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Erin Vondrak Asks: “Dear Valve, Hire Me”

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Working for Valve is a dream job for many Valve fans. Imagine – developing Half-Life! Portal! Team Fortress! Counter-Strike! “Ricochet 2: Electric Boogaloo”! Playtesting all of the above! Talking to veteran devs! Eating at the snack bar! Staring at the memorabilia in their lobby! Eating at the snack bar, again!

Sadly, many of us will only get to fulfill their dreams in a visit and tour of Valve, as Valve doesn’t just hire anyone. They hire the best of the best. I’ve seen some of the great talent they’ve turned down in the past. It’s a shame, but if Valve didn’t hire the best of the best, we wouldn’t get the best of the best games from Valve, would we?

But for some folks, that might not be good enough. Meet Erin.

Erin Vondrak Asks: “Dear Valve, Hire Me”

She really wants to work at Valve. She thinks it’s her destiny! In fact, this is her third application. So she really, really wants to work there. This is her third attempt, so she made a cute video about it:

It’s nice, but… well, this is her third attempt. Valve might not have been playing around when they decided to deny her previous applications. So how would an animated song improve her curriculum vitae? If she really does have great drawing and writing talent, and if she really does know game design, why not put it all together in a new portfolio and show that off instead? Why not spend some time in the community, perhaps doing a mod, to show Valve what you can really do?

But maybe sometimes, dreams aren’t made to last, and saying “just take me in and you’ll see” is not good enough for a company with a model of success as consistent and impressive as Valve’s. We have no idea what Valve will decide, but we hope it all works out well for Erin. Worst case scenario, she gets a high-paying job at any one of Valve’s business rivals, who will literally jump at the chance of being in the spotlight and making Valve look evil.

Worst case scenarios aside, good luck to you in all your future endeavors, Erin!

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6 Comments

  1. It was refreshing to see the comments on this here, given the hideous comments she has been getting everywhere else. Seeing as she did this in a day or so and posted it as an amusing expression of her enthusiasm, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Obviously her resume and supporting materials were sent separately. It will be interesting to see where she ends up. Good luck, Erin. I’ve had your bloody song stuck in my head all day!

  2. well, I think she might have gotten their attention, but when it all comes down to it, she will have to file a proper application (think art or somthing like that)

  3. “as Valve doesn’t just hire anyone. They hire the best of the best. I’ve seen some of the great talent they’ve turned down in the past. It’s a shame”
    This is scary. So scary.
    Does that mean that even if you fight for it, be in the modding community, get a really high grade on college with a degree and be good at it, while also being a huge Valve fan, Valve will not hire you?

    • Well, you’d have to define “fight for it”. Because really, at what point do you have the right to “fight” to get a job in a certain game studio? As for “being in the modding community, getting a really high grade at college, with a degree and being good at it”, well, it depends. Are you really talented at what it is you do? Because you can’t expect to get a job at Valve straight out of college unless you are very talented. They ask for experience. 3 years minimum. Because most of the stories we hear of Valve picking people straight out of the community, with zero experience, are only stories about really talented folks. Those are the guys that get picked up with zero experience on their side. And as for being a fan… well, I really can’t imagine that being a fan would somehow constitute a plus in any employer’s book.

  4. This is not the best approach to get your dream job in the games industry (especially with the dream job example being at Valve). “Job” may even be the limiting factor here.

    The answer is, don’t wait around for this job. If you have a compulsion to make great games, make great games. What you create is infinitely more important than a resume or your ability to sell yourself.

  5. Oh lovely. Most of the comments are “Get back in the kitchen”

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