Slimed and Tested, NICKterns Alum Explains Why This Internship Is Tops in the Nation

Below the cover of the kitchen’s slime stairs, 25 interns stand around a 10-foot rectangular blue canvas waiting for the 10-gallon buckets of slime to arrive. Phones are in hand to capture the fulfillment of our elementary school dreams. One by one interns, ready to accept the green goo, plant themselves in the middle of the blue tarp. I grab my fellow classmates’ hands. All at once, the green concoction globs over my hair and drips down my face past the wide corners of my smile. The intern to my left raises his head, letting the slime fill the rims of his glasses. We’ve done it, I thought to myself – would I really have graduated the Nickelodeon internship program if I didn’t get slimed?

NICKterns Get Slimed from Viacom on Vimeo.

As a studio built on fostering creator-driven content, backed by a culture built on more than 25 years of animation (with a little bit of slime for good measure), it’s no surprise that Nickelodeon Studio has been a staple in children’s entertainment — and the internship program is no exception.

For the second year in a row, Vault.com, a professional website providing in-depth analyses of employee-company culture, has ranked Nickelodeon’s internship program as the Best Media & Telecom Internship in the country.

This 10-week program provides students and recent graduates with the individual attention needed to thrive in a professional studio. Workshops and informational lunches are designed specifically to match the interests of that semester’s class. Students have the opportunity to share their time with executives, show creators, writers, artists, former interns (or “NICKterns”), and everyone in between to better understand the full scope of the studio’s pipeline and different lines of the business. Those interested in pursuing a career in writing or art can also take a multitude of current series tests – essentially a challenge to see if they can create art or scripts that match a show’s exacting style – that will be reviewed by in-house industry professionals.

As an aspiring animation writer, I sat in on writer’s room sessions for long-running shows such as The Loud House and upcoming projects like Glitch Techs. These sessions have been extremely helpful as I continue to shape my voice as a writer entering the professional world. But perhaps the most invaluable resource available to NICKterns is the studio’s open-door policy, which invites any NICKtern to meet with any employee inside the studio — so be sure you have your Nickelodeon orientation notebook ready!

As a NICKtern alumnus, it came as no surprise that the studio received such an accolade. Vault’s ranking also includes praise for the studio’s quality of life, as well as Nickelodeon’s strides in career development. The NICKternship also joins the ranks among Yahoo!’s Internships You Should Know About list.

Nickterns (L to R) Andrew Brooks, Jordan Weitzman, Dawn Adepoju, Rachel Hastings and (Bottom) Nicole Clarke repping team four and constructing a spaghetti tower from tape and string on intern game night.

Nickterns (L to R) Andrew Brooks, Jordan Weitzman, Dawn Adepoju, Rachel Hastings and (Bottom) Nicole Clarke repping team four and constructing a spaghetti tower from tape and string on intern game night.

I, like many of my fellow NICKterns, saw this opportunity as a way to influence the next generation of children, and that’s exactly what this program allowed us to do. As you walk through the studio’s three buildings, creativity and passion overflow from employees’ desks — and in some cases, they actually overflow with toys. Employees and interns share a deep connection through the studio’s welcoming environment. Regardless of department, every member of the Nickelodeon family shares in a culture that fosters talent and honors the studio’s longstanding tradition of cultural impact.

I am proud to join the mass of former interns at the studio who display their framed NICKtern certificate at their desks. With each entering class, students will deepen the culture of “Kids First” programing through their hands-on experience at the studio. With the recent program expansion that includes several live-action departments, the program continues to grow and cultivate the nation’s most talented individuals. The NICKtern program is one of the studio’s many enduring traditions that continues to shape the bright future of Nickelodeon.

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