Animation Internships


First, you need to know that there are some excellent resources right in the SMFA. The Artist Resource Center is both a physical location in the main campus, but also has an online presence on the main website, as well as the intranet-based MySMFA. The ARC Director, Catherine Tutter, is also available to have personal meetings with students.

SMFA Artist Resource Center: ARC
ARC provides information on jobs, internships and arts related resources for SMFA students, alumni, faculty and staff.

ARC's ArtSource page lists arts opportunities
  • Employment and internships
  • Civic engagement and volunteer opportunities
  • Grants and residencies
  • Exhibitions and competitions
  • Public art commissions
  • Arts community resources
  • Studio space

The SMFA ARC Internships
•    available to students enrolled in the Diploma, BFA, BFA in Art Education, and
•    Combined-Degree programs.
•    To receive college credit, you must formally register for an ARC internship.
•    Registered internships require a time commitment of “60 contact hours” for each credit earned.
•    The ARC Internship Director (Catherine Tutter) will need to provide an SMFA specified contract for the internship provider and intern to sign, agreeing to the specifications of the internship.

Why an internship?
An internship is incredibly valuable because it is like learning “on the job.” It is most only available while you are still a registered student. If you pursue a formal internship you will receive college credit as well as on-the-job training. Sometimes these positions can help you form professional connections that will assist you in the job hunting later on.

Paid or Not Paid?
  • Most internships for undergraduates are not paid and are offered for academic credit only. This means you enroll in an internship course where you pay tuition, are overseen by an instructor, complete projects, and receive a grade and credit toward graduation.
  • Paid internships are more readily available for students who have recently graduated. They often last six months or more and routinely result in employment at that company. Turner Entertainment Networks and Electronic Arts provide such internship opportunities. Undergraduate internships are more often paid during the summer than during the school year

What kinds of internships are there?
Some are actual production based and some are more general production assistant based. The latter means that you might do anything from filing papers to picking up lunches, to something animation related.
Some kinds of internships are very rigorous and are kind of like going to school. Pixar’s internship program is like this.
You need to ask the company internship liaison about the position description.

When Should I Do an Internship?

Students usually choose to participate in an internship the summer after their sophomore year or during their junior academic year or summer. Seniors will sometimes pursue them, but needing a money-making job right away is usually more important. Summer internships are often full-time, whereas internships during the school year are usually part-time so that students can maintain their other classes.


When hunting for an internship, you are supplying some very basic materials such as any job hunter might provide.

1) a résumé. This will highlight your contact info, skills, education and previous jobs. Make it direct and to the point without excess graphics and glitz.
Take a look at Mark Simon's "Top 5 Resume Writing Mistakes" on AWN.COM

2) a cover letter specifying your area of interest; includes your contact info.
See some good examples of cover letters here:
ARC's MySMFA page (samples are on the right of the page, PDF format)
SCAD "ToolBox" kit  (samples available in PDF format)

3) possibly a letter of reference from a faculty member or previous employer, or both.

4) a portfolio (samples of traditional "hand skills", such as life drawing, painting, illustrating, character design, etc)

5) a demo reel with a breakdown list and  slates on each shot. Include head and tail slates with your name, phone and email.

Slates: are text titles marking the beginning or end of a shot with the credits / info for that shot)
The breakdown list: briefly describes your contribution to each shot and the tools used.
Shot Breakdown Example: Shot 1: Witch Melting — animated the witch melting using Maya; created the textures using Photoshop. If you did everything on your reel, say so. Never claim anyone else’s work.

The internship provider knows that you are a student and they are not expecting you to provide a professionally accomplished resume or demo reel. But, make it look its best without overstating your qualifications.

Here is a clear list of how to create a good demo reel, written by the folks at Pixar.

Here is a really great and clear overview of animation demo reels, portfolios and interviewing, written by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, on

6) a web site. You can also post your demo reel and digital version of your portfolio on your site, and just send along a link to those pages. In fact, many studios prefer it this way.
If you need a free option, why not use WordPress to post portfolio images and text, and post your videos on Vimeo and then embed them in your site.

7) Everything you submit should be labeled clearly with your contact info: name, phone number and email address.


1) First, look around locally.
  • Look on the local animation studio websites, and look for postings. If no information is there, email them or call and ask. If there are no studios, go to step 2.
  • Contact your local / city Arts Councils. They have connections to all kinds of arts-related organizations.
2) Does your school run a career center? They most likely have internships and jobs listed. If your school doesn’t, what about other colleges in the area- they might have something posted on the career center bulletin boards.

3) Who do you know that knows somebody that knows somebody? Talk to those connections, and let them know you’re interested in an internship. People can’t help you out if they don’t know you’re looking.

4) Do a WEB search!

