If you’re passionate about bringing your favorite characters and stories to life through animation, securing an animation internship can be the first step towards a successful career in this exciting field. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with valuable tips on how to get an animation internship while still in university.
Your Path to Getting an Animation Internship
Are you dreaming of a career in the world of animation? Landing an internship is often the first step to kickstart your journey in this exciting industry. In this blog post, we’ll explore the essential steps to secure an animation internship, offering additional insights and tips along the way. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Evaluate Your Qualifications
To qualify for an animation internship, you need to demonstrate your commitment and skills. Here are some pathways to consider:
- Education: Although not mandatory, pursuing a degree in animation can be a valuable asset. Many companies prefer candidates with formal training. You can start your journey by enrolling in a bachelor’s or associate degree program in animation.
- Join Clubs: Engage with local or online animation clubs to showcase your passion for animation. Becoming a club director can also help you build leadership and project management skills, which are highly regarded in the industry.
- Software Proficiency: Equip yourself with knowledge of industry-standard animation software. Look for entry-level animator job listings to identify the software skills in demand in your specific animation niche.
- Competitions: Participating in animation competitions can boost your creativity and demonstrate your dedication to potential employers. Keep an eye out for both online and local animation contests and highlight your achievements on your resume.
- Freelance Work: Consider taking on freelance animation projects. Paid animation experience can set you apart from other applicants, and it allows you to build a network of clients for future opportunities.
Step 2: Create an Impressive Demo Reel
Your demo reel is your visual calling card in the animation world. Make it stand out with the following tips:
- Personalization: Tailor your demo reel for each studio. Align your work with the qualifications listed in the job description. Familiarize yourself with each company’s preferences for video length and format.
- Edit with Care: Organize your reel thoughtfully. Start with your best work, and let each scene playfully before transitioning to the next. Avoid creating a jumbled collage of animations.
- Sound Matters: Many studios prefer original audio in their demo reel. If you decide to include music, ensure it’s royalty-free and quieter than any sound effects or voice acting.
- Provide a Reel Breakdown: Include a document that describes each scene in your demo reel. Add a thumbnail, a timestamp, techniques used, and the programs employed to make your work more accessible to potential employers.
- Variety and Quality: Showcase a variety of scenes that demonstrate your skills and creativity. High-quality, error-free work is crucial to leaving a lasting impression.
- Express Your Personality: Let your demo reel tell a story and showcase your unique style. It’s not just about your skills; it’s about your artistic personality.
Step 3: Craft a Tailored Resume
A well-crafted resume is your ticket to securing an animation internship. Here’s how to make it shine:
- Header: Include your contact information, portfolio links, and your demo reel link. Ensure that everything is easily accessible for hiring managers.
- Summary: Write a concise summary that highlights your experience, emphasizing how you meet the job qualifications.
- Experience: Be specific about your contributions to past projects. Mention the departments you collaborated with, project types, your responsibilities, and the software you used.
- Skills: List both hard and soft skills relevant to the animation industry. Highlight skills like collaboration and time management.
- Education: Mention relevant projects or courses from your undergraduate education. If you’re self-taught, emphasize your self-learning and online academies.
- Certificates, Achievements, and Hobbies: Include any relevant competition wins or software certifications. Share some of your hobbies to showcase your personality.
Step 4: Write a Compelling Cover Letter
Your cover letter should capture the attention of potential employers. Here’s how to make it shine:
- AIDA Method: Structure your cover letter using the “attention, interest, desire, and action” method. Each paragraph should have a clear focus.
- Show Your Research: Address the letter to the specific individual or department responsible for hiring. Highlight what you admire about the studio’s past projects and how your values align with their mission.
- Keep it Concise: Hiring managers read numerous cover letters, so keep yours to around three or four paragraphs. Include essential details while keeping it under a page in length.
- Answer Questions: Use the cover letter to address any questions that might arise from your resume, such as employment gaps or short-term positions.
- Provide Resources: If connected on professional networking sites, provide links. If not, offer a PDF of your resume, portfolio, and demo reel links.
- Close with a Call to Action: End your cover letter by inviting further discussion. Prompt the reader to contact you, whether in person or over the phone.
Step 5: Prepare for the Interview
Nailing the interview is the final step in securing an animation internship. Here’s what to focus on:
- Personality: Hiring managers look for candidates who fit well within their animation team. Research reviews from past employees to understand the studio’s preferred personality type.
- Problem-Solving: Be prepared to discuss your approach to overcoming challenges, particularly those related to your demo reel.
- Collaboration: Demonstrate your ability to work with different departments and software by addressing hypothetical scenarios.
- Enthusiasm: Show genuine excitement about contributing to the studio’s projects. Highlight what you love about their previous work during the interview.
- Questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification during the interview to demonstrate your critical thinking and enthusiasm to learn.
With these steps, you’re well on your way to securing an animation internship and launching your career in this dynamic industry. Best of luck on your journey to becoming a successful animator!
Relevant Skills for Animation Interns:
To succeed in an animation internship, it’s essential to possess certain skills, including:
- Strong attention to detail
- Effective communication and collaboration abilities
- Video editing proficiency
Landing an Animation Internship with No Prior Experience:
Don’t be discouraged if you lack previous animation experience. Highlight your eagerness to learn and adapt. When applying, pay attention to the internship requirements listed by potential employers. On your resume and in your cover letter, emphasize any related experiences or roles that demonstrate transferable skills. For instance, mention relevant coursework, group projects, or video editing experience.
Where Can Animation Interns Work?
As an animation intern, you’ll spend a significant portion of your time honing your skills and expanding your portfolio. Your primary focus will be on learning relevant animation techniques, software, and character development. This hands-on experience will help you grow as both an animator and an artist. Animation interns can explore various career paths within the field, such as becoming Animators or Video Editors. They may find opportunities with different types of companies, ranging from animation studios to video game developers and more.
Securing an animation internship is an exciting journey that can lead to a rewarding career in the animation industry. By following the steps outlined in this guide and leveraging your university’s resources, you can increase your chances of landing the internship of your dreams. Good luck on your path to becoming a skilled animator!