Hey, I’m Shanae, a graduate from The Art of Visual Effects undergraduate course, and I’m happy to share with you my top 5 tips to help you make the most out of attending an Open Day at Escape Studios!

Tip 1: Get prepping

Doing some research and brainstorming questions beforehand can make your trip more worthwhile, getting all your burning questions answered on the day. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a course: what modules will you study? What software will you use and is the license included? How does it prepare you to get a job in the creative industries? Jot down all your questions and bring them along!

What’s more, the crew send out an event schedule by post and email so you can plan your day too. Have a read through to get a heads up on the different talks and activities taking place so you can make time for the ones that are most important to you. I’d recommend joining the industry talks, hosted by Artists from leading studios across London. Not only are they inspiring, they share lots of helpful tips about breaking into the industry.

Don’t forget to plan your journey in advance and take some time to explore the city after the event. After all, London will be your campus!

Tip 2: Find out what it’s really like to be a student

Who better to ask about student life than current students? They have the most valuable outlook on what it’s like to study at Escape Studios and will be on hand throughout the day for a chat. Unsure about what to ask? Take a look below for some inspiration.

  • What course are you studying and why?
  • What did you study before coming to Escape Studios?
  • How’s the workload?
  • What’s your favourite thing about your course?
  • Why did you decide to come to Escape Studios?
  • How long is your commute from either student halls, private accommodation or home?
  • Student accommodation vs living at home
  • Things to do around London

Plus, there’ll also be a chance to meet our industry-trained tutors, student advisors and ‘Escapees’ (alumni), so take the opportunity to ask them questions too.

Tip 3: Get a feel of the building

Working in the VFX, Game Art, or Animation industry as an artist means that you will spend most of your working hours in front of a computer screen in a studio environment. Escape Studios prides themselves in getting their students “industry ready” and one way they do this is by designing their classrooms to mirror the industry standard, ensuring you study in a professional environment from day one. I love the space they created, it’s a creative hub that gave me the freedom to be creative but you really need to see it for yourself.

Make sure you take a tour around the campus to see where you could be studying. Check out our state-of-the-art workstations and open planned breakout spaces and have a think about whether you could see yourself feeling comfortable spending your time here, and did I forget to mention? Unlimited free tea, coffee and hot chocolate for students from our coffee machines placed on each floor!

Tip 4: Portfolio advice

If nothing else, make sure you take the time to ask for portfolio advice from our expert tutors who are on hand to give you tips to make your portfolio stand out. You may be thinking, with hundreds of applications, how can I be remembered and considered for a scholarship? Open Days are an awesome chance to speak 1-2-1 and find out what tutors would like to see or what was memorable in previous years.

Don’t forget, current students have already been through the Creative Workshop and can give you first-hand advice about what the tutors liked about their portfolio and share their experience of the application process.

Tip 5: Refresh your mind

I understand it’s a busy time, visiting lots of different universities, finding a course that’s right for you and thinking through your options, which is why it’s so important to take home a goodie bag to look through to reflect on the day and share with family or friends when making the all important decision! Course brochures are really handy for finding out about the modules you’ll be studying and the tutors leading your course. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself when considering your options:

  • Did I enjoy the look/feel of the university campus?
  • Does the course teach me what I need to launch my career?
  • Does their teaching style suit me?
  • How will the tutors' industry experience help me advance my skills?
  • Was I impressed by the quality of student work?

Those were my top 5 tips to make the most out of an Open Day, I hope they were helpful! Just remember to have fun and relax, Open Days are a chance for you to see if you feel at home and could see yourself joining the Escape Studios community. Feel free to bring along a friend or family member as it can be useful to have another perspective on the day.

Good luck as you explore the exciting path ahead!

-By Shanae Bedford (Visual Effects 'Escapee')

Further information about Open Days can be found on our website.