Could you introduce yourself to our readers, Matt? How did you get involved in the ‘Search4Jobs’ project and specifically, what is ‘Search4Jobs?’
Hi, I’m Matt Meffin. I’m a stunningly handsome 20 year old Aucklander, currently in my third year studying a conjoint degree, majoring in Computer Science and Operations Management at the University of Auckland. Search4Jobs is a NZ employment website. A friend told me that Search4Jobs was running an internship program called Get-a-Go-Getter so I had a quick look on the website. There were several internships available and although I thought the job being Paul Holmes’ assistant seemed interesting, I decided to apply for the role within Microsoft.
Do you have aspirations to be involved in the Gaming industry in the future?
I have had aspirations to be in the industry for many years now, originally I wanted to get into the coding and development of games, but recently my interest has moved to the management and promotion of games, which is why I thought the internship would be a great role for me.
What was it like working with Tolan Henderson and being part of the whole experience from within Microsoft?
I had a great time with Tolan and the rest of the team at Microsoft. Tolan was really generous letting me follow him around and ask all sorts of stupid questions. The experience was very interesting; I never thought it would be possible to have so much fun and still get work done.
How did you get interested in this industry in the first place?
My interest grew from my love of videogames and technology in general, I still remember convincing mum to let me hire a NES from the local video store when I was 6. One day I thought, maybe someone would pay me to do this, pay me to play video games, pay me to have fun. Ever since then, I knew the industry was for me.
Could you describe a typical working day at MS for us?
I wish I could, but unfortunately there isn’t such a thing as a typical day at Microsoft, every day was different. Generally it’s all about the process of getting games from the finished stage to the shelf of a store so gamers can enjoy them. There’s a fair bit of game testing, answering emails and collaborating with the advertising and PR teams.
Do you think you learned any ‘industry tricks or secrets’ whilst at Microsoft? How do you think the skills you learned at MS will be applicable to the work force? Why?
I learnt a lot of interesting things while at Microsoft, I don’t know if you could call them tricks or secrets, but interesting things none the less. The skills learnt will be useful to me because there aren’t many people who can say they have had hands-on experience with a company like Microsoft straight out of university.
If someone was interested in getting involved in the Search4Jobs project, where would they start?
The Search4Jobs Get-A-Go-Getter was a one-off campaign but I would recommend keeping your eyes on Search4Jobs and remember that there’s no harm in applying for things. You’ve got to be in to win. You might not get a position first time but you never know, you might get lucky.
What was it like beating so many other candidates for the opportunity at MS? What do you think it was that gave you the ‘edge’ over your competitors?
I was quite surprised to learn that there were over 200 applicants. Initially I thought I didn’t get the position because I didn’t hear anything for a few days but I was excited when I found I had got the position. I think I had an ‘edge’ because I am studying in an area that directly related to the position and that I wrote an eye-catching cover letter to say why they should hire me.
Do you play any particular video games and if so, what are you favourite titles or developers?
I have been playing games for many years now, my first console was a Sega Mega Drive, I was the coolest kid in my street for at least 2 weeks, when I got that for my birthday. Currently I play 360, Wii and the odd PC game. I’m a big fan of Nintendo. Miyamoto is a genius. I’m looking forward to Halo 3, GTA 4 and Super Mario Galaxy.
Are you working at the moment or do you have any plans in the near future to land your dream job?
I’m currently working at Harvey Norman in Botany Downs, in the computers department. I graduate from university next year and will be hunting for that dream job then. I’m hoping another opportunity much like this comes around before then.