Pixar Internship Cover Letter

Internship/ Staffing & Recruiting Question

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Internship/ Staffing & Recruiting Question

by jmckiernan » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:23 am

Hello everyone,

I have come across this forum a few times in my research about the recent slew of internships on the site. I'm going for the art internship/ recent grad position and I'm just at the end of getting everything together to ship.

I'm finishing up my cover letter and I was wondering if anyone knew the staffing or hiring director that I should address the letter to. I have come across a few names from linkedin, but I don't have a business account to see any contact information. I could just put a general address on the letter if I can't find anyone, but hey, no harm in asking right?

Any help regarding other internship information is more than welcome!

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by Hannahmation » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:41 am

Welcome to the forum, jmckiernan!

Here is the address that is provided in the art internship listing so it doesn't state a specific person. As far as your cover letter, you could always put 'To Whom It May Concern'. That's what I did when I sent one out for Pixar's summer program.

Pixar Animation Studios
Attn: Art Internship
1200 Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608

Best of luck with your application!

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by lameurysm » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:56 am

When I wrote my cover letter, I got a bit bold and decided to write "To the folks at Pixar." The internship coordinator at my school didn't appreciate it, but I didn't want my letter to sound static either.
So I guess we'll see if I get a note on "professionalism."
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by jmckiernan » Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:02 am

Thanks guys
I figured I would most likely use the ol' "who it may concern" if I couldn't get a name. I'm sure they're easy going about this sort of thing. My god I've been overanalyzing this whole application and portfolio process. I can't wait to have it all shipped out so I can sleep again.

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by Hannahmation » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:16 am

I know what you mean about overanalyzing! Did the same thing. It is a bit of a relief once it is sent out. Then comes the waiting! Again, best of luck to you!

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by DocKenobi » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:35 pm

jmckiernan wrote:Thanks guys
I figured I would most likely use the ol' "who it may concern" if I couldn't get a name. I'm sure they're easy going about this sort of thing. My god I've been overanalyzing this whole application and portfolio process. I can't wait to have it all shipped out so I can sleep again.


It's understanable to overanaylze. It's a pretty important thing. I think the Pixar people would care more about your art than a small slip-up in the format though.

If you don't mind my asking, and Hannahmation this question is for you as well, what kind of pieces did you send in for your portfolio?
"I think water is really hard to do in computer animation."
"I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you."
"Last night, Darth Vader came down from the planet Vulcan, and told me if I didn't ask Loraine to the dance then he'd melt my brain."
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by lameurysm » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:23 pm

If you don't mind my asking, and Hannahmation this question is for you as well, what kind of pieces did you send in for your portfolio?


If I might take the opportunity to answer as well:

I also applied for the summer Technical Undergrad Program and what I submitted was all my creative pieces (photography mostly, because I'm interested in lighting/camera layout) but some traditional media (watercolors, mixed media) to show that I definitely have the creativity, I just need the technical skills.

I also took it upon myself to apply for the lighting internship and again, I submitted a lot of my photography (I'm a photo major) to show that I understand light and how to manipulate it.

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by Hannahmation » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:30 pm

DocKenobi wrote:If you don't mind my asking, and Hannahmation this question is for you as well, what kind of pieces did you send in for your portfolio?


Like lameurysm, I showcased both my technical and creative skills. I included photos, drawings, and sculptures to show a variety of pieces. I also created a demo reel that included some animations and a few small models and shading assignments I had done.

I basically picked out my best pieces from various mediums and disciplines. Variety is always good... unless you are applying for a more specific internship/job. Then you'd want to taylor your portfolio so it showcases those skills which are needed.


Btw, welcome to the forums, lameurysm! Please introduce yourself to the rest of the forum members in the Hi, My Name Is... thread http://www.pixarplanet.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=564

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by jmckiernan » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:54 am

DocKenobi wrote:
jmckiernan wrote:Thanks guys
I figured I would most likely use the ol' "who it may concern" if I couldn't get a name. I'm sure they're easy going about this sort of thing. My god I've been overanalyzing this whole application and portfolio process. I can't wait to have it all shipped out so I can sleep again.


It's understanable to overanaylze. It's a pretty important thing. I think the Pixar people would care more about your art than a small slip-up in the format though.

If you don't mind my asking, and Hannahmation this question is for you as well, what kind of pieces did you send in for your portfolio?


Yeah, I'm sure in the end they appreciate a professional presentation, but will care more about the quality of the art. I'm purposely sending all my stuff out before I really need to just so I won't over do anything more.

I'm sending in a few finished illustrations, some sculpture maquettes,character designs with expression sheets, and a few layouts and characterized life drawings. I'm sending a DVD of my animations as well even though I am going for the art position. I'm so close to being able to send it now....it's just a little more work for tomorrow and then off to the printers on Wednesday!

Best of luck to the other applicants as well! If all goes well we may be working with each other in the future.

jmckiernan
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by DocKenobi » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:40 pm

Thanks everyone! I definitley have a better idea of what to put in my portfolio when I apply for the story internship next year. Good luck to lameurysm, Hannahmation, jmckiernan, and any one else who is applying. Hope you guys get it!
"I think water is really hard to do in computer animation."
"I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you."
"Last night, Darth Vader came down from the planet Vulcan, and told me if I didn't ask Loraine to the dance then he'd melt my brain."
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Application

I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Pixar Animation Studios.

Interview

I applied online and got a form email saying that my application was received. A few weeks later I got an email setting up a technical phone interview. The interviewer asked questions about my work history and technical questions focusing on C++ and STL. Especially about STL set.

After the phone interview I got several odd follow-up recruiter emails with stalling tactics. The usual out-of-the-office type excuses. This was annoying, but I tried to remain positive. It continued for 4-6 weeks until the recruiter set up an interview with the team.

The team interview was more of the same: questions about my background, C++ and STL (including implementing the STL set). The questions were relatively straight-forward, but I got the impression that the bar for answers was VERY high. One of the more absurd questions was "what is your greatest contribution to computer science?". It seemed unfair for a basic engineering role, but keep in mind that they mainly want engineers from MIT, Stanford, etc. If you don't have a degree from a top 5 school you'd better act like you do. Pixar is big on thinking the world of themselves, and it sure seemed like employees are expected to be huge self-promoters. There was a weird mix of false humility and elitism that didn't sit well with me. I hope I'm wrong, but that was my impression after meeting with the team.

About a week later I got another form email saying that the company gets lots of great applicants and that they weren't interested in me anymore. It wasn't even from the recruiter, just a generic automated email. It felt like a rude ending to a long and often frustrating process that dragged on for over three months.

I'm still a fan of their movies, but I don't want to work at Pixar anymore.

Interview Questions

Pixar Animation Studios 2016-12-08 19:45 PST

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