Gabriel Ybarra Borkhue student Smart Cities, poseert voor muur.
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An internship at Smart Cities: this is CMGT student Gabriels experience

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At Smart Cities (SC) we’re always very pleased to welcome new students to our group. These students join our team for their graduation assignment, their internship, or sometimes as a student assistant. Every student focuses on a subject that’s unique and fits well with his preferences and the things he likes to learn. Gabriel (CMGT) is one of these students. In this article he shares a bit about his time at Smart Cities and what he experienced.

Gabriel's experience

Gabriel: “My name is Gabriel Ybarra Borkhue, currently enrolled in a degree called Creative Media & Game Technologies at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. I'm specialized in 3D modeling, concept art, 2D/3D texturing, visual effects, and more.

My internship assignment was to create a 360 degrees virtual reality simulated environment walkthrough for the Windmolenbroek's inhabitants in Almelo, the Netherlands. To educate them on the importance of heating grids, and home insulations. Specifically, to persuade and educate the citizens to understand the impact of natural gas-based energy consumption in common households. And to educate them on what heating grids are, how they work, and the significance of insulations."

This internship allowed me to experience new understandings of what it is like to have a designer-based mindset.

Gabriel Ybarra Borkhue, student Creative Media & Game Technologies

Gabriel: "What I believed was my most important task happened to also be my most memorable experience. As a technical artist, most of the time, I don’t work on empathy methodologies, user questionnaires, user journey, design principles, and research on the target group. Perhaps that's why it was enjoyable for me: this internship allowed me to experience new understandings of what it is like to be and have a designer-based mindset. There were challenging times as it was difficult to interpret Dutch research papers about heating grids, the official municipalities' plan, and more. The amount of dedicated research to not only educate the Windmolenbroek's citizens, but also myself was the most challenging yet rewarding task within itself.

By the end of my five-month internship, I'm pleased to say that I'm satisfied with the end-product that I've created. I have researched heating grids & insulations, I empathized with the target group, designed a mock-up of the neighborhood, storyboarded the user journey, 3D modeled and textured the Dutch houses. I created a Dutch voiceover script (Thank you Timothy), and worked on video editing in Premiere Pro. The scope of how much I was able to create in five months is rewarding since I was the only intern who managed everything."

Gabriel: "However, none of this would have been possible without the guidance and the opportunity that is given at Smart Cities Research Group. My colleagues, company, and internship coach have taught me valuable fundamentals of what it is to work successfully in a company. They taught me discipline, the constructive criticisms to constantly reflect on my work, and to always ask for assistance when needed.

The weekly Monday morning meetings with my coach were very helpfull, just as the bi-weekly progress meetings with the client, peer assessment from the company, etc. Therefore, I'd highly recommend students to consider SC for their internship or graduation project. The project I was a part of is called 'Storytelling with Data', where the SC works on making heavy-driven factual data more comprehensible to the public."

My colleagues, company, and internship coach have taught me valuable fundamentals of what it is to work successfully in a company.

Gabriel Ybarra Borkhue, student Creative Media & Game Technologies

Gabriel: "My next step is to work on an IMT&S project from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). I will work on expanding the virtual reality simulated environment, so that trainers and trainees can perform and practice their anesthesiologist profession in the life-like scenario.

I'd like to thank the entire Smart Cities colleagues, internship coach, company coach, teachers, and friends for helping me along through this valuable experience.”

Enthusiastic?

Are you enthusiastic about the Smart Cities as a learning environment after reading Gabriel's story? Please don't hesitate to get in touch. As a research group we’re always happy to meet new students and tell them a bit more about graduating within our research group. If your are interested, please contact Mark Melenhorst.

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