When you find what you're passionate about, everything changes. Andor Salga didn't think he had it in him to be a student. Seneca helped him discover a true love of learning – and more about himself than he ever imagined.
"My experience at Seneca was very positive. Each semester was a bit more difficult, but the harder it was, the harder I pushed."
I didn't think I was a good student originally. I had trouble learning in high school, and eventually I dropped out. It was a friend of mine who suggested I consider going to Seneca. I wasn't sure at first if I could do it, but eventually decided to enrol as a mature student. That was like a fresh start for me.
Even in high school, I had always done well in programming courses. It was a hobby of mine. So when I saw that I could study programming languages, I became really interested and passionate about learning. My education at Seneca started with the Computer Programming and Analysis advanced diploma. I graduated with high honours. Coming from my background where I thought I couldn't learn, that was a big accomplishment for me.
During that time, I also started working as a research assistant in Seneca's Centre for the Development of Open Technology (CDOT). It started as a summer internship, but eventually I enrolled in the Software Development degree program while continuing to work at CDOT. I was involved in a number of innovative projects involving the use of WebGL, a relatively new tool at the time that enabled developers to code 3D for web browsers without the need for plug-ins.
My research at CDOT led to many opportunities that I never thought possible. I was invited to run a workshop on game development during Seneca's Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) in 2010. I spoke at the Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) in 2011, which was a dream come true. I was invited to help create a presentation for a WebGL talk and speak at MIT. And I was asked to be the valedictorian at my 2012 convocation.
My experience at Seneca was very positive. Each semester was a bit more difficult, but the harder it was, the harder I pushed. My passion has always been game development, and I really wanted to fulfill my dream of becoming a game developer. Seneca gave me the foundation I needed to land a job in the gaming industry. There's a huge learning potential working in this industry. You get to work with a group of very talented developers, artists and designers. I'm always learning new things and inspired by the talent that surrounds me. I just always want to keep learning.
"Seneca gave me the foundation I needed to land a job in the gaming industry."
Katelyn went from Seneca student to being a voice for those without one.