Tribeca Flashpoint Reviews

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Tribeca Flashpoint
20 Reviews
20%
Recommend This School
15%
Degree Improved Career
Degree Usefulness
Instruction Quality
Financial Services
Alumni Employment
Avg. time to find work: Found a job before graduating
% career related to degree: 14%
Average reviewer salary: $23,750
Don't buy the fluff, don't believe the numbers.
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Degree: Video Game Design
Graduation Year: 2013
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Don’t buy the fluff, don’t believe the numbers. One of the main selling points for picking TFA for me was their job placement number, which was something like 70% when I attended. Don’t buy it. There is no way it is accurate, they are either counting stuff like a retail position at game stop as a “industry job” or flat out lying and fudging numbers. My guess is they have an EXTREMELY loose definition as to what an industry job is. A year after graduation I was looking at my class and the amount of people in game industry jobs was shockingly low. From my specific focus, which included around 30 students, I believe only 3 or 4 (myself included) made it into the game industry. Out of my entire game and interactive media division I seriously doubt more than 15% made it into the game industry. This was in 2013 by the way. Personally for me it worked out and I found work a year after school though in all honesty I think I would say I found work DESPITE my time at Tribeca. If I would credit TFA at all I would say I ended up finding a job because of a few EXTREMELY dedicated instructors and a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, those instructors are no longer at TFA. Their curriculum is extremely counterproductive for honing your skills to help you find a job. Let’s say you want to be an artist in the game industry, you would expect most of your classes would revolve around getting you training so that you could achieve this one day. Not at TFA. My time there involved taking only ONE glass relating my focus each semester.. As for the other classes most were okay but generally just got in the way. Also I got the impression that the teaching staff was a lot of the time slowed down by the administration and hindered by upper management intervention. I would highly recommend you look elsewhere for this kind of education, try a 4 year school that’s going to have a better curriculum and give you more time to develop your skills, 1.5-2 years with Tribeca’s systems will most likely just leave you with a massive amount of debt and a bitter taste in your mouth. Also I believe recently they have been cutting staff and consolidating programs to be smaller and more cost effective for TFA. If you are considering going to this school for the digital art/animation I urge you to reconsider and do some research on alternative programs. In general I wouldn’t trust for-profit schools like this. Also carrier services were extremely unhelpful and honestly somewhat condescending of the game students in general. The jobs they refer were for the most part jobs you were either grossly over qualified for or grossly underqualified for. Also it is true, as I think someone mentioned on here before, that they at one point put a game stop retail position up on one of the job boards. When I attended it seemed clear to me that the schools image and profitability was more important than the students. On a personal note I think its criminal for schools like this to skew information about job placement numbers and focus so much on the schools image and marketability while neglecting students the training they need to find the actual jobs. I don’t get how people who are in charge of stuff like this can sleep at night, misleading people trying to get an education and better themselves for profit is just appalling. Let me finish by saying that this review is purely about their game/animation programs and no other curriculums like film or music as I didn’t experience those.

0 Comments
Great Experience
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Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2011
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I can't speak highly enough about my experience at Tribeca-Flashpoint. I transferred in from an unrelated program at UIC three years after the school was founded after being wooed at an open house tour. From the very beginning the staff (many of whom I now consider mentors and friends) were helpful in helping me determine honestly whether or not this was the right school for me. (Spoiler alert: it was.) During my two years in the audio program I found the classes comprehensive, focused and efficient — I never felt like I had a wasted day in the classroom and I always had the sense that my teachers knew what they were talking about. The classes and projects were collaborative, which I enjoyed. I'm sad to see the negative reviews here, but not totally surprised, because while I thought the teachers were clear, helpful and supportive, they weren't shy about handing out bad grades to students who didn't put in the work. I felt like I got 4 years of education out of 2 years of study and I think it showed in the rigor and quality of work that was expected of us. I wouldn't trade my two years there for another program elsewhere and am proud to have a diploma from TFA. I would (and have) recommend this program to others who are serious about building a career in one of these industries.