5) Look at Motion Media community websites. Many are listed at the end of this page. They list jobs as well as internships.

6) Look up your favorite studio or animation filmmaker and see if they have an internship posting. If not, it really doesn't hurt to contact them by email and ask!

SMALL STUDIOS are more likely to give you a real handful of interesting things to do. Finding these smaller studios is the harder part.

Suggestions for hunting the small studios and independent animators down:

1) go to animation festivals and see films. Make notes of who did the films you love, look up that filmmaker or studio and contact them!

2) look up animation festivals online and look at the lists of films that are screening. Web search for names, contact them!

3) Ask local animation instructors at colleges. They definitely know local animation filmmakers and studios.

4) web search the term "independent animation" "animation studio" and see who comes up.

5) look at local arts councils web sites (web search for your town or city) and look in the want ads and artist listings. (example for Boston is the Massachusetts Cultural Council)

6) frequently, people who love to make films on their own ALSO work at the small boutique studios. Who's listed as employees or directors at these studios?

7)   Here is a GREAT database of industry studios. They are from all over the world, some tiny, some huge, some "just right."

Here are some examples of small boutique studio that are more than "one person size" located on the east coast:

FableVision (in MA)

(a very busy studio doing tv shows. Located in Watertown, MA)

Curious Pictures
(a very creative “medium-sized” commercial animation studio in NY)

Animation Collective
(reputation for hiring recent grads and people just starting out in the biz!)


Generally, this will most likely be administrative style internships. Lots of taking notes, helping file, etc, but having a chance to watch the studio at work. An example:

Laika (stop-motion focus (Coraline), but also does CG and Flash; Portland, OR)

DreamWorks (internship descriptions in “company info” section)



Blue Sky Studios

Pamela provides fantastic and authentic insight on the experience for new job hunters. Advice on interviewing, demo reels, and more.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Career Coach: all article listings

 (Some of these are paid sites, some are free.)

STATE ARTS COUNCILS (sometimes have job and internship listings, as well as grants!)

Mass Cultural Council on the Arts

Cambridge (MA) Arts Council Job listing Links

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism

New York State Council on the Arts

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

Maine Arts Commission


New England Film
This site lists some companies and individuals in the area, not specifically jobs.

Animation World Network – online magazine (main page) (HUGE DATABASE)

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

MTV Internships

Reel Jobs NYC (thru the NYC Mayor’s office, downloadable PDF list, updated regularly)


Get That Gig

Intern Jobs

College Recruiter

Mandy’s International Film and Television Production Directory


Maslow Media

Hollywood Creative Directory
(also hosts a job list)

ShowBiz Jobs

Independent Film Productions
Jobs and classifieds under the “Networking Center” link.

Entertainment Jobs

Entertainment Careers

ILM internships (owned by Lucas Films)

Disney Jobs

Believe it or not, people will post creative media jobs here.


Cambridge (MA) Arts Council Job listing Links
If you are searching for a graphic design or a multimedia design job in Texas, this is the place. Job listings are updated weekly.

NYFA Interactive (New York Foundation for the Arts)
NYFA "Jobs in the Arts" site is a free national online source for jobs and internships in the arts. New jobs are posted daily.

Artisan, Your Freelance Network
This site lists jobs in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for 2-D designers, illustrators, writers, and many more.

Creative Freelancers
Positions in art direction, design, graphic production, IT, web development, writing, editing, proofreading, translating, illustration, photography, marketing and general employment are listed on this site.

Art Week
This site lists jobs, residencies, and competitions on the West Coast.

Art Career Net
Free for job searching and resume posting. This site lists jobs in museums, art galleries, educational institutions and multi-disciplinary organizations as well as other art-related businesses/concerns worldwide.Registration is required, but it is free.

Art Calendar
Lists only a few employment opportunities, but this is an excellent source of information on grants and fellowships, internships, juried shows, residencies, artist's colonies, and studio space competititons. Art Calendar is published monthly and can be found in the Library. You have to subscribe to the magazine to get access to all of the website.
Free sign-up for for freelance and contract project work in Web design and development, graphic design, illustration and more.

Art Job
Search for full- & part-time employment, internships, grants, public art projects, residencies -- you can search by region, art discipline, type of organization, and more! FEE: $25 for 3 months, $40 for 6 months, $75 for 1 year.

Global Art Jobs
Global Art Jobs is constantly updated with international art jobs and opportunities. Subcriptions are $16.00 for 4 months and $28.00 for 12 months. With your subscription you are entitled to a free CV listing for the duration of the subscription.

Art Deadlines List
Art Deadlines list is a monthly newsletter(sent in paper form by mail or sent via e-mail) with several hundred announcements every month, including art jobs, scholarships, grants, and residencies. 12 month subscriptions for individuals are $36.00 by mail or $20.00 by e-mail