Step 1: Social Media Outreach
The fastest way to get an internship is by reaching out to friends and family on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Drop a post that says something to the effect of, "I’m a game development student at Richland studying character modeling, and I’m looking for an internship. Does anyone know anyone, have any contacts or can give me any advice as to how proceed and go about doing this?" This can help you get the exposure you need in order to land an internship at a company.
Be sure to include links to your portfolios demonstrating your work, and have your contact information readily available for anyone who might be express interest in your work. And always be open to going to local meetups around town, even if it seems like it’s irrelevant. One of our faculty here at Richland actually got his first job in the industry because he went to a meetup that he thought wasn’t related to what he was going for. Turns out, one of the people there knew the CEO of a game company in Dallas, and he was able to get in contact with him and land a spot at the company as an animator.
Step 2: Resources at Richland
Most of the faculty and professors here at Richland either work at a game company, have worked at one in the past, are contracted at a game company or have tons of friends and contacts that still work in the game industry. Remember, in some cases, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
As you start to plan where to apply for an internship and get closer to taking the internship class, begin talking with your professors and see if they would be willing to help you out with landing an internship at a company, or if they know of any opportunities in the industry you could look into or start working towards.
Step 3: Do Your Own Search
Reach out to all the game companies in the area and let them know who you are and what you’re looking for. You can find a list of most of the studios in the
resources section of this site. Check out what’s going on with them, and see if there is any opportunity for you to get involved. Remember, there is a lot of competition for internships, and these studios get hit up by experienced people from around the world for jobs all the time, so you need to be creative, think outside the box in you approach and not just do what everyone else does.
Also remember that at the end of the day, the goal of an internship is to get your foot in the door and eventually get hired at a company. Don’t be upset if you can’t get hired in exactly the role you want; if you get hired just to get coffee orders for everyone at the office or for something that seems "minuscule," at least your foot is in the door — and that can lead to another opening in the future.
There are many resources online to help you, and you really have to do your research. If this were easy, everyone would be doing it. All great things take time.