1 Comment
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DP - 11 days ago

I'm glad that you had a good experience, but to chalk up all of the negative reviews here to just bad students is a generalization, and a shame.

I was the only student in VFX to be on the Dean's list, I worked my buns off, on school, and personal projects, and I can say I would never recommend this institution. I learned more teaching myself, than I ever did in class. The false promises, and misleading advertisements are what led me to TFA to begin with. In my experience, TFA couldn't care less about our education, only the money in our wallets.

My TFA Review
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Degree: Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other
Graduation Year: 2014
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I will preface by saying I had the wonderful opportunity to have several years of experience before engaging in TFA's film program. That said I was curious as to how I would rank in the school when I started. I quickly found that many of the courses were inadequate for me and a few other students. For the most part our class was learning new things. While the curriculum needs work, I think it's decent for beginners in the industry. This school is NOT for anyone with a decent amount of experience. The biggest issue you will find while at TFA is the uncaring Administration and financial aid. As humans we like to vent to one another and approximately 95% of all discussions I have had with classmates and alumni have been about the poor attitudes and communication skills of the TFA administration. Career Services seems to get a lot of flack but I personally have felt satisfied with their attempts. Of course I live six hours away and their only offers are usually around Chicago so I don't pay attention. I did allow a certain amount of room for the schools adolescence but it only excused so much. On several occasions classmates and myself were treated with utter disrespect and behavior completely unbecoming of the professional behavior they claim to preach. Oh and TFPS point, I did my best to aquire them. Had the most in the class. They count for nothing. After a couple months they just stopped giving them out. Once the student lounge area was renovated on the 4th floor (with 1200 chairs mind you) there were constant tours for investors and potential students showing off just how "cool" the school was. We quietly muttered under our breath, "run! Get out while you can!" Joking of course...or were we? Financial aid doesn't care about your needs. They only want their cold hard cash. It takes forever to get any problem solved. And their state of the art equipment?? Yeah most of it is over 5 years old at the earliest. The VFX department had better cameras than the film department did. What?!? All I can say is that if your fresh out of high school and rich then this school is for you. If you have a mind of your own, any experience at all, and are looking for tools to begin your career then find something better. SIU Carbondale still exposes students to actual film and tuition there is around $16,000. Also if you're not a feminist or hard core Democrate prepare to have people's opinions thrust upon you. TFA, please do not respond with your typical "we're sorry you had a bad experience but..." I've read the responses on several posts and while they may help you feel protected against what was said they still do not appropriately cover the issues people discuss in their posts.

1 Comment
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Barl Jorgen - about 1 month ago

It's nice to see a film student submit a real review that wasn't recruited by the school to protect its image.

Avoid Like The Plague
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Degree: Computer Programming, Other
Graduation Year: 2012
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You may be going site to site looking for a general average consensus about this school. Here is a quick summation of what you can expect: 1. $60,000 in debt, accruing at a 9% interest rate. 2. An unhelpful career services team that offers you jobs completely unrelated to your field. I was honestly offered a job at gamestop by career services. The sad part is, they would have marked you down as a "found job in related field" statistic in their books. 3. Did I mention that you won't find a job in your field? Ya, that's a big part of it. Avoid this place like you avoid any disease, because that's all that it is. A for-profit institution trying to make as much money as it can before it's venture capitalist CEOs pull the plug on the operation. If you took a look at the statistics of this school vs. (arbitrarily chosen) The University of Illinois, the numbers won't lie to you. University of Illinois Residents Non-residents Tuition and fees $15,602 - 20,606* $30,228 - $35,232* Books and supplies** $1,200 $1,200 Room and board (10 meals/week) $10,848 $10,848 Other expenses *** $2,500 $2,500 TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS $30,150 - 35,154* $44,776 - 49,780* TFA Tuition and fees $50,000 Books and supplies** $1,200 Room and board (10 meals/week) $10,848 Other expenses *** $2,500 TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS $64,548 - Given comparable living circumstances and assuming you live in the area, you will find that TFA will cost you $30,000 more on average than a regular 4 year university. On top of this, the education is better, the degree is a Bachelors, as opposed to an associates, and you will find that the career services team will actually find you a job in your field. Take it as you will, but I have taken it upon myself to make sure that anyone seeking a true review of this school doesn't need to look much further than this thread. If a school has an average rating under 80%, you should probably avoid it, and TFA fails this criteria profoundly.

