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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Internship: Marvel

Saturday, August 20, 2011 Posted by Chris Tung , , 7 comments

 I was looking through what blog posts get the most hits, and, not surprisingly, it was the post I wrote two years that Marvel and DC were hiring new interns. I think the reason why people tend to read that post is because both internships are sort of shrouded in mystery. When I first applied for it, I didn't know where to go or what the process would be like. I just used Google and figured it out, but even after getting my "thank you for submitting" e-mail, I still had no idea what would happen next.

Recently, Marvel has done a really great job at letting interns tell their own stories about the experience. A particularly good one is written by an intern I used to know, Devin, and details what the Editorial Interns would do on a day to day basis. Another post that I wrote for this blog was an answer to a question I had received from someone who was pursuing the internship at the time. I was incredibly proud that he ended up getting the internship and helping someone who had the same questions and concerns I did back then. So for those of you who are interested in applying or have already applied, here's a few bits of information that might help you down the road:

1. Just because you haven't heard back immediately does not mean your application failed. I applied for an internship for Spring, and Marvel ended up contacting me for a Summer internship that year. Whether or not you can actually work immediately, take the time to apply. Strong candidates will always be noticed among the stack, and they may work around your schedule.

2. You have an unlimited word count so use it. The internship application does not limit you on words so don't just send one paragraph telling them you are the biggest fan in the world. Everyone that works there is a fan. Prove to them why you have actually skills to excel at the position. If you can do that in a paragraph, great, but from my own experience, both of my "long" answers were two pages double spaced. Take as little or as much space to adequately explain who you are and why you want this.

3. Be persistent. If you really want the internship and you haven't heard back in a year, don't give up. Retool your application and apply again. I applied the summer of my sophomore year and never heard back. On my second attempt, I took my time with the application and finally heard back.

4. Dress to impress. If you make it to the interview round, take the advice of your career adviser and dress well. I debated wearing a comic book t-shirt to prove my authenticity, but I don't think that angle would have helped. Like I said, everyone that works there is a fan, but they are also some of the most intelligent people I know. Coming in like you came from a comic book store might seem cool, but Marvel is still a company and they need interns that can balance their passion for comics and a practical approach to business.

5. The experience and connections are invaluable. Through the entire program, I have met great people and having Marvel Entertainment on your resume is a huge boost after college. I've recently found that it is a big conversation piece while interviewing with other companies because it is a huge company that is only getting bigger. Plus, having your supervisors at Marvel as your references definitely helps in the long run.

6.Free comics are great. Although the internship is unpaid, getting free comics is a nice bonus for working at Marvel. Usually, the main staff receives bundles every Wednesday or Friday, and many of them don't need every single comic book story published so after they have had their pick, interns are usually able to pick up a few books to take home. In the two months working there, I didn't need to spend money on comics, which was a great way to increase my total disposable income while living in New York.

Hopefully, this list can help a few people out, and if you have any questions, don't be afraid to sent me a tweet or shoot me an e-mail. And lastly, here's the direct link to the Marvel Internship page.


Renee Weasley said...

Hi! So I just came across this post when I was looking up everything I possibly can for Marvel. I somehow made it to the interview round (I have no idea how!) and haven't a clue what to expect. Would you be so kind as to letting me know how your interview went, what they asked, etc.? Thanks!

Chris Tung said...

Hey! First of all, congrats on making it to the interviews! That alone is cause for celebration. My interview went well, and I ended up working for Marvel in the summer of 2010. They asked pretty standard interview questions: why Marvel? What's your experience? But the most important thing is to be yourself and be professional. They have a ton of passionate comic book nerds working there. What they also need to know is if you can prioritize assisting them build great products over just nerding out all the time (though, you do get to nerd out quite a bit). If you have any more specific questions, email me at: Best of luck.

Renee Weasley said...

Thank you so much for your help! I just got back from it and I think it went okay, but you never know. They said they would get back to me in about a week, so here's hoping!

N O'Haire said...

Hey Chris! I recently applied for a few different internship positions at Marvel and was surprised to see they only took MS Word attachments for cover letters/resumes since I'm so used to sending .pdf's. Anyways, my concern is that when they open the Word document, they're going to see tons of red and green squiggles - not from actual errors, but from companies I've worked for with odd names and/or the way I have my resume formatted. Do you think this could hurt my chances that they will see it and possibly disregard it?

Chris Tung said...

Hi! The best way to prevent this is to perfectly format the Word document before you upload it. I can assure you that no one will care if a company has squiggles under it because companies have all kinds of crazy names. But, if you can take care of all the spacing, formatting, and font choices before you upload, then you'll be putting your best foot forward during the application process.

Best of luck!

Deb. said...
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Deb. said...

Hello Chris! Lovely blog. I was wondering around when did you hear back about an interview? I submitted an application on February 28th and haven't heard back. Do you know if that's par for the course or if I should assume defeat?