Mitchell Patterson hasn’t quite graduated, but he’s already employed at a games development company where his daily tasks include dealing with clients like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.  

Mitchell is studying a Bachelor of ICT majoring in Games Design.

“I always, from a young age, really enjoyed games, and then extended that to games design. A big extension of games design is programming and everything that ICT is all about,” he said. 

My study experience has been really personalised to me, and I feel very looked after as an individual. With each and every single one of my lecturers.

“With the University’s help, I managed to get an internship at a game development company called Giant Margarita,” Mitchell said. 

It has been my dream since I was a little kid, to get a game development job, and thanks to Uni, I finally managed to get that, and I want to keep doing that for as long as I can.

In his second year of study Mitchell found himself in the United States meeting with the big players in technology like Google and Microsoft as part of the University’s ICT Stem Experience unit.

“The STEM experience was huge. It was two weeks of a full semester, and we got to meet all the big companies like Google and Microsoft, but also got to go to PAX West.

“We exhibited games that I've helped create. I'm doing it again this year, and it’s incredibly exciting,” he said.

I met lots of very smart people that taught me a lot about the industry. That applies not just in the US, but across the whole world as well. I've taken a lot of life skills from these people and they've taught me so much that I can bring back here and apply.

A big part of Mitchell’s job at Giant Margarita is liaising with companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, to get games published on their platforms, something he says is “amazing.”

“As a kid, I always looked up to these huge companies as impossible to reach, but now I'm talking to them on a daily basis, and it’s amazing.”

While the industry might be competitive, Mitchell says give it a go.

“I'd say if you're thinking about studying game design, just do it, because it is a career.  People tell you it’s not a career because it’s competitive. But you can do it if you push yourself hard enough. 

Thanks to the opportunities that I've gotten from Uni, I'm able to go out in to the workforce, whether it’s staying in Tasmania, moving across Australia to wherever I want to be, or across the entire world.

“The skills that I have are transferable to wherever I want to go.”

While there’s a world of opportunities at his feet, for now Mitchell plans to stay in Tasmania.

“The game development scene is growing here, it’s only getting bigger, and I'm so excited for the future of it.”

Find out more about studying Computing and IT at the University of Tasmania here