Q&A: Celeste Ramirez’s dream internship leads to her dream job

Graphic of Florida Poly student graduating in 2019

When Celeste Ramirez ’19 came to Florida Poly as a freshman in 2016 she dreamed of interning at Steamroller Studios, an animation powerhouse headquartered in her hometown of Eustis, Florida. Not only did she make that dream come true (she interned there as a sophomore), she turned it into a part-time gig as a technical writer during college. After graduation she’ll transition into her new full-time role as a programmer with the company, working along some of the nation’s leading animators and game developers to create new video game experiences. The hands-on experience has allowed her to blend her passion for the arts and her love of coding.

What’s the last book you read?

I’m reading “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” now, but the last book I finished was “The Unfettered Mind” by Takuan Sōhō. I usedto only read fiction but since starting at Florida Poly, I’ve become more interested in myth, folklore, and philosophy. I also highly recommend “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss, as it is one of the best books I’ve read.

What’s been your favorite class at Florida Poly?

Computer Programming 2 completely changed everything for me. Before I had finished Computer Programming 1, I had heard that Dr. [Dean] Bushey’sclass was by far the most difficult, most comprehensive programming course they had ever taken. I made it my priority to get into his class the following semester, and it was the best experience I’ve had at this university. His belief in all of his students pushed us to become the programmers he knew we could be. He had faith in our abilities and gave us advanced, thought-provoking projects to challenge us. I will always look up to him, and his infectious humor and straightforward lectures will be one of my fondest memories at Florida Poly.

What advice would you offer incoming freshmen?

Don’t let failure be an option for you. It’s too easy to let your mind play tricks on you. If something is too difficult, sometimes it’s easier to say ‘well, I guess I’ll just fail.’ This only fuels a feeling of incompetence. If failure is not an option from the beginning, your mind will then spend more energy trying to find other solutions.

Do you have a pet? What kind?

I don’t have a pet yet, because I wanted to be sure I could dedicate the time to a creature completely dependent on me. The first pet I get once I graduate; however, may be a Ball Python or a Brazilian Rainbow Boa. Snakes are beautiful creatures and I love them. I think cats are also amazing pets, but I’m allergic to them. Otherwise, I would adopt one after graduation.

What’s your favorite movie?

There are so many. I can’t choose just one. I adore movies that make you think about them long after the credits have rolled, whether I’m analyzing them or because the story left an emotional impact. A short list of movies memorable for me: “Ex Machina,” “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind,” “Annihilation,” “Memento,” “The Book of Eli,” “The Shape of Water,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” (plus nearly every other Hayao Miyazaki film), “The Secret of NIMH,” “The Iron Giant,” “Titan A.E.,” “The Last Unicorn,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “Logan.” There are so many more I can’t think of right now. I always enjoy a good story, especially when I can be immersed in it with multiple senses.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

When I was growing up, I read the Animorphs series. I think that would be an incredible superpower, to have a human consciousness inside an animal form, so the human could experience things usually restricted by his or her physical form. If I had a superpower where I could transform at will to an animal and back to a human, while keeping my own consciousness, I’d find all sorts of creatures to turn into, just to feel what it’s like to be in another form of life. It would be empowering and I could strengthen my own connection to the world while learning so much about it.

Editor’s Note: This story is one of a series of Q&As with some of Florida Poly’s class of 2019 graduates.

Lydia Guzman
Assistant Director of Communications

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