Ben Noel, Executive Director at UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, speaks to students at the UF Digital Worlds Institute
March 1, 2023
FIEA, located at UCF’s downtown campus, is a premiere graduate game development program that’s been ranked #1 in the nation three years in a row by the Princeton Review. Alumni of the academy are hard at work on some of the world’s biggest games, working at companies like EA, Epic Games, Ubisoft, and more.
Noel has been the academy’s director since its inception in 2005. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his MBA from Rollins College’s Crummer Graduate School of Business. Noel previously served as vice president and studio chief operating officer for EA Austin and EA Orlando. EA’s Orlando office is less than a mile away from the academy, and many alumni work there.
After touring the institute and seeing first-hand the opportunities offered to students in the DAS program, Noel shared more about FIEA and the path to a career in game development with students in the PICT. The presentation featured info on FIEA’s degree program, tips on entering the game industry, career paths available to students within it, and more. Also highlighted was the UF Digital Arts & Science fellowship from the academy, which automatically provides a $2,500 fellowship to any DAS student that gets accepted.
Justin Marlin, Assistant Director of the UF Digital Worlds Institute, said FIEA’s comprehensive curriculum in game development is a great opportunity for graduating DAS students to continue building their skills.
“Since 2017, I’ve had the pleasure of watching 13 of our top undergraduate students continue their education in game development at FIEA,” said Marlin. “They have an excellent, industry-focused curriculum, and we love seeing our students graduate from their program and go on to achieve great success. We are grateful to Ben for traveling to UF and spending time speaking with our students.”
Learn more about FIEA here.
Written by: Ryan Helterhoff (MAMC ‘23) and originally published at UF Digital Worlds Institute