Riot NA Internship Program

We're stoked to share our plan for the 2015 internship program launching on September 2nd. We realized in previous years that our later deadlines might've missed a group of skilled tech, art, and grad students who needed to nail down their internships earlier in the academic year. So this year we’re accommodating for those programs with earlier deadlines for a few teams.  Stay tuned to this page - we'll share more when we open applications on September 2.

In the meantime, if you're an ambitious undergrad or grad student who shares our passion for games (especially League of Legends) and are eager to get into scrapes with challenging work, think about spending your summer with us.

Read this page to get informed and to see the list of teams that are hosting interns this  summer. Each hosting team will supply its interns with meaty projects, honest mentorship and lots of opportunities to get to know Riot Games overall. Interns will playtest new champions and features, gain first-hand experience serving on the front lines of player support, attend leadership seminars and industry education via Riot U, and enjoy events with the rest of Riot including Show and Tell, Riot Rumble, LoL skills training and early new movie screenings.

Read on for more info about Summer 2015 NA internships, deets on the application process and answers to frequently asked questions - this'll help you prepare for this year's application period.

If you're looking for EU internships please go here.

HOW TO APPLY:

Every application must include a cover letter, your resume, your summoner name and level. In your application pitch, share why you’re interested in Riot, what you want to learn and what we can learn from you. Help us understand why you're right for the internship you're interested in by sharing what you've done that's truly above and beyond.  For example, if you're an artist, slay us with your killer portfolio. If you're an engineer, show us code you wrote from that project that got you the A+. If you see Game Design in your future, maybe a carefully crafted, well-argued analysis of a current League of Legends design challenge is the way to our hearts. There are 99 ways to impress us, but an average pitch ain't one. Most internships also have a team-specific assessment, so be sure you complete these as well. Last year, we received more than 5,500 applications for 39 internship spots, so make sure yours stands out.

SUMMER 2015 NA INTERNSHIPS:

  • Engineering

  • Insights (Big Data)

  • Quality Assurance

  • Community

  • Communications (Graduate Level Only)

  • Development Management

  • Ecommerce

  • Esports

  • Finance (Graduate Level Only)

  • Insights (Analytics)

  • Insights (Data Science)

  • Insights (Market Research)

  • Insights (User Research)

  • International Publishing

  • North America Publishing

  • Player Support

  • Product Management (Graduate Level Only)

  • Project Management (Graduate Level Only)

  • Regional Production

  • Art

  • Audio

  • Game Design

  • Narrative Writing

  • Video Production

NA INTERNSHIPS FAQ

These are guidelines that'll help you apply, but we look at every application on a case-by-case basis, so it's always possible you're the exception to the rule if you've really done something extraordinary.

FAQ for Intern Candidates:

ELIGIBILITY

Q: Can I still intern if I’m taking some time off or if I’m in my final year of school?

A: To qualify for an internship, you’ve gotta be a full-time student in an accredited undergrad or grad degree program and remain a full-time student the semester after the internship. We give preference to students looking for internships for the summer before their final year. Those who’ve graduated already or are graduating soon should check out our full-time openings on the Careers page.

Q: Does my citizenship matter?

A: No, but you've gotta be eligible to work in the US. If you already have work authorization that makes you eligible, you’re good. Unfortunately, Riot cannot guarantee work authorization assistance for intern-hopefuls

Q: Am I old enough to apply?

A: Interns must be old enough to legally work where the Riot office is located. While Rioters like to challenge convention, we don’t want to challenge child labor laws! For internships in Santa Monica and St. Louis, this means you have to be at least 18.

Q: Which classes or majors will help me get an internship?

A: All of them. We don’t specify which majors are a perfect match because awesome people come from the most unexpected places. We’ve got people in Marketing that come from engineering backgrounds, and people in Engineering that come from liberal arts backgrounds. That said, some teams may require specific skills. Where possible, those requirements are spelled out in the job description. If you’re thinking a few years ahead, check out the Careers page for info on the specific skills that we value in full-time Rioters.

Q: Oh noes! I have absolutely zero work experience, what do I do?

A: You don’t need to get paid to do something to count it as experience. Class projects, volunteer work, independent projects and other activities (attending conferences, workshops, hack-a-thons and game jams) allow you to rack up experience points that enhance your capabilities and value. Riot highly prizes autodidacts, so show us what you’ve learned.

