WISE Scholarship Recipient Jocelyn Naves: Learning the Ropes of ‘Phenomenal’ Animation Storytelling

The WISE (Woodbury Integrative Student Experience) Program grants $1,000 Tuition Scholarships to eligible students throughout the university each year. The program enables students to earn scholarship funds while gaining invaluable life experiences and compelling educational opportunities in four High Impact Practices (HIPS) — study away, civic engagement, leadership and internships, each applicable to emerging local and global communities.

How much can you pack into an internship? Or perhaps that’s the wrong question. Maybe it’s “how much can you pack into a professional career?”

Jocelyn Naves, a junior and a WISE Scholarship recipient, aims to pack plenty. “I aspire to hone my skills as a draftsman, communicator, comedian, teammate and leader,” she says, all en route to becoming “a phenomenal storyteller.” Jocelyn transferred to Woodbury from UC Merced to pursue a degree in Animation, and as she puts it, “to learn from professional animators who have been in, and are still in, the animation industry. My career goal is to become an exceptional storyboard artist working her way up to director one day.”

Jocelyn took some decisive action toward that goal during her recent WISE internship at Animate for the Cel of It (A4C) in Burbank, which specializes in affordable custom film production, tackling projects at any stage, from script to screen. The internship vindicated her decision to transfer, and then some. While drawn to Woodbury for its proximity to the studios, the university’s small community “has made it easier to become more involved in and outside of the classroom,” she says. “Woodbury’s intimacy has proven its authenticity.”

Likewise, during the eight-week stint, A4C proved to be much more than just a glimpse into the working/professional world, as Jocelyn progressed rapidly from the front desk to the center of the action. The internship was a sort of lab, in which she picked up elements of storytelling, Marketing 101, sales, how to work with clients, how to brand herself and how to make money as an artist.

“While immersed in the brainstorming process for A4C’s YouTube videos, I realized that much of the development process resembled that of writing an essay, something I’m constantly exposed to as a Writing Tutor at Woodbury,” she says.

In short order – this was, after all, an internship – she became one of the studio’s researchers, embarking on a crash course in the marketing platforms MailChimp, Patreon and Ko-Fi, among others. “The assignment pushed me to work harder and gave me the confidence to pursue new topics despite my knowing nothing about them,” she recalls. When new projects left A4C’s YouTube channel temporarily unattended, the studio head asked her to brainstorm ideas and begin writing the script for an upcoming video. Ultimately, the A4C team included some of her character design concepts in the final cut.

With her professional sights set on directing, Jocelyn’s WISE internship appears to have kick-started her career in a meaningful way. Less than two months in, she was given creative freedom on promotional projects — and even entrusted to run the studio when the top guy was out on business.

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