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Fresh Air Internship

Helping motivated, hungry students navigate the land between home and career. There are powerful tools we can learn and use wherever we may go – even if we don’t know our specific future.

Zach Bobbitt (Summer 2023)

  • Exploring what Math/CS looks like in the Animation Industry. 

  • Exploring deeper studio-habits and life-skills.

Zach and I worked together in the studio for 8 weeks.  He brought a passion for problem solving.  He brought a growing knowledge in Math and Computer Science – most recently at University of AL - Huntsville. Most importantly, he brought an incredible attitude and work ethic. I’m incredibly proud of all we accomplished together.

> Internship - Exploring Math/CS in Animation Production

Through our time together, Zach built a useful tool for the animation pipeline.  His resulting interface allows a user to input a basic set of pivots, which automatically creates the needed rig [a clean hierarchy of joints, controls, groups, and constraints] – saving time and money.  This tool is a solid base for future expansion as it proves to be valuable in projects. Along the way, he learned: a new coding language (Python), basics of CG (Autodesk Maya), Pycharm IDE, and exploration of AI in the studio.

JZRig show and tell

> Mentorship - Exploring Deeper Life-Skills & Studio-Habits

Together, we explored healthy habits in the studio – and life-skills that translate to any career.  At the heart of each mentoring [week] was a question like:

How do I approach bigger goals? How should I structure my day? How do I walk through challenges that arise? How do I present / teach / share what I've learned? How could I approach learning something new? What do I do when I don't know what to do?  How can I stay focused? 

We practiced The Art of: Tea Time, Iterating, Harvesting, Good Questions, Presentation, Pause & Celebrate, Creating a Plan & Purpose, and much, much more.   In this time, he also explored other sides of the industry. He chose to learn [and taught!] the basics of FX and Visual Programming (using SideFX Houdini).

explore houdini show and tell


Joshua | 

I loved partnering with Zach.  He’s got a stellar, curious, and intentional mind.  He wanted to excel at any problem he encountered – and was always on time.  ;)  I’m excited to partner again in the future as opportunities arise.  I would also highly recommend him to a potential employer – and will introduce him to a few friends in various industries.  Zach will bring value wherever he lands next – and I’m excited to be a part of the journey.

Zach | 

When I got my first internship at Fresh Air Animation I was ready for the typical experience I had heard about where you either stare at your computer for six hours a day or are sent on endless coffee runs. I could never have expected just how much of a personal interest Joshua would take in my development both as a professional and a person. The software development project we worked on together was a fantastic exercise in both conceptual design and managing customer feedback. It gave me real confidence in my ability to work in the field and deal with customers. Beyond development projects, I was amazed how many activities Joshua had planned to help me prepare for entering the workforce. Maybe my favorite was our interview day, where Joshua and I had spent the past week researching each other which concluded with us conducting interviews of the other person. And that really brings me to perhaps the most surprising and fulfilling aspect of my internship: simply being around and connecting with Joshua. Some of my favorite times during the summer were when we would take a break over some very good tea and talk about anything and everything. Joshua is a uniquely easy person to talk to. That’s partially because of how interesting of a person he is, but also in how genuinely interested he is in you. I can’t recommend this experience enough to anyone considering it. This is definitely not a typical internship. It’s so much better.

Next Steps

Our work this summer is an amazing foundation for helping others bridge the gap between home and career.  Joshua is working on a connected resource to release in the near future.

In the meantime, Zach created a Portfolio Site where he can easily add projects for years to come.  Check out what he’s working on!

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