At Game Oven, we get e-mails from students every week, wanting to do an internship with us. However, many of these students don’t fit our needs or requirements and get rejected right away. If you’re looking for an internship position in the Dutch game industry, there are some things you need to pay attention to. Adriaan and Eline wrote some do’s and don’ts to help you get the position you want.
Prepare your portfolio. Your portfolio is important because a company generally wants to get an insight into how experienced you are, the way you work, and how fast you work. Don’t just show us the end result, but also the process, in what context your work was made, the people you worked with, the time it took you, and what you learned.
Be passionate. This relates to the above: if you don’t have much to show, then you need to make more. If you want to make games, don’t just work on school projects – show us you are motivated to make stuff in your free time. Participate in game jams if you don’t feel like working alone. Team up with fellow students.
Go to events. There are many Dutch games industry events where you get the chance to talk to developers, e.g. the DGG Networking Lunch, Control Conference, Local Multiplayer Picknicks, Control GameLabs, Festival of Games, DGDARC networking drinks, and the Games for Health Europe, to name a few.
Know the company. Do your homework. Know what games they made, what people work there, what technology they use, and what role you want to fulfil in their team. Also consider why the company needs your skills.
Mention what you want to learn. As a game company, we’d love to know what skills you have that we can use. However, we also want to know the things you want to get more experience with. What challenges do you want to face? Do you have a specialization? Is there a tool you want to work with?
Be punctual. Met a developer today? Send them an email the same evening. Made a promise to get back to us? Get back to us.
Don’t send a template email. Be short and personal. Email them like you would talk to them. There’s no need to be super formal. Most important is that you say why you want to do an internship at that company specifically. What is so appealing about doing an internship with them? What do you like most about their games?
Don’t send an e-mail together with your classmate. All it does is show a lack of independence and dedication. You both look lazy and unprofessional, especially if your cv and portfolio have the same style.
Don’t say you have to do an internship for school. We know most schools require students to do an internship. However, an internship should be something that gets you excited! You get a taste of what your life is like after you finish your education. Saying you “have to” do an internship doesn’t make you look motivated at all.
We hope these tips are useful in your quest to find an internship. Remember to share them with your fellow students!