Animation (AET) / International Student

Martin Janda

“I’m employed back in Sweden, but I pretty much love to travel or learn more. SMC gave me the chance to do both at once.”

He’s from the land of the midnight sun, Sweden. But Martin Janda’s last name is thoroughly Czech. “I was born in Sweden, but my last name comes from my mom and the Czech Republic,” says Martin. “I’m in my third semester at SMC, and I decided to come here because of the Animation program. The teachers are all very good, and they have lots of real-world experience in what they’re talking about. Like Steve Rotblatt,” he continues. “I have him for Web Animation, and he brings so much life into his classes. It’s always exciting.”

It’s actually the siren song of LA’s media worlds that made Martin ‘go west.’ “Yeah, this is Hollywood, and with all the studios, it’s just a huge business. From the place I’m in now at SMC, I can go into the video-game industry or special effects in movies. Los Angeles... Hollywood... SMC... I really feel like I’m in exactly the right spot.” But it did take Martin a little time to adjust to his new American realities. “SMC is so much more fast-paced than schools back home. There’s a lot more pressure,” he adds. “But that’s OK with me, because there’s always someone around to ask for help and information. Especially if you’re an international student. And because we have such small class sizes, you really get to know your professors. And it’s almost like they want to protect you.”

Night classes, online classes, counseling. Martin seems to be maximally plugged into SMC’s vast resources. But it’s the digital word that really ignites his passions. “I’m a huge fan of video games, and I learned a lot of English from ‘shouting’ online with people from all over the world.” Sweden? Hollywood? Who knows what hand fate will deal Martin. But most probably it will be presented with one fateful ‘click.’

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​