View Full Version : Internships & non-students
I have a bit of a random question about art internships. I realize that the vast majority of internships seem to go to art students working on their degrees, and reliable intern recruiters tend to flock to the local art/game-art university programs. As someone who is largely self-taught (I took a couple amazing CC courses, but that isn't really a replacement for a full-time student program), is it realistic to attempt to look for an internship? Do companies even consider candidates that are not currently enrolled in school?
I'd love to get my feet wet in an internship environment, particularly because I have minimal (read: zero) hands-on pipeline experience, but I don't want to spam my portfolio if no one is interested in non-students. Additionally, even if companies are open to non-student interns, is there an appropriate way to apply? I haven't found a single company in my area that has specific job posting for interns, so I'm wondering if it's reasonable to just blindly send out inquiries via email.
I'd appreciate it if anyone with knowledge and/or experience could give a bit of insight. Thank you!
08-12-2009, 11:24 PM
There is nothing about an internship that makes it specific to students.
Generally you will hear about students taking internships because they can afford to, most people post-college don't have the luxury of taking an unpaid job.
That being said, there are some companies that do student-specific internships, generally in partnership with a specific school or a handful of schools. Most of those you wont find advertised though, they go straight through the schools.
I don't see many internships posted, but there are some that pop up every once in awhile (Treyarch just posted a couple a few months ago).
Try finding studios in your area and send them an inquiring email, even if they don't have internships advertised. Some studios will be more receptive than others, and be sure to pass over the studios that specifically state that internships are not available.
08-13-2009, 12:12 AM
I applied to every studio in my area, just like I was applying for a job, when I wanted some internships. A lot of it is just chance, whether someone there needs someone like you to pick up some slack.
However, there is one reason why you might be less likely to get an internship than a current student. I believe that there is some 'law' or something that says you can only have an unpaid internship if you're getting class credit for it, or else it violates labor laws or something. At least that's my counselor from school told me once.
Thanks for the insight guys. I guess I will just start shooting my portfolio out there. The issue with the labor laws never crossed my mind, but it definitely makes a lot of sense. While I certainly won't complain if I have to get paid, I really hope it doesn't ruin my chances of finding something.
08-13-2009, 10:14 AM
yeah, the whole "minimum wage" issue becomes relevant if you are not a student. It might differ from state to state though.
My experience looking for internships, when I was in school, was that there are not a whole lot of opportunities floating around for 3d artists. In some cases, you have a better chance landing a job before getting an internship.
Yeah Brad that is what I really worry about. I'd hate to send my portfolio out for internships that don't exist, when I would have been better off just applying for an actual position. Maybe I'll just hold out and work on my portfolio some more, rather than try for an internship. Stupid labor laws! (not really, they're important! but, grumble)
08-13-2009, 01:07 PM
Lulu, you can send links to your portfolio to companies without applying for a specific position or internship, just email them a link and say some nice words telling them to keep you in mind for any future job/internship opportunities. But you say you should work more on your portfolio, so you probably should. Send out links to everywhere you can think of when you're confident in it.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.