Samantha Valdez is a Senior Arts and Entertainment Technologies Major in the School of Design and Creative Technologies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because I began my time at UT as a computer science major, but really missed doing art on a regular basis and missed being able to exercise my creativity in the classes I was taking. When AET was introduced as a new major I knew it was the perfect overlap between technology and art, and I’m very glad I ended up switching majors.
What's been your biggest surprise in your program?
I was honestly surprised that AET wasn’t already a major here, and I was even more surprised that the AET department only had a few permanent faculty members. AET has grown at an incredible rate since I joined the major, which is very bittersweet to those of us who are graduating and won’t get to participate in the fun new courses that are being offered in the future.
What project are you most proud of during your time at UT, and why?
I am the most proud of the projects we do in the Game Development Capstone courses as AET seniors—one 2-D game and one 3-D game. I am currently working as a 3-D artist in this class, and I love being able to work in a small team and see our game come to fruition as the semester progresses.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to pursue 3-D modeling and become a 3-D artist for a game studio after graduation.
Any advice for incoming freshmen in AET?
I would say that taking fewer AET classes in one semester is better than trying to cram in a bunch of classes. It’s ultimately beneficial to be able to devote a lot of time to one project rather than having to juggle several at once, because the end result ends up better. This will help AET students to start cultivating good portfolio pieces as a freshman, and will save them a lot of work as a senior.