by MPC R&D

26 February 2019

MPC Green Room: Meet Jinali

In these excerpts from an interview given at the Women of Silicon Roundabout conference in June 2018, Jinali Patel, R&D Manager at MPC Film talks about her career path into Visual Effects and why women are crucial to the growth of the technology industry. read the full interview here: Erasing stereotypes, finding your passion and public speaking – Q&A with Jinali Patel

 

Tell us about what you do; are you working on anything exciting at the moment that you would like to share with our readers?

I am the R&D Manager here in London for MPC Film, a Technicolor company. The department I oversee is the enabler/provider of some of the slickest visual effects software tools used by our artists, who create Oscar-winning shots. The R&D department is comprised of software developers, engineers, leads, architects and project managers. The function I am heavily invested in is project delivery and the way in which technical projects are delivered, following agile frameworks as well as people and stakeholder management.

At present, the London R&D department is primarily focused on developing/enhancing software tools for the remake of the Disney movie The Lion King, set to be released in 2019. It is the R&D department’s job to ensure that the tools the artists use are on point. I can’t reveal any more on the work we are doing on the movie, but it’s incredibly exciting – Check it out July 19th 2019!

What do you enjoy the most about your current role?

Each day for me is completely different. Overall I enjoy the fact that I wake up and there is a new challenge waiting for me each day with new knowledge to be gained from it. I am big on knowledge, and learning should never stop, so this motivates me in any role I do.

At MPC Film I am surrounded by passionate people every day, which I love. Everyone that works at MPC Film loves what they do, creating visual effects for some of the biggest blockbusters out there.

You don’t just fall into this field, you’ve got to love the merge of art and technology to a level where you eat, breath, and sleep movies. This is present in the atmosphere within the office, locally and globally, a positive atmosphere, which creates healthy dynamics in the workplace which overall, makes it enjoyable on a day to day basis.

I enjoy the stakeholder management aspect of my role. Being part of a journey where the actual creative vision is viewed on the big screen by millions is very fulfilling. I engage with my stakeholders (internal & external) via various channels across the globe, discussing new and exciting innovations that my department is requested to develop.

 

Which aspect of, or period of time in your career do you believe has been the most valuable in terms of learning, and developing?

My early career period at Dell shaped my career and provided me with the foundations I have today. Prior to my experience at Dell, I had the opportunity of finding out what I didn’t like doing (Building PC’s/Networking) and what I wanted to do more of (Consulting/Project Management).

I landed a role at Dell as an Implementation Consultant, working on behalf of BT Global services deploying healthcare systems within NHS trusts across the UK. This role was really the making of my career; I developed so many new skills such as stakeholder management, consulting, team management, and project management.

After a successful stint as an Implementation Consultant at Dell, I was promoted to a Clinical Applications & Testing Manager. Here is where the people and project management journey of my career began. I had the opportunity to work alongside senior stakeholders at BT & HSCIC as well as managing a team of Implementation Consultants on a day to day basis. Operationally this role exposed me to the commercial side of the business which was a really interesting learning curve for me.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in tech? Is there anything you wish you knew?

Do not be afraid to test out the waters early in your career, it took me a good 2-3 years after graduating in establishing what my strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes were (I’m still evolving).

I had an encounter at the recent Women of the Silicon Roundabout conference, where a young female graduate walked pass our MPC Film booth in the event space and asked me, “Wow, you guys do some really cool stuff, how can I get into this industry? I do not have a background in VFX”.

I get questioned all the time “How did you end up in the VFX industry with a background in computer science, and do you need to be technical to even be considered? Are you an artist?” The answer is no!

All you need is a ‘can do’ attitude, and a thirst to achieve beyond your own expectations.

 

Why are women so crucial to the continued growth of the wider tech industry?

Women make up the highest percentage of end users when it comes to technology/digital platforms, according to recent studies. So why not encourage more women to work in tech?

When women are unleashed into the tech world, new ways of living, of seeing the world and of doing business reveal themselves. It’s all about empowering women, which needs to be supported by both sexes and it doesn’t have to just start in the workplace. There needs to be organized and continued efforts, from schools, to universities and workplaces, to encourage more and more women in technology careers.

 

To read of the interview with Jinali, head to the Women in Technology to discover more