry.

  • You need to be receptive to feedback and its context, and to understand the director’s main goal.
  • Be versatile, learn different types of software and their advantages and disadvantages and keep up with the industry trends.
  • Do only what is asked for by the client

James Baker (Pixar)

James Baker is a freelance story and visual development artist who has worked on an impressive line-up of projects including Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, The Boxtrolls and Inside Out.

This was our first time talking to a story artist, and he talked from a different perspective than an animator or digital effect artist. James had a fun story from his time working on Finding Nemo about how one of his proxy voices for the crab in in Finding Nemo was left in the finished movie.

Karin Cooper (ILM)

Karin Cooper is a creature supervisor from Industrial Light and Magic who recently helped to create the bear from The Revenant. I was very excited to hear this talk as I had just watched The Revenant at the cinema the previous day. Most of Karin’s talk was about her career and experiences, from her beginnings to where she is now. Many of the questions asked were directed towards technical facts about The Revenant



Gavin Moran (Epic Games)

Gavin Moran is a senior animator at Epic Games and director of A Boy and his Kite, an Unreal Engine 4 tech demo, the link to which is below


He explained that the Unreal engine makes it possible to create scenes of this visual quality without spending countless hours rendering. I was shocked that this was possible.

Gerard Dunleavy (MPC)

Gerard Dunleavy is a graduate of the Animation Masters course currently working in London for MPC. Gerard’s award-winning Masters showreel is shown above. which was the winning entry for International CG Student of the year 2012.

Gerard talked about his experiences in the industry, from starting his course to his current position.

Niall Carlin (DoubleJump Studios)

Niall Carlin is the director of DoubleJump Studios. As a self-employed animator it was interesting to see what his approach to the industry is.

A major phrase that Niall used in the talk was “Don’t ask how, ask why!”. He went on to explain that asking how something done will only get you the technical know-how needed to replicate it, but by asking why you can learn a lot more about the artist’s intentions behind this approach.


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