Interns Are in the Air

It’s been a while… way too long- sorry about that. Where does the time go? I feel like we just got back from our year end break, and here it is almost Memorial Day. (Notice I’m giving props to the fact that we close for the last two weeks in December? Nice- right?) So here we are – almost the end of May, with summer right around the corner. Summer makes me think of BBQ, hot days, the beach, and interns. Yes… Interns. Summer is the time for those eager college students to descend upon our studio, and begin what is known as their internship at Insomniac Games. Internships here typically run from mid May to mid August/September – depending on when students return to their respective schools. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This blog post is to talk about internships, how we approach them here, why we do them, and then some other bits as well.

So what is an internship here at Insomniac? Internships are opportunities for students to come in and dip their respective toes into game development for 8 -10 weeks. We require that all our interns be students, and they must be returning to school the following fall. Not all programs are set up that way, and programs will vary –but this is our criteria. It’s the only hard criteria that we have. There is no GPA qualifying average, there is no requirement to receive course credit for your time here, and the school that one is returning to, does not have to be a gaming school. We have students from all walks of education apply, and we like the diversity that this brings. But you are probably wondering what does one do during an internship? You get a chance to do what everyone else is doing – work on a game. You are not pushing papers, you are not getting coffee for anyone other than yourself, and you won’t stand in front of the copy machine all day (who uses paper anyway). It’s not going to happen! We firmly believe in settling interns in with their respective teams and giving them real tasks to do. You will have deadlines, you will have work that you are expected to generate, and we expect it to be stellar.

So why an internship? Why not kick back, and enjoy the summertime? Well- you could do that. I did that. I’ll be honest. But I think students are a bit more savvy these days than when I was in school. An internship is a perfect way to get some real life experience under your belt, and help reduce that brilliant catch 22 of – you need experience. How do you get experience if no one will hire you? Taking an internship will also afford you the opportunity to make real industry contacts. Who better to recommend you to their industry contacts than your supervisor or a co-worker when you are looking for work after graduating? They can speak about all the great things you did, how fun you were to work with, how seriously you took your duties… and bingo! A door has been opened.

Here, we also have a really strong track record of hiring our interns after they have graduated. Several of our interns have returned to us for full time spots, and we love that. It’s the best possible scenario, to be honest. It’s a new hire, but one that already has some knowledge of everything, and everyone in the studio. One of our former interns Rowan Belden-Clifford just this week had his first press interviews and helped with the announcement of our Facebook adventure, “Outernauts”. It was a very exciting moment for us as a company, I hope for Rowan, and for me personally as the spearhead for our internship program. Good things do come out of internships! We have had the opportunity to hire an intern into every department that that has had interns in recent years: Art, Animation, Audio, Community, Programming, and Design. It’s a really rewarding process for us, and I hope for those that we have hired, as well.

So, internships- get them if you can, make them work for you, and you just never know where the road will lead.

Until next time…