Awesome Montana Grizzly Gamer Grad Credits UM Griz ‘E’sports Team
This conjures up images of doing internships and practicums in local arcades to complete a degree.
That is obviously not how the curriculum was mapped out. Still, pretty amazing that a University of Montana Missoula College student helped pay his way through school with scholarship money earned while video gaming.
Among many students who have been profiled this past week, UM News Service chose to include Jimmy Painter from Toledo, Washington, who will graduate tomorrow, May 14, from the University of Montana with a degree in information technology.
Jimmy turned passion - a passion that is shared by millions and millions of people worldwide - into a profit center, which was a tremendous boost to his tuition obligations. And he told UM News Service that he never would have found his career path without playing lots of video games, which inspired his entrepreneurial spirit, leading him to help form the Griz Esports team.
For any young gamers out there thinking about college: "Esports? Video gaming? Now that's what I call a major!" Let's not give you the wrong idea about Jimmy Painter's career path. But it does illustrate where money for college might be found that never would have been considered not that many years ago.
Jimmy says he used esports to help pay for college. Most of the team members receive scholarships through esports. They log onto "CyberBear," which is the University of Montana's online student services portal. Players have a chance to get a couple thousand dollars worth of scholarships just for being on the esports team.
Jimmy already has a job lined up after graduation. But like many students, it took awhile to discover what he wanted to accomplish in college. He enrolled as a computer science student. The programming part was great. The intense math, not so much.
Jimmy switched to media arts. That's where he met Michael Cassens, the assistant professor who launched UM’s fledgling esports team. From there it could be said that life imitated art for Jimmy Painter.
Thanks to UM News Service for a very cool Griz Grad spotlight. We'll close with their words: "All those parents scolding their kids about playing too many video games because “that will never get you anywhere” shouldn’t talk with Jimmy Painter."
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