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Thomas Writes:

Dear Scott and IWTWAEA posters,

Thank you for this resource. It is inspiring to read about your efforts. I’ve been putting my portfolio together for various EA Academy internships at the Redwood City campus. I was wondering if I could get some advice on my application process.

  1. *I would like to direct my mail and cover letter to a person and not To whom it may concern“. Would I be able to get the proper contact name by calling EA’s HR dept, or will I not even make it past the receptionist? I suppose that I’ll know tomorrow after I try but if I fail, any backup recommendations would be greatly appreciated.*

  2. There are several internship positions that I am interested in and qualified for. I have already applied for several of these using the online recruiter. When I send in my portfolio and other hard materials should I also include printed versions of the various questions that are asked when applying to jobs with EA’s online recruiter? Does it look bad if I am applying for several positions? I assume that I should clearly state the codes and titles of the various positions that I am applying for in my cover letter.

  3. *Since I am applying to an internship as a student, should I place my education or my work experience first on my resume? I am personally more impressed with my education but it seems like game companies don’t really care.

  4. Is there any chance that someone will see my application or do I need to have personal contacts to have my application even considered? I know that networking is key; however I’ve only been in San Francisco for a short while and haven’’’?t met anyone at the IGDA who works for EA. My Clothed Figure Drawing teacher has done concept art for the LOTR games on a contract basis but afaik he is not currently employed at EA.

  5. The deadline to apply for summer internships is almost here; in fact, it will be here before the GDC. Do you think that I might still have an opportunity to appeal myself at the GDC?

My Reply:

  1. When I was applying for positions I tried to get an idea from the description who I would be reporting to. For example, when I was applying for a production position at Maxis I figured out from the description that I would be working on the Sim series. I headed over to Mobygames to see which producers were on the Sim series and then I gave them a call saying I was interested in joining their team. I guessed wrong on the specific producer but they forwarded me to the right one. There are creative ways to get the info you are looking for. It takes a lot of time, smarts, patience, and networking.

  2. No. It doesnt hurt you to apply for more than one.

  3. Emphasize whatever demonstrates the most relevant and valuable skill for the position you are applying for.

  4. I had no luck going through the front door because I did not fit the cookie cutter profile. You have to realize that the poor HR pros that work at EA are inundated with resumesif you are not an ideal and exemplary fit for the position they are looking to fill, you arent going to be considered. The HR people are nice people and they want to help, but they plain dont have time to give everyone individual attention. You have to find a way to stand out and if you’re like me you have to not only stand out, but you have to overcome a handicap. The best and easiest way (though it is not easy) is to network.

If your friends dont have any leads to get you started, you need to look elsewhere, but there are tons and tons of ways to network. If you feel like you are getting stuck pick up a book on the topic, join a networking club, or ask a really well networked friend of yours for advice. Its not rocket science but if you arent used to thinking a certain way, it can be hard to see how to do it. Keep at it, youll figure it out! 5) Yes. There are internships at EA year-round, though there are more during certain times of the year. What you really need is to get someone to want to hire you. And that is all about networking.

Updated on October 11th, 2013

Removed the link to Thomas’ email, I figure he doesn’t want to keep hearing from people through this page nor be exposed to more spam.