4 Comments
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Tribeca Flashpoint Academy - 2 months ago

Although TFA is not an inexpensive endeavor, we stand by the value of our education. That being said, we're very sorry that you felt your experience was not worth what you paid, and we hear you. We'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the positive changes we've made since your review was posted.

1) Career Services has been totally re-imagined, with an entirely new team and an improved process for helping all students succeed in their field after graduation. Since you're one of our graduates, we invite and encourage you to get back in touch. We think it'll be well worth your time.

2) Due to student demand, we've launched Bachelor's programs in addition to our associate programs, giving students an option to study for a longer period of time before entering the workforce.

3) Our new administration has been working hard to hear students and graduates, and to provide the training and services they request--both during their time at TFA, and after. With a renewed commitment to student/administration communication, we foresee even more positive changes to come.

Again, we encourage you to stay in touch with us, and to take advantage of the services we provide to our alumni network. We endeavor to support you and your fellow graduates for the rest of your career, and to make sure all of our graduates are forever proud to call TFA their alma mater.

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Christopher Slepekis - 2 months ago

I will say that you are incorrect with the Career Services here. Myself and my peers have received jobs in our field from leads that Career Services generated for us. They have been very helpful about preparing for interviews and they even gave us a full packet of internship leads to which I could apply. Mind you my friends from Columbia did not get any help with internships and had no idea where to look. They also keep us in tuned with our peers as we become Alumni by sponsoring Alumni events in multiple states yearly.

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Kelin Field - 2 months ago

As a 2014 graduate I can say many of these issues still persist. I must say career services updates have been fairly acceptable. However, the bachelor programs, if I remember correctly, are very few in number and are fairly limiting in regard to desired focus. My initial thoughts were that they were a poor push at claiming they had a "bachelor degree" program. The main issue I have with the institution is the complete lack of communication or general concern from the administration towards the students. Ben Spanner in particular was the absolute worst person to be appointed as dean of student affairs (I believe was his title). Luckily for current students they will never know this struggle. Multitudes of students spent their entire time at TFA never once receiving an answer to their questions because he would simply never respond. Many times my classmates and I were treated with utter disrespect and when I think about the amount of debt I acquired to be taught basically everthing I already knew about filmmaking it makes me shudder. I will admit though that I came on board with a huge amount of experience so this may not apply to young highschool graduates with high, naive ambitions. The only thing that keeps me sane is the thought of the very small handful of people I developed a relationship with during my time there. I call them my $60,000 friends for good reason because that's how much I paid and that's about all I got.

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Jarlen Borg - 2 months ago

@Kelin Field - You are exactly right about the bachelor's program. It's just some extra "oomph" that they can add to their marketing strategy to draw in potential students. It's all just shady marketing strategies aimed to gain money. Why else do you think she mentioned that they now have it? That's more money in their pocket. Here is how I respond to TFA's explanation, per response.

1.) No it hasn't because I have contacted them recently, and received the same work-around answer about the job board and making connections.

2.) I couldn't have said it better than Kelin. It's "A poor push to claim to have a bachelor's program."

3.) Has it? I'm pretty sure a lot of complaints recently on these review sites are targeted DIRECTLY at the new administration.

