How To Get A Pixar Internship (Step by Step)

pixar internship

Pixar is one of the world’s most influential feature film animation companies. Pixar changed the way consumers view feature films through their innovations in animation. From the start, movies like Toy Story have become a giant hit.

Many of us have grown up with Pixar being a primary way for us to consume storytelling. Which makes it one of the most interesting companies to intern at. Pixar prides itself in the environment it provides for its employees and the innovation that causes.

Getting an internship at Pixar can be a great way to start your career. Any way you look at it, Pixar will be the place that shows you can intertwine creativity with commerce. That will bode well for your career development.

Table of Contents

The Pixar Origin Story

Before you begin your efforts of trying to get an internship, knowing how to business began can be a big competitive advantage. You can bring up these origin story bullet points in your resume, cover letter, and future interviews.

Be sure that you firmly comprehend and remember how Pixar got its start:

Pixar Animation Studios (also known simply as Pixar) is an American computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios (owned by The Walt Disney Company). Pixar began in 1979 as part of the Lucasfilm computer division, when it was called the Graphics Group, before its spin-off as a corporation on February 3, 1986, with funding from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who became the majority shareholder. Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion by converting each share of Pixar stock to 2.3 shares of Disney stock, a transaction that resulted in Jobs becoming Disney’s largest single shareholder at the time. Although the company started with short films, Pixar is best known for producing high quality, visually impressive CGI-animated feature films technologically powered by RenderMan, the company’s own implementation of the industry-standard RenderMan Interface Specification image-rendering application programming interface. Luxo Jr., a character from the studio’s 1986 short film of the same name, is the studio’s mascot.[1][2]

Pixar has produced 21 feature films, beginning with Toy Story in 1995, which was the first computer-animated feature film ever made; its most recent film was Toy Story 4 (2019). All of the studio’s films have debuted with CinemaScore ratings of at least an “A−,” which indicates a positive reception with audiences. The studio has also produced dozens of short films. As of July 2019, its feature films have earned approximately $14 billion at the worldwide box office, with an average worldwide gross of $680 million per film. Toy Story 3 (2010), Finding Dory (2016), Incredibles 2 (2018), and Toy Story 4 (2019) are all among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, with Incredibles 2 being the third highest-grossing animated film of all time, with a gross of $1.2 billion; the other three also grossed over $1 billion. Moreover, 15 of Pixar’s films are in the 50 highest-grossing animated films of all time.[1][2]

Cited information from: [1] and [2]

Pixar Business Metrics

Pixar, like many other businesses, relies on its investors to operate. As an employee, understanding what investors and executive staff members value are going to show that you recognize what it takes to produce excellence within the environment.

Being able to reference important business metrics, both in your cover letter and during your future interviews, will be impactful to the success of landing your internship.

You may even be able to bring up some of these metrics in the email we’re going to craft to Pixar managers, asking if they have any available internships.

Here are impactful Pixar business metrics you should know:

How To Get An Internship At Pixar

Getting an internship at Pixar is highly competitive. Much like trying to get an internship at one of the highest paying technology companies in Silicon Valley, there’s a desire to work at Pixar.

In order to assure that you increase your chances of receiving an internship, we have to think outside of the box.

The first thing to recognize is that the timing of your inquiry to open internship positions should be before your competition. If, for example, you are graduating in May of 2018, don’t wait until June 2018 to start inquiring about open internships.

Start inquiring early, around February of that year. It’s okay to inquire early and follow-up frequently. Especially if you can get connected with one of the managers who is going to be opening your internship position.

It never hurts to submit your application to the Pixar job portal. If you’re applying early, job listings might not be available. But many job portals let you submit your information without an open job listing.

Be sure that you include your resume along with a cover letter that contains unique and healthy reasons for why you might be a great candidate. Include merits, personal projects, and anything you can think of that will make you stand out.

Don’t just tell your personal story. Find something compelling. Think of this as though you’re writing an article for Business Insider. Use research and make a declaration to your name.

The next thing you’ll want to do is find out who your future manager might be. We’re going to reach out to them by email and ask about future internship opportunities. Many internship opportunities are made, not posted online.

Give managers a reason to open up the internship opportunity.

Some of the main Pixar departments look like this:

You should know which department you want to intern for either based on your interests or your education major.

From there, we’re going to follow these steps:

Once you have that email address, craft a short but impactful email asking if there will be future internship opportunities in the next few months. Be sure to include three to five bullet points on why that manager should pay attention to you.

This shouldn’t be reasons why they should hire you as an intern. Think of this as the reason why you are unique. Include merits, honors, awards, your personal projects, personal website, or anything that might make you stand out.

If you don’t hear back within three to five business days, follow-up. If you don’t hear back after ten business days, try moving onto the next manager down. In our Marketing department example, try the “VP of Marketing” versus the “CMO”.

Be sure you don’t badger this person. Include a friendly email and try to make a connection. Genuinely inquire about internships and show you have a passion, interest, and understanding for the business. If you do this, there’s a great chance they’ll reply.

Internship Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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