The gaming industry may sound like an exciting and somewhat mysterious industry to work in. After I worked 3 months last summer as an intern for one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, I got asked at least 10 times “What do you do in your company?” and “How did you get in?” Here are several tips that might help you make your move and successfully find an internship in the gaming industry.
Before you apply:
- Target the right position
The best news here is that gaming companies will offer internship opportunities in a variety of positions. Among all the interns I’ve worked with together during the summer, there were graphics designers, content designers, UX designers, writers, software engineers, data analysts, system security engineers, human resources, finance, and customer service interns. I worked as a business analyst intern. It’s very important to find the position that your skills can fit in and you are comfortable working with. One of the best places to discover, learn about, and apply to these positions is on the company’s website, where they list detailed opportunities and requirements.
- Furnish your skills
Work in the gaming industry is challenging because what you deliver has the potential to affect millions of game players. This is intimidating but cool at the same time! Many of the internships require knowledge of specific skills. As a business analyst, knowledge of Excel’s PowerPivot and PowerQuery is required. Certain BI tools and visualization skills are also needed. So be sure to check the job description and prepare yourself with the required skills.
- Take the initiative
The truth is, as sad as it sounds, not a lot of gaming companies visit career fairs or info sessions at Rice. So if you are determined, take the initiative and contact them first!
When you apply:
The interview process is quite “standard” compare to other industries I interviewed with. There will be several rounds of interviews focusing on behavioral and technical questions. For me, I would say the behavioral round was more important than the technical round. Be prepared to answer questions like “why gaming” and “why our company” and also be ready to answer some technical questions.
Whether you fit the company’s culture is really critical for both parties. Passion is the number one important thing I saw in my colleagues. Working in a gaming company while not enjoying what you do can be excruciating. However, you don’t have to be a gamer to work in the gaming industry. The company I worked for has amazing office atmosphere and non-gamers would not feel uncomfortable at all (although during popcorn and donuts time on Friday afternoons, lots of the gamers would still find a meeting room and play video games).
My experience in the gaming industry was definitely amazing. I loved the office environment, intern benefits and especially the company culture and spirit. So I hope that these small tips can provide better understandings and help you prepare for your actions!
Steve Li is a Peer Career Advisor from McMurtry College. He is a senior studying mathematical economic analysis and philosophy.