Kevin: Work on environment assets for your resume, if you make that your focus you will stand a much higher chance of getting a junior position (based on your lack of industry experience) or intern position here.
Those extra 'technical' skills are worth their weight in gold also as theres a host of extra techy challenges involved in making games with our technology so if a college guy could come in armed with knowledge of our techs shaders and particles and be focussed on environments they would stand a very good chance of a job.
Moose is pretty much a poster boy for what we are looking for here at Epic. Although his resume was composed of characters mostly ( like everyones...), he took the suggestion to do some environment map textures to heart and knocked out an impressive enough set to get hired as a junior artist pretty much straight out of college.
When he arrived, he quickly showed that he was also technically savvy and had spent some time on learning the shader system to a higher degree than many artists.
Within 2 months he was promoted to a full artist.
Moose can do pretty much every art task there is but he has worked mostly on the UI and HUD for UnrealChampionship2 and made one of the most amazingly pretty and interactive Hud's I've seen in a game for a while.
We're looking for more people like Moose, people who can do a variety of things but are willing to do what we have a need for.
Right now we really need environment artists.
Theres been a few people applying as character artists and every one of them that applies we suggest the environment artist position politely.
There is noone on this board good enough for the character positions other than perhaps Daz who would still need to prove himself in an arttest to show he could do work significantly more detailed and in the unreal style.
The above was made a couple of years ago now, if you are trying for a character position, you would need to be a lot better than everyone else here to bully your way into a slot that is not open atm.
I hope I am not coming across as arrogant here, I'm trying hard to reinforce the facts and avoid wasting peoples time.
Everyone wants to do characters. We need environment artists.
Doing environment art here is a lot of fun, look at YemYam's art test, these are the sorts of things you get to build.
It's not like working on GTA where you make low poly buildings and street signs, there is a wide variety of highly technical concepts to follow and articulate in 3d to cinematic quality for ingame assets.
We have not hired an artist here in 10months because everyone who is at the novice level at hipoly and applying wants to do characters and we already have very experience high poly people.
Thats as clear as I can make it folks.