Water gun fights, food truck Fridays, parties with chimpanzees, celebrity sightings and a lot of time spent with a certain talking sponge. This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, CA as an animation development intern.
I’ve always been passionate about animation, and I previously interned at animation studios such as DreamWorks Animation and PDI/DreamWorks, where I took my first steps into this industry. I grew up watching many of the shows on Nickelodeon, so working at the studio was a childhood dream come true.
The department I interned for is in charge of handling pitches and helping develop ideas into successful shows. This means that almost every show that has been on Nickelodeon has gone through our department. As an intern, I got a firsthand look at the development process and saw how a successful show idea comes into fruition. I even got to learn the principles of how to pitch a show.
My favorite thing about the internship program was the emphasis on learning. I got to take figure drawing and character design classes, attend screenings of new episodes, sit in on storyboard pitches and voice recording sessions and meet executives from various departments who offered advice on how to succeed in the industry. The studio operates on an open door policy so anyone can essentially meet with anyone and get advice from them. There are even posters sent to the employees with all the “Nicktern” faces on them so that they can get to know us better.
During the internship, I met many creative individuals and developed friendships with both fellow interns and industry professionals. Our intern class got very close, and we even created a yearorbook and had a chicken nugget eating contest at the studio (I won second place). We also made activity books comprised of fun activities that each of us created and distributed them to children around the area. I’ll never forget how excited the kids at the local Boys & Girls Club were to meet us ? they even painted us a Nickelodeon poster!
The company culture of Nickelodeon is amazing, and the studio houses some of the most talented individuals in the industry. It was an amazing experience being able to work in the studio that has created some of the most beloved characters and shows enjoyed by people all over the world.