Josh Sankarlal, Class of 2021
Josh is the current president of the Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU). He graduated from the Game Development and Entrepreneurship program in 2021. During his time as a student, he was involved in many leadership initiatives, clubs, and associations in the school, such as Game Development Students Association (GDSA), Ambassador, Peer Leader, Business and IT Society (BITSoc), and many more.
Josh's Leadership at Ontario Tech
Peer Leader- 3rd year
Ambassador- 3rd year
Event Coordinator on GDSoc - 2nd year
Game Programming Club Executive 2nd, 3rd
President of the GDSA for 3rd and 4th
When Josh took over the GDSA, there wasn't a whole lot to work with in terms of transition stuff. With his experience on the club for the previous year, his goal was to evaluate the status of the program on campus. He recognized places of improvement and made the program better for the students. He wanted to bring more attention from the faculty to this program.
In his first year as president, it was a huge learning experience. He has a really strong team, and this was evident through the huge attendance boost in their weekly sessions. The Global Game Jam (GGJ) became one of the top 14th or 15th sites in Canada and ended up being the 4th largest site in Canada. He wants students to really participate in the GDSA program, and he worked on strengthening the social aspect of the community.
Looking back, he thinks these goals have been met! Their team in 2021 has 700 unique viewers for the Game Con. Game Con is a part of the game development program as a continuous course throughout the semester. This class gives students the task of making one game and making a playable video game. Game Con gives an opportunity to play these games, usually in person, but with the transition online, they still looked to making a meaningful experience. They used the 2021 Game Con as an opportunity to make it a 'game show,' like the Oscars of the program! Everyone enjoyed this Game Con, and this was one of the biggest impacts Josh had during his leadership. He thinks that bringing all the attention to the talent in this program is amazing.
Josh really set the team up for success. Internally, Josh's biggest contribution was formalizing how the roles work. Additionally, he introduced the liaison program into GDSA. It is a great program and brings in first-year students, and helps with succession planning and knowledge sharing. This helped with the long-term longevity of the GDSA.
Digital Community, participate and worker
Tour Guide - 3rd
BITSoc - VP of IT
Josh's time in BITSoc was very advocacy focused. BITSoc allowed him to reach out on behalf of the GDSA and reach out to the faculty via Faculty Council. It gave him an insight into the different administrations he could reach out to, and he enjoyed his time on BITSoc. He spearheaded the Pandemic learning survey.
When Josh graduated, he stuck around at Ontario Tech. He is now the President of the OTSU, so he stuck around a lot longer than people would have wanted (sorry for the disappointment). Outside of his time at OTSU, he still stays heavily involved in the game dev community. He has a passion for this community, and he was involved as the Regional Organizer for Canada for Global Game Jam for the 2022 year.
While he was a GDSA executive, Josh set up the GGJ site for Ontario Tech. His job this year was asked to do the regional organizing in Canada. He reached out to all the site organizers (including at OTU) and walked them through how the GGJ process works, and provided him time and expertise as a resource to these organizers. He helped connect them via a network, and this has continued his leadership journey outside of Ontario Tech.
In the future, he is looking to continue leadership in the Game Dev space. He is hoping to release some projects in the future and is hoping to look for some jobs in the industry (in Design) and working towards becoming a studio lead at a big or medium size studio. The end goal would be to own a private studio or be in a director role.
He would tell them to run.
As a first-year student, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get involved as quickly as possible. You might not know exactly where you want to go, or if you have something that might tickle your fancy, there is something on campus that you can get involved in.
"The worst thing you can do for yourself is just going to class and then just going home."
Josh is open to answering ANYTHING about this school. He knows so much about this school and is open to talking.