Internships are more than just a way to fill your summer or a box you have to check on your career development checklist. They offer extensive opportunities to learn — not only about your skillset and topic area but also about new industries and departments that may be an exciting avenue for your future.
If you’re interested in gaming or video game development, an Activision internship can help you build the foundation of your career and discover what it’s really like to work in this fast-paced industry. Here, you’ll learn more about Activision internship offerings and discover tips on how to ace the interview and land the gig. Plus, you’ll get first-hand insight from Activision employees on what to expect from your internship program and what it’s like to work for the company.
Activision Internship Basics
Activision Publishing, Inc. is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard — a world-class entertainment company — and a leading developer and publisher of video games. They’re headquartered in Santa Monica and offer some of the most popular consumer products including Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Guitar Hero.
The company offers exceptional opportunities for students who are looking into gaming internships. Internships at Activision and paid and typically consist of a full-time gig during the summer semester. Internships take place on-site at one of the company’s independent video game development studios, which are located all across the globe. Studios are located in San Francisco, Dallas, Boulder, London, Madrid, Shanghai, Vancouver, and the greater Los Angeles area among others.
There are two internship programs available at Activision: the 12-week Emerging Talent Internship Program and the 10-week MBA Internship Program.
The Emerging Talent Program includes opportunities in analytics, engineering, game design, production, UX/UI, animation, and art. To apply for the program, students must be enrolled in a college or university with a graduation date no earlier than December of the application year. The internship begins in late May or early June and lasts until late August or early September.
The MBA Internship Program is a 10-week summer internship for first-year MBA students who have at least three years of related work experience. The internship typically begins in mid-June and runs through mid-August and is held at the Santa Monica headquarters. Activision interns in this program receive a stipend for housing costs.
Want to learn more about Activision internships and what it’s like to work there? On our podcast, we spoke with Erin Breslin Garcia who’s been working in the video game industry for seven years and currently supports Activision’s Early Careers program. She offered firsthand insight into what it’s like to intern at Activision and offered tips for prospective applicants to increase their chances of landing the gig. Read on to see what she had to say about the application and interview process and the work environment at Activision.
Activision Internship Application and Interview Process
The Activision internship application process opens in September and extends through the month of November — art internships are open through February. The process begins by submitting a cover letter and filling out an application for the position you’re interested in. You can browse open opportunities or search for a specific job title. If your application catches the eye of a recruiter, you’ll be invited to an in-person or virtual interview.
Activision also offers outreach programs where students can meet recruiters either on campus or at public information sessions. Here, you can network and make connections with hiring managers, improving your chances of getting an interview. You can also find out more about each internship job description and learn about available job postings.
To stand out from the crowd, try to talk with the recruiters and express your passion for the internship. If you don’t have a lot of work or related experience, explain how you’ve learned and mastered personal projects. The idea here is to show initiative and demonstrate how you’d add value to Activision by interning at the company.
Activision offers extensive tips and advice on mastering the interview phase. In general, the interview process will examine not only your skillset but how well you execute those skills and adapt to changing environments. Be prepared to explain your past career decisions, passions, and motivations about working in the industry.
To be successful, Activision recommends being passionate and specific when answering interview questions. For in-person interviews, don’t wear a suit and instead opt for business casual attire. Make sure to ask questions about the company and express your interest in how Activision works and what interning there will be like. You can ask things like what the team’s goals are, tips on how to be successful at the company, and what challenges you may face when working on the team.
What It’s Like To Intern at Activision
At Activision, the company’s main value statement is “it’s the people” and their internship programs are no different. Internship opportunities here are focused on encouraging learning and networking between a diverse and passionate group of people.
If you land an Activision internship, you can expect an unparalleled experience where you’ll work directly on projects that propel the company’s vision. All internships feature three main components. The first is that you’ll work directly on projects that will impact real-life game developments.
Second, your internship will be designed around learning and development. You’ll be able to attend tech talks where you can experience and learn about things outside of your role. That means networking with teams in different departments and even working across sectors to improve designs. Past tech talks have also included social aspects including a recent talk about designing great games for people with disabilities. The goal is to help you understand how your role connects with other people in the company and also enables you to find new roles or divisions you may want to have a career in.
The third component is the social aspect. At Activision, your network is important. Internship jobs here focus extensively on helping you develop relationships both inside and outside of work. Perks include hangouts, campfires, escape rooms, and professional gatherings to help you develop personal relationships and build connections across the company.
Activision also emphasizes being able to bring your authentic self to work. The culture here is all about diversity and inclusivity. Activision looks to hire interns and employees that are genuine, passionate, smart, and willing to go the extra mile.
Each independent studio also has its own unique identity and values. For example, the Treyarch studio, which creates Call of Duty, has army nets, fake plants, and a hallway filled with zombie decor. The Toys for Bob studio is half tiki hut and half pirate ship. With so many different identities, you’re sure to find an internship where you can be your whole self and contribute to the company’s growth as well as your own.
You don’t have to be a software engineer to land an Activision internship. While the majority of roles are based on computer science, you’ll find opportunities in art, design, data science, animation, and production.
Diversity is also important at Activision. The company partners with a variety of groups including UNCF, the Grace Hopper Conference, Game Heads, ESA, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow to find diverse talent.
Learn and Grow With Internship Advice From Scholars
At Scholars, we make it easy for students to find internship opportunities that can help launch their careers. Our blog and podcast are packed with information on how to find internships. You’ll find interviews with recruiters at the top companies, making it easy to get advice and tips on landing that prized internship.