We catch up with Anthea van Leeuwen, now working at Sumo Digital in Sheffield after winning an exclusive internship through our Sumo Digital Rising Star competition.
How are you finding working at Sumo Digital so far?
It’s been really great! Everyone has been really kind in helping me settle down here, and I’ve been given very enjoyable tasks (some of which did have an impact on the game as a whole)! Working here makes me feel like I’m really part of their group, and some of my colleagues have already become good friends of mine.
How long is your internship?
I started back in early September, and I’m planning to stay here until the end of January – so about 5 months! I’ve been discussing with Sumo about possibly extending my contract to see if it’s possible to combine it with my graduation.
What have you been working on?
The past month I’ve been working on Snake Pass. It’s Sumo’s first original IP, so everyone is very excited about it! We’ve actually been to EGX and PLAY Expo to show off our game and have gotten really positive feedback (which was a bit surprising at first, especially since I haven’t been to an expo like that before). We were even compared to huge games such as Yooka Laylee and Super Mario Sunshine!
Is working in a studio different to what you imagined it to be?
I can’t say it’s entirely the same. I’ve worked on some high-standard projects before, but it will always feel different from the real deal. The only real difference is that the people in charge here are professionals, whereas the people I used to work with were just classmates. I imagined that studios wouldn’t give interns many significant tasks to do, but that certainly isn’t true here!
Is there any advice you’d give to other students about taking part in internships and competitions like Search For A Star?
Taking part in competitions is very useful! Not only is it a way to gauge your skill level, but it’s also a great way to see what other people are capable of. If you’re ever planning on entering one, don’t be afraid. Losing isn’t a bad thing, if anything, I’d say you learn more from it than if you end up winning.
Internships are very useful as well. It’s a great chance to polish up your skills even more, especially because there’ll be a bunch of industry professionals there helping you along the way! Definitely go for it if you have the chance to, especially as a student.
What are your plans for the future?
After finishing up at Sumo, I hope to either do a graduation project or continue here for another half year. When I’m done graduating, I’ll start looking into applying to studios or talk to the ones I already have contacts with. So nothing that exciting, really! I’m just looking forward to officially start working in the industry!
Congratulations to Anthea on winning Sumo Digital Rising Star, and good luck with the rest of her internship!