I'm currently attending a real college, where I already have an internship at a company to become a C++ developer, which was set up by their actual career services, whom I spoke to in person about. I took the interview, they were impressed and I was offered the internship for 3 months, paid. So let's see... I spent a semester and a half at this REAL college (half the time I spent at TFA), and I already have an internship lined up for the summer. I can't say that TFA even comes close to the level of helpfulness that I received at my current university. On top of this, the cost per semester is a whopping $3000, vs the comparable $12,500 at TFA.

In short, you can take your explanations and *bleep it up your bleep*, because I am here simply to make sure that people don't make the same mistakes I did, and I will continue to do so, so long as I am still in debt to Sallie Mae, by the way, that means the rest of my life likely, or until your company goes bankrupt.

My story
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Degree: Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other
Graduation Year: 2012
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I went here for an entire month in 2012. I had to take out student loans upon which only Sally Mae was provided, being told that there is hope in federal funding opportunities in the future. I withdrew because I knew I couldn't keep myself in that hole of debt, let alone work for companies I do not like (like fast food advertising for ten years just to get somewhere because I have debt); which seemed to be the setup of this school and it's employers. Sure there are those lucky few, but the 70% that would supposedly get jobs, almost all are for companies that you couldn't find a soul in. So I withdrew assuming my deadline was in so I could get out clean without debt. Now, 2 years later, Sally May is taking legal action against me and I am facing homelessness. I have a hard time finding minimum wage work let alone pay for rent and food as a result of my credit score being below what I can get to get approved for rent, or even to work some jobs, solely from this one decision. Please, this is a money making school. While some of the teachers were fantastic, the administration spends all its time wasting its money on advertising. Now at the time with loans after 2 years, I calculated I would be about 78,000 in debt after the Sally May compound interest after the initial 50,000. I'm happy I at least have only 6,000 of debt now instead of what would be much much more, but was it worth it? If I can share my story with you all, I would please advise against this school. Your portfolio speaks for itself, and this school doesn't really get you a job per say, they just do a good job of selling you, it is a business not so much an institution. Now I'm not taking away their right to make money, that's fine, I'm just saying if you REALLY want to get into this area (Audio, Video Game, Animation, or Video) please take free online courses, Youtube videos, teach yourself, make a few pieces of artwork to build your portfolio, and go straight to the employers or make connections at concerts or wherever you find yourself attracted to. I went here because I was sold, and sold myself in a sense, into a fear that I need security to make it into that world. I have moved to LA since then, and even though I am homeless now, I understand how much more transparent these industries are. Their security is tight, consists of a sexist ex-police officer, and I won't go into details because that's not the core of what I am writing about. While they do let you use their equipment, you spend most of your time trying to sign forms and clearances and there is ALWAYS a sense of mistrust among the administrators and students which always creates a barrier for creativity. The teachers themselves aren't always satisfied with their work as I have seen one leave this school while I was there for the month. Please don't think I am trying to leash out onto this school after my misfortune of digging my own hole, but please don't make the same mistake I have. If you are a kid with money, invest in some equipment, or just start with anything you have right now, don't let other people fool you that they can get you to do something, only you can. Write, draw, design on the computer, do what you need to do, but capture your imagination while you still have that flame.

1 Comment
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Kelin Field - 2 months ago

Amazingly relevant and fluid post. As a 2014 grad with many previous years of experience I can say that I regret ever being mislead into getting involved with this business. Loan payments begin in February. Comments on Administration were spot on. I try not to carry a chip but $60,000 of one's future makes it difficult.

