Mature student turns hobby into full-time career
A Preston man has turned his love of gaming into a full-time career, after completing a BSc (Hons) degree in Computer Games Development at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and landing his dream job.
Neil Osbaldeston, from Ingol, will start his new role as a Junior Programmer at Runcorn-based d3t just one week after graduating from the University - after impressing the software engineering company during a 14-month placement.
The placement came about as a result of Neil meeting d3t’s Studio Technical Director during his second year of studies when he made it to the finals of Rising Star, one of the gaming industry’s most prestigious competitions which sees participants completing a number of challenges.
Before studying at UCLan, 38-year-old Neil, who attended Our Lady’s Catholic High School, had a varied career path before returning to his number one passion. Going straight into an apprenticeship in aircraft engineering at BAE Systems after leaving school, he also spent five years as an aircraft engineering technician in the Royal Navy.
One of the best things about UCLan is the courses truly match what the industry is looking for in terms of skills, knowledge and experience.
Neil said: “One of the best things about UCLan is the courses truly match what the industry is looking for in terms of skills, knowledge and experience. The placement proved to be invaluable to me, allowing me to get hands on and of course land a dream job in the process! I enjoyed every single day and I knew it was what I really wanted to do.
“I’d like to thank my tutors, including Nicky Danino, as their support and the experiences provided through the course have resulted in opportunities which have helped me realise my lifelong ambitions.
“I’ve always been into gaming, so it’s brilliant to now be on the other side of things working in development. It feels good to know all the hard work has been worth it and I can now really get stuck into a job working in an industry I love.”
Neil is one of 3,500 students who graduated in front of family and friends on the University’s Preston Campus this week.