Lena Goodnough

2015 Animation & VFX Alumna

  • Program: Animation & VFX
  • Employer: Parsons Corporation
  • Position: 3D Modeler & Animator
  • Website: lenagoodnough.com

Lena’s Story

I didn’t grow up knowing that one day I would go into 3D modeling and animation. In fact, I spent my whole life planning to be a teacher. After a surprising last minute change of majors, which shocked both my parents and myself, I started studying video game design at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. There, I got an excellent education and learned a lot about the process of making a video game. However, what really interested me where my classes in modeling and animation. I started to realize that my true passion was in 3D modeling. That was what I wanted my career to focus around.

Upon graduation I was all set to start modeling for video games, but I realized that, despite my hard work and good education, my skills just weren’t up to snuff to break into the industry. I said goodbye to Ohio and moved to Chicago to hone my skills at Tribeca Flashpoint College. There, I concentrated on learning strong modeling techniques. My choice to add two more years of education into my life really paid off, and now I find myself more confident in my abilities and employed doing what I love. Currently, I am working as a 3D modeler and animator at Parsons Corporation in Chicago.

You might have heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” and I have to say that it’s actually true. In high school I was very caught up in getting A’s, but it never really mattered to me if I actually understood what I was taught. I was really good at regurgitating information, but not very good at actually learning anything. Going through two colleges, followed by a job search, really made me realize that every skill you acquire gives you more opportunity to choose your career and your own path in life. I want to encourage everyone to absorb all the knowledge you need to do what you love. It might take a while, but it’ll be worth it. Focus on learning and acquiring skills and the good grades and opportunities will follow.

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