TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


April 17, 2017

Alumni Watch: For the Wan


Alumnus Jessica Wan, class of 2007, is actually an AVenger at Pixar, which are Audio Video Engineers in the company.
Wan and her coworkers are known as the AVengers as Media Systems Associate Engineers, and together, they design, integrate and maintain the audio and video infrastructure at Pixar’s studios. This includes maintaining the screening rooms, recording studios, conference rooms, editorial systems and more.
“My job involves getting called when something in a screening room doesn’t work, or upgrading all our editorial machines,” Wan said. “Every once in awhile, I step back and realize that I’ve come a long way since I first interned at Pixar seven years ago. I have to remind myself that I’ve actually accomplished a lot.”
After high school, Wan attended UC Berkeley and majored in mechanical engineering.
As a highschooler, her French class got her interested in movie making. Wan remembers having to make short videos as projects, and that was her first insight into editing.
“I found the internship on the Pixar website, and I applied online thinking there was no way I would hear back,” Wan said. “But alas, I did! If a student is interested in applying, they shouldn’t be discouraged. If I didn’t apply, I wouldn’t have had a chance at all.”
Pixar internships are paid positions and are listed on the Pixar website. Transitioning to a full time position, or the ultimate dream job, is trickier.
It’s important that the timing is right and if there’s a full time position available. Wan happened to be at the right place at the right time, and she took a semester off of school to intern for three months.
“I’m proud that I can resolve most problems I encounter, but there’s still a lot to learn, especially since the industry is constantly changing,” Wan said. “I feel good about what I’ve done, but I’m excited to get stumped by what I have yet to do.”
Wan was also in drumline, where she learned the importance of individual performance in a large group. That mindset has come in handy in working as a support person at a big company like Pixar.
“I really liked math, like calculus with Ms. Bulgin and physics with Mr. Slattery,” Wan said. “I especially enjoyed the relationship between tangible scenarios and mathematical problem solving involved in physics. Those classes really helped me decide to major in engineering.”

About the Author

Emily Hsu



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