International Students Testimonies

Dream study program Game Design and Interactive Media: Interview with student Chelsea Gröper

With her studies in Game Design and Interactive Media, Chelsea Gröper is already a big step closer to her dream of working in the games industry one day. In this interview, we asked her about her favorite courses so far, her experiences at HMKW Berlin, and her personal recommendations for prospective students.

Chelsea Gröper studies in the 2nd semester B.A. Game Design and Interactive Media at HMKW Berlin. (Photo: Deborah Bischofberger)

Chelsea Gröper studies in the 2nd semester B.A. Game Design and Interactive Media at HMKW Berlin. (Photo: Deborah Bischofberger)

You are studying Game Design and Interactive Media in your 2nd semester, so the application phase is still recent: Why did you choose this study program and what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

Games have always been a part of my life. I grew up with them and in hard moments they picked me up and showed me that life can also have beautiful sides. Especially after the death of my mother, I focused a lot on drawing and programming towards games. I decided early on that I wanted to turn my hobby into a career. HMKW helped me a lot with this decision, because I was able to see for myself, based on the modules offered, whether the program would help me personally and whether it would fit my interests.

Due to the pandemic, the semester has started online. Can you nevertheless already give a first impression of the course of studies?

Regarding my first impression of the course of studies, I can only describe it as positive, especially with regard to the pandemic conditions. When I started studying, I was downright surprised at how open-minded and personal the lecturers were in their interactions with the students. If you had a question, you could always approach the lecturers or if you needed feedback on a project, there was always enough time to get constructive criticism.

At the beginning of my studies, so last year in October 2020, there was hybrid teaching. Even though it was only for a very short period of time, we had the chance to be taught on-site at the campus. In retrospect, I can only see this experience as positive. All contact restrictions and hygiene measures were consistently enforced and you always felt safe in your environment.

 

I am also very satisfied with the team spirit among the students. Even during enrollment, everyone had a close bond. This was probably also due to the fact that the interests are so close to each other. There was also contact with other students from other subjects, such as graphic design, even though we only had online classes. So you found connection and had the opportunity to make new contacts. Which I think is very important, especially in terms of the pandemic and contact restrictions, because it meant you could get lonely quickly. I am very grateful to study at HMKW, because if I have questions that go beyond my studies, I can always find a contact person.

Which project/course are you looking forward to or which project/course did you like best so far? Why?

Looking back at the modules I've already had, that's quite a difficult question, because I enjoyed all of them. But if I had to choose, it would be two courses that I particularly enjoyed. One course is Modeling and Texturing, because I already did a lot of modeling in my leisure time. Not using a PC, but with Fimo, a modeling clay that hardens in the oven. Therefore, I already had prior knowledge and got along relatively quickly with the programs.

Another course I really enjoyed was Visual and Interactive Storytelling in the first semester. There I made a Visual Novel, which I am very proud of, because I could not only prove my drawing skills, but also do basic programming.
However, when I look at the modules that are still waiting for me during the course of my studies, I am especially looking forward to the Programming and Visual Scripting and Rigging and 3D Animation modules.

 

What do you like about studying at HMKW in general?

Basically, I can only say that I am very happy with my decision to study at HMKW. I have friends who study at other universities and they usually don't have the personal contact with the lecturers as we have here at HMKW.

It's amazing how everyone responds to you on a personal level. If you have any questions, for example about a part-time job, you can simply ask the Career Service. I personally took advantage of this offer because due to the pandemic it was not always easy to find a part-time job that suits you and offers you job security. In my opinion, the wide-ranging modules are the absolute highlight of studying at HMKW. Each module enriches you with skills and knowledge that you can certainly put to good use in your later professional life.

Do you already have a concrete career goal or at least an idea for the internship?

I don't have a concrete career goal yet, because I'm still open in case something in the upcoming modules appeals to me so much that I could imagine specializing in it. Basically, however, I have been very interested in working in the fields of drawing and programming for quite some time. Where exactly I want to spend my internship, I haven't thought about yet. I only know that I would like to work in the games industry, because here I can experience everyday life and be right there where games are created. It is one of my big dreams to work for a large company like Ubisoft later on.

What advice would you give to university applicants?

Apply! From my experience, I can only tell you that people often worry too much in advance. For example, people are afraid that they might not be able to draw well enough or that they do not know a programming language. Sure, it is very helpful to have these skills and knowledge, but they are not mandatory and not a requirement for studying at HMKW.

After all, you want to study game design to learn and make experiences in the field. You should apply because you're interested in the subject and because you're passionate about it. And not because you already know everything. So don't be shy: You have nothing to lose but only to win!

Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best for the future and a wonderful, exciting time at HMKW!