A (Mighty) Different Internship

Shaping your future as a Mighty Bear intern

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Starting a new role in a new company is always nerve-wracking, not least when it’s as an intern. As someone who worked as a freelancer for years, getting the opportunity to join a company like Mighty Bear Games was a welcome surprise and a huge honour — especially after my initial application, for the position of Art Intern, was rejected. As it worked out, I’m now a Marketing Intern thanks to some key transferable skills and my experience running a side business!

As my internship at Mighty Bear Games comes to an end, I would like to share with you what I’ve learnt over the last 3 months and what you can expect if you are looking to join Bear Force One as an intern!

Landing the internship

My messy notes before I applied for Internship at Mighty Bear Games about the company

Unlike many of my fellow interns at Mighty Bear, I did not go through the usual route of joining the company fresh out of school. I actually graduated 5 years ago and had begun work as a freelance media editor, as well as making and selling clay miniatures and posting process videos of my work.

As I got older and started reevaluating my priorities — having already done the groundwork to get my small business up and running — I decided I wanted to join a company that would offer a full-time challenge and further professional fulfilment. I soon found out about Mighty Bear Games, and after reading ALL of their Medium articles I was even more curious about the company!

More notes from reading Mighty Bear Games articles

I’d already learnt a lot about the studio just by reading (DEVOURING) their articles, and when I found they LITERALLY had a checklist of ways I could prepare before applying to their company, I got to work immediately.

To give just one example, I did not have a LinkedIn account or an online portfolio before this, and now I do. Which is to say: Most of these tips would have been helpful for me even if I hadn’t been hired at Mighty Bear!

While I knew my resume did not fit the profile completely (no 3D art experience but wants to join as an artist?!? 😱) I wanted to try anyway, and so I set about writing my cover letter. Not surprisingly, I was rejected!

I remember sending a thank you note to the rejection email, in particular thanking them for the articles! That sparked a conversation and I was invited on a call with Mighty Bear Games’ Art Director, who mentioned that the studio could use my experience editing videos and podcasts, and that was how I ended up joining the company as a Marketing Intern.

Not what I expected!

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When I thought about what an internship might entail, I imagined doing “repetitive tasks”. Renaming 300 files, copy-pasting items — simple tasks that still require manpower but are easy enough for most anyone to pick up. I thought I could join in this capacity as an Art Intern and slowly work my way up to meaningful tasks, learning the ropes as I went.

At Mighty Bear Games, this isn’t the case. Once you’re in, you work like a full-time employee would. Right away, you take on tasks that are crucial and a fit for your role. This was one of the reasons my Art Intern application was rejected!

As a Marketing Intern, I thought I was just here to edit podcasts and videos, but I was soon charged with creating and starting initiatives — and owning them. It was slightly overwhelming at first, especially as I wasn’t exactly the most experienced planner! But that’s how it works here at Mighty Bear Games: we do our best and trust our ability, pushing plans out with confidence and tweaking them in team reviews.

By the same token, being an intern doesn’t mean you have to hide behind instructions. Our suggestions and ideas are as important as anyone else’s in the team. In fact, it is one of Mighty Bear’s principles that great ideas don’t only come from the leadership group, so we expect and encourage everyone to contribute. Where your core tasks are concerned, it’s assumed you are reliable and the company gives you space to do what you need to do — they do not micromanage.

When in doubt, just ask!

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This emphasis on independence does not mean that when you’re stuck, you have to try and work everything out yourself.

It was made very clear in the beginning that if I had any questions about my work I should always ASK, and my peers and managers would do their best to help. Second-guessing and acting on assumptions about a given task because I didn’t speak up at the time would be MY mistake. It helped that everyone at Mighty Bear was very patient and understanding, especially when I was new!

I also get many check-ins by my line manager, who asks me how I’m doing with the current workload and how I FEEL about it. This gives me the opportunity to really let them know what’s on my mind. Not only does Mighty Bear make it very easy for me to voice any practical issues, they offer plenty of opportunities and a firm safety net to ask more difficult questions as well.

Which brings to my next point:

Exploring opportunities beyond your role

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Not only is the work they give you fulfilling — Mighty Bear LISTENS.

The reason I applied to the studio as an Art Intern was that I wanted to do creative work. However, when I became a Marketing Intern and began to plan my own initiatives, I was told that down the road we would likely start outsourcing much of the podcast and video editing work. I was taken aback here, as I thought that having the space to do podcast and video editing would be one way I could continue to develop my creativity, and I wasn’t sure if managing initiatives would be something I wanted to continue doing as my main form of work.

Don’t get me wrong — it was an experience I was willing to try and I am still learning a lot from it, plus it turns out I don’t dislike the work! But at this point I wasn’t really sure if it was the ONLY thing I wanted to work on down the road, as I still wanted to offer some sort of creative output.

I expressed this to my line manager, and now I’m working alongside the art department as well! 🥺 As long as I could handle my workload for marketing and prioritise my work properly (with their help!), they were happy for me to try working in other areas I’m also interested in!

Just because I’m in another department does not mean I can’t ask to contribute where I feel I can, and this is something I really appreciate.

Of course, this wouldn’t have happened had I kept silent and not mentioned how I feel or what I’m interested in. It is our responsibility to ensure we voice our issues, remembering that nobody can help us without knowing what we need from them.

Putting the team first

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During the first month at Mighty Bear, much of which was spent onboarding and learning to navigate the role, I had a lot of downtime and was generally more free more often than everyone else in the company. So when one of our colleagues who helped handle Player Support was leaving and it became clear we couldn’t get someone to replace him right away, I volunteered to take over the role for a bit until we filled the vacancy.

It made a lot of sense — Player Support was something I felt I could try to take on as long as there were instructions and guides (which there were — the Bears are sticklers for documentation 👍🏻), and our departing colleague could hand things over to me before he left! I felt having one more thing to do at that point in time would make me feel better about that less busy first month as an intern!

Still, it wasn’t as if I was thrown into the work blindly though — I had help even after the colleague left (especially with cases where I wasn’t sure how to respond), and those who lent a hand made sure the introduction to the role was not intimidating. It was a really pleasant experience to be honest, and now I have a new skill that I hadn’t expected to learn!

After getting closer to the team, I was told that they were really grateful that I was willing to take up this additional work because nobody else had the capacity to do so. They did not have to assign the task to others who were already swamped with their tasks, so it showed that I put the team and company first when I volunteered, and they appreciated it 🥲

This is something that Mighty Bear Games look out for in their employees, and in retrospect I think it make a good impression early on and helped with my conversion to a more permanent role!

To summarise, as an intern in Mighty Bear Games…

  • You are treated like a full time employee. Be prepared to own tasks and initiatives!
  • You should always ask questions when in doubt. Make sure you’re vocal when you are unsure of what you’re suppose to do for your task, or if you need help getting started.
  • You are responsible for voicing any issues. (Or interests beyond your immediate role!) Do not assume people can read your mind or “take a hint”. Beating around the bush wastes everyone’s time, so be straightforward about it!
  • Be a team player. If you have the capacity to help out, do it! Mighty Bear works to ensure that when you need help, you’ll be able to get it as well, and it is this kind of teamwork that makes the dream work! 😉

I hope these insights help break down what’s in store if you are looking to come on board as an intern here. If you like the sound of how the company works and want to be a part of it like I did, be sure to check out Mighty Bear Games’ Careers page and get in touch! 🥰

A (Mighty) Different Internship was originally published in Mighty Bear Games on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.