You Get What You Put In
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Degree: Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other
Graduation Year: 2013
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I went to school with peers that said the same criticism as below. What it factors down to is how much work did you put into your own education. TFA is built upon the declaration of Malcolm Gladwell. He says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. With this being said, all the fields that Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy teaches can be learned on your own time. A popular wave of thinking right now is "Film School in a Book". What this means is that the film, game and recording studios do not care what school you graduated from is nor your GPA while attending. What they do care about is your reel, portfolio and resume experience. If you graduate within two years that means you will have two years experience on anyone graduating within 4-5 years. TFA tries to condense the education you would get from a typical four year university into a two year course. Their classes are designed for hands on training. Your first year is designed to give you the basics of each field. For example, as a Film and Broadcast graduate I learned the basics to producing, cinematography, editing, screenplay writing and sound design. Your second year you really get to dive deep into the field of your desire. Keep in mind though that you will not be able to log 10,000 hours of practice within two semesters of classes. TFA expects you to check out their equipment and do projects outside of class. Some of my second year classes were just to critique our class project and watch what our peers were creating. The projects themselves were to be completed outside of class. This teaches you time management and how to multi-task. There were times that I had to figure out certain aspects of a software program or problem solve on my own. It instilled in me a sense of how to conquer software and hardware that I have never touched before without fear of a safety net. With the luxury of small classes the professors and chair heads know all of the students and receive reports about how each student is doing. At the end of every group project and end of every semester we are expected to fill out class surveys about how we interacted with our group. Who slacked off and who worked hard. As well as if the class was informative and if there are any suggestions on how to improve the classes for next semester. I have personally seen the chair head of the film department come into a class that was getting negative reviews only to say that they would be addressing the situation that week and how they would improv our experience. The following semester the class was drastically different. Professors are on the chopping block as well since this is a for profit school. If enough students feel as though they do not learn well from a professor, I have seen them replaced. While attending TFA I have been able to hear from a new industry professional every month telling their story on how they got started and what is going on in our field currently. I was also able to work with real industry clients while still in school, adding to my resume before graduation. Their career services is the most interactive and helpful group I have come across from ANY university. The alumni's from TFA stick together and try to help out new graduates with work where they can. At the end of the day this is a school that is less than a decade old and is still maturing. There is a lot of room for improvement but they have no illusions of other wise and are willing to work hard for the students. The only way to show a successful track record is to have college graduates working in their field of expertise so that is priority number one to them. Again, it's all about what you put into your education and learning. If you go home and slack off then you will never succeed.

3 Comments
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Tribeca Flashpoint Academy - 7 months ago

Hi there!

Thanks for your review. You are spot on with your commentary. We're always trying to improve the student experience, and there are definitely hours spent outside the classroom. We are so glad you had a positive experience at TFA.

- TFA

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Keat - 2 months ago

"Same criticism as 'below' "?

That tells me all I need to know.

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Kelin Field - 2 months ago

While I agree that many fail because they refuse to put in the effort on their end I also must point out that you are PAYING to be instructed at TFA. Anyone can teach themselves anything including time managemt and problem solving. I did a long time ago. But I expected something in return when I dropped 15 months and $60,000 in TFA's program. I think they most definately twist their marketing and try hard to mask the fact that students typically do not enjoy their experience here. I always said that it cannot be a coincidence that nearly everyone I speak to has the same things to say. Just look at this sites comments.

Not worth it, bro.
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Degree: Game and Interactive Media Design
Graduation Year: 2013
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The only reason I give 2 stars to school experience is because of the connections I met while attending. You will literally learn nothing if you decide to attend this school. Don't waste your money or your time.

1 Comment
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Tribeca Flashpoint Academy - 7 months ago

We are disappointed to hear that you feel you didn't learn anything at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Our aim is to provide students with practical training as well as the hands-on experience they'll need to take their passion and turn it into a career. We are glad to hear you made connections while at TFA. We hope they are serving you well!

- TFA

Went from Good to Worse...
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Degree: Game and Interactive Media Design
Graduation Year: 2014
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Tribeca Flashpoint Academy advertises as a great school to get ahead of other entry-level competition when graduating due to their fast paced, on hands styled teaching. Although the school does this, they also tell the students that what they teach can be out dated very fast. The first year of experience was great, as students learn all the different aspects of their career field. The second year, as a focus, is very poor though. As a game student, I feel very unprepared as I graduate in 2014. Half of it is on my end of simply not doing work 24/7. The other half is feeling lacking of skill that could of been pushed for or forced to work on via school. Half of the classes I took the last school year were also a joke, as they provided useful skills, but not nearly as useful as they could have been. I basically paid the tuition of $50,000 for an intro to everything and then some advice on how to go about teaching myself anything else. I couldn't be more dissatisfied. The school is not horrible, but with it's recent changes this past year, I feel ripped off. The replacing of many game faculty, a change of president/CEO, and the very unprofessional organization appears to be the cause of a great school to fall quickly. I really hope this school picks up on its efforts.

