Graduate produces animated film for YMCA

MA Animation Graduate Isuru Chamika took part in the GO Wales Graduate Academy training course last year to increase his chances of gaining employment in the competitive animation industry. We caught up with Isuru to find out a bit more about his experience and the animated film he produced for the YMCA; 

Why did you apply for the Graduate Academy?

As a computer animation post graduate, even though I had better subject knowledge, I didn’t get any experience after I graduated. I felt on many occasions, that if I could further improve my employability skills, it would help me get an exciting opportunity soon. Also as a graduate coming from oversees I had big competition in the UK and internationally. So I was searching a suitable programme to enhance my employability skills with leadership and management training. I got to know about the Graduate Academy through Glamorgan careers service and felt immediately that it was right programme that I had been searching for.

What were the highlights of the course?  

I really enjoyed the interesting teaching methods of the tutors, the ILM course work and the practical work experience. As an overseas student, opportunity to interact with Welsh graduates was a big highlight for me as well. I met lots of lovely friends from the first day.

It was fun filled and a great experience to me entirely. Furthermore, everything in the Graduate Academy was brilliantly organised from the start to end by the GO Wales team and Career services of University  Wales Trinity Saint David .

You completed your work experience placement with the YMCA in Cardiff, what did you achieve during this time?

The project was offered by the Financing Officer at the YMCA Housing Association Cardiff. Because I was doing the leadership and management programme, I picked the most challenging project to gain a lot of new skills.

The YMCA asked me to make an Animation for children age 3 to 11 to illustrate their textile recycling project which raises funds for homeless people. I produced the animation film from idea to the final stage while developing good confidence and learning variety of new skills through practice; reading books, asking tutors of CCI Atrium and meeting professionals.

The YMCA kindly assisted me to get employability skills and relevant work based information without  hesitation when writing reports. So apart from my creative skills I gained communication skills, problem solving, project management, interpersonal skills and many more. Not only that, the staff of the prefab shop, recycling unit and the YMCA, offered good support to me while I was collecting primary and secondary research data and my work experience manager motivated me every time I faced a barrier.

I gained the ILM award finally and completed my dream Animated film in January 2012. Also the target audience research, viewing the film in front of managers, and designing a promotional DVD gave me a brilliant work related experience.

Here is my animation; 

What are your plans for the future?

Thanks for the Graduate Academy I am currently applying for major animation, games jobs, and teaching opportunities in UK and Internationally as I now have an updated CV with a management qualification and a creative project. Also I’m interested to join a research studentship which combines the practical work experience and education to further expand my knowledge and step towards the career goals.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I truly admired the Graduate Academy; it’s an extremely helpful, recognised programme for unemployed graduates to secure an excellent job.  During the academy I had excellent support and encouragement to do my reports and to reach the ILM Award from the coordinator, tutors and guest speakers. So, I’m really thanking them all as a student from overseas, for their kindness that they showed towards me. Moreover, they created practical solutions when I faced some essay related difficulties during the programme. I was extremely happy to get a work Taster manager like Helen Hare and supervisor Mandy Smithson in YMCA Cardiff who encouraged me towards the right direction.

The most important thing that I have to add is;

As an International graduate I’d like to show my gratitude towards the Coordinators Gwen & Jane for the opportunity, GO Wales, University of Wales Trinity saint David, and ESF Fund for funding graduates to do this valuable programme .So I wish that I can make Wales and my beautiful island Sri Lanka proud in the future through my talents. Also I strongly recommend this great opportunity to other graduates in Wales who are dreaming to have big promising careers in the future.