So you want to know how to get a Pixar Animation Internship? Well, you've come to the right place! Now, even though I've never interned at Pixar myself (I made it past the final round, but the internship program got cut for the quarter I applied - find the full story at the end of the article), I have some very close friends who have worked and are currently working there. I also know a couple of recruiters at Pixar who shared with me what type of resumes and skills they look for when considering an intern. So without further ado, I present to you:
how to get an Internship at Pixar
Part 1: YOUR RESUME
When applying to an internship position, your resume is their first look at you and you want it to be the best it can be. There are three major things to remember when crafting your resume for Pixar.
1. GET EXPERIENCE (INTERN AT ANOTHER STUDIO FIRST): Even though you have your heart set on Pixar, you should probably intern at another animation studio first, to get the experience that Pixar is looking for. Pixar is a top tier studio and they want the best interns. It's ideal to build your resume experience with other animation studios first. Some studios to consider are: DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Blue Sky Studio, Sony Animation, or Cartoon Network.
**With that said however, still apply to Pixar every chance you get. It's free and why not, there's always a possibility**
2. MAKE IT PROFESSIONAL: Send a professional resume and cover letter. They want to be able to tell that you are professional and will treat the internship as such. An employee informed me that the people at Pixar are a little A-type and that there shouldn't be any misspellings as a typo can affect a call back.
3. TAILOR YOUR RESUME: For whatever position you choose to apply to, make sure you tailor your resume to that specific role. Read the job description over and over again to apply your prior experience to what they are asking for. Pixar wants you to be focused. One of Pixar's recruiters informed me, if you are applying to a Marketing Internship role, you have to show that you are interested in marketing by having experience in marketing. Tailor your resume to marketing and take out what doesn't belong.
4. DON'T APPLY TO EVERY SINGLE ROLE: Recruiters can see how many positions you have applied to and it does not look good if you are applying to every single internship available. I'd recommend picking your top 3 choices and stick to applying to those.
For more information about the roles in animation, check out this article.
Part 2: YOUR COVER LETTER
Your cover letter is your first impression. In your cover letter, you should convey a bit of your personality, but still keep it professional. You'll want to include:
- Who Is It Addressed To (in this case - "Dear Pixar Animation Studios:")
- Who You Are (name, school, background information)
- What Position You Are Applying To And Why
- How You And Your Experience Is A Good Fit For The Position
This is also your chance to prove that you are able to communicate well in writing.
Part 3: THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
1. THE PHONE INTERVIEW
If they like your resume and cover letter, the first interview will be a 15 minute phone interview to see if you are who you say you are and just to get more details on your background. If they see that your personality fits well with the position and the studio, they'll usually schedule an on-site interview right then or very shortly after.
2. ON-SITE INTERVIEW
If the phone interview goes well and if the recruiter invites you to an on-site interview, expect there to be around 2-3 rounds of interviewing lasting up to 2 or more separate days, depending how you do in each round.
During these interviews, you are usually meeting with various employees from different productions. What they are looking for is to see if and where your personality fits and with which production or department.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you'd like me to review your cover letter/resume, just go here and fill out the information. And lastly, don’t forget to check out my cartoon short I did with Nickelodeon called "The Outsiders." Thanks for reading and stay tooned for more of The Storyboard Room.
Pixar also has their Path to Pixar.
How I almost Interned At Pixar
I have never interned at Pixar, but I have interviewed with them only to have had bad luck on my side. I was supposed to be a Production Intern on the movie, The Good Dinosaur, but they were having problems with the direction of the movie and had to replace the director in addition to cutting 13% of the companies' staff. This was back in Fall 2013.
It turned out to be okay because I ended up interning at DreamWorks Animation in Redwood City on the movie Penguins of Madagascar. This worked out fine for me because I actually took advantage of some of their perks and was able to take a photography class and developed a hobby that has let me travel the world capturing iconic landmarks.