1 Comment
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Tribeca Flashpoint Academy - 7 months ago

Hi Keegan -

We love hearing student feedback, so thank you for taking the time to write this review. We're sorry to hear that you don't feel that your money was well-spent with us. We aim to give you the tools, skills and equipment you need to do that, but we can't put in the hours for you.

We are a work in progress as a school, and we always will be. Tribeca Flashpoint Academy aims to provide up-to-date training to its students, which means that there will be changes to curriculum and staff as necessary to provide the best training for our students.

We are certainly always aiming to improve students' experience, and reviews like this help so thanks again.

- TFA

Horrible School, Do Not Attend
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Graduation Year: 2010
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We were built up throughout our time at the school, being told that Companies were just ready to snatch us up as soon as we graduated. However as soon as we did, Career Services picked favorites and only helped a select few to obtain a job. Mostly of which were students in the Film department, as the Career Services people all had backgrounds in HR for the Film industry. They knew nothing about Game Development. The campus however was cutting edge, it gave us the correct tools, but execution of the education was very lacking. Non-motivated students were allowed to remain in groups instead of being repremanded to "cut the fat". They were allowed to stay to boost numbers early on in the school while motivated students were left to suffer doing all of the work with nothing to show for it.

2 Comments
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Tribeca Flashpoint Academny - 7 months ago

Hi CK!

We're glad to hear you liked the campus, and sorry to hear about your feelings about your peers. Like every college, we cannot guarantee employment for every student upon graduation. Many of our hard-working students find work in their desired field shortly after graduation, but none of our students are handed jobs. The industries that we train students for are very competitive. In addition to earning your degree, landing a job requires that you take advantage of the networking opportunities presented to you, work hard to create a solid portfolio while at TFA, and put in lots of independent effort into the application and interviewing process. We do our best to set our students up for success, but getting a job is ultimately the responsibility of each student. To take advantage of our alumni resources, including our alumni-only job board, please feel free to contact Career Services at 312.332.0707.

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CK - 7 months ago

No one at that school ever wanted to be handed a job, but we all deserved a fighting chance. Some students were worked with well more than others and it was obvious favorites were picked. Jill G., the head of the Career Services Department, held grudges against any students who voiced their concerns and acted extremely unprofessionally. The only thing that the students needed to obtain a start in their career was a decent contact. Many of the contacts given had nothing to do with our field. One contact I was given was for IT work at a public school, just proving that the career services department had no idea what game development was all about. I find it even more insulting that this is what is considered to be "your best".

Extremely disappointing
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Degree: Art/Art Studies, General
Graduation Year: 2012
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Throughout my time at Flashpoint, the curriculum changed so frequently that all the students became familiar with several programs (that we had to pay for) but never became more than a novice at anything unless they took the initiative to teach themselves outside of class. As a programmer, we learned one of the least useful languages which ended with no job offerings after graduation. Everything I know now is self taught.

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Tribeca Flashpoint Academy - 7 months ago

Hi S.M. -

Thanks for taking time to write this review. Changes in curriculum are inevitable as we aim to provide the most up-to-date training possible. The digital media industry changes constantly and quickly. At TFA, we aim to give you the training you need in the classroom that you will be able to take into the real world to complete 10,000 hours needed to gain mastery in your desired field. It's not possible in the 40 hour week for you to become masterful. There must be hours spent outside the classroom dedicated to gaining mastery. We aim to give you the tools, skills and equipment you need to do that, but we can't put in the hours for you.

- TFA

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