Q: I’m good at League of Legends. Will that help?

A: Of course we hope that you’re familiar enough with League of Legends to jump into a game with us. Can you imagine interviewing for a job at Apple without ever trying an iPhone or a Mac? Playing League of Legends is just table stakes. We hired a couple Diamond-level players as interns previously, but they brought a lot of cool things to the table on top of their stellar play. On the flip side, you don’t need to be a pro League of Legends player either. Every Rioter plays League of Legends, but not all of us are gonna hit plat.

Q: I haven’t hit college yet, how can I prepare?  

A: Way to plan ahead! Basically, find stuff you love to do and create something awesome out of that passion. We're impressed by the numerous teens and tweens who are shipping games, including a 14-year-old who shipped an iPhone game that hit number one in Apple's App Store. Others contribute to open source software development projects or create mods or custom maps for games they love. Some express passion through amazing machinima creations, blogging prowess or by building immensely popular fansites.

PROGRAM

Q: Where are Riot’s Internships located in North America for summer 2015?

A: Santa Monica, California at Riot HQ and St. Louis, Missouri

Q: Can I intern during the spring or fall semester?

A: All of our internships happen in the summer. We’ve set up our intern program this way so that interns are all here at the same time. This togetherness fosters a tight-knit group experience and helps interns from varying disciplines learn from one another. Synchronizing internships also makes it easier to plan more fun group activities and play more custom 5v5 ARAMs!

Q: If my school requires me to complete “extra requirements.” such as a thesis, in order to intern, am I still eligible?

A: If you're an impressive applicant with lots of things to offer, then "extra requirements" won’t stop us from hiring you. Our only concern would be the workload. Would you have enough time and effort to work for Riot? We don’t want you to come out of the internship with bags under your eyes and gray hairs. Give us a heads-up in your cover letter and we’ll figure it out together.

Q: How many interns are you looking for?

A: We don’t have an exact number. It could be as little as two or as many as 100. Each year, our internship class grows. Last year, we chose 39 amazing interns from over 5,700 applicants.

Q: How many intern spots are there on each team?

A: It depends on the team. Some teams want more than one, while others are looking for that one right intern. Some will decide after they’ve reviewed every application.

Q: Can I work from home?

A: To get the real Riot experience, you've got to be close enough to fist-bump and collaborate tightly, so there’s no working from home.

Q: How will I pay for housing and transportation?

A: Riot will provide housing for undergraduate students. For graduate students, we provide resources to help you find housing once you get here. You’ll be paid enough to afford housing within a reasonable commute distance from the office and have enough dough left over for grub and fun, too. We also offer a travel stipend to get you to Santa Monica and back home once the internship's done.

Q: When will I start my internship and how long is it?

A: Internships start around May or June and last 10-12 weeks, about the length of summer break. Longer internships are possible, but shorter ones aren't because it's hard to imagine getting up to speed and contributing in a major way in fewer than 10 weeks.

Q: Can I intern for more than 10-12 weeks?

A: Generally, no. Some summer interns have continued working during the school year, but it’s rare.

Q: How many hours will I work per week?

A: Interns should expect to work a lot of hours and participate in a lot of fun extras outside of work, too.

Q: Could an internship turn into an actual job?

A: Yes, one of the reasons we have an internship program is to identify (and hire) top talent who’ll be graduating soon.

Q: I have a few more questions, where can I learn more?  

A: Venture over to our LinkedIn internship thread and we'll try to answer your questions there.

APPLICATION

Q: Is there any way to apply for a team that doesn’t have a position listed?

A: Sorry, we've only got spots open for those teams that are listed.  

Q: Why are the internship job descriptions and requirements so ambiguous?

A: We’re only guessing what an intern might do nine months from now – Riot moves pretty quickly. We’re looking for broadly-capable interns who can handle whatever comes their way this summer.

Q: I don’t meet all the requirements, should I still apply?

A: Maybe. It could be that the stuff you’re missing isn’t as essential. Or it may be that the person who’s hiring will give you a thumbs-up if you can bring spades of experience or skill in something else.

Q: How can I make my application stand out?

A: There are lots of ways to stand out! We're looking for smart, talented students who carve their own tracks. The best way to show us you have what it takes is to accomplish something extraordinary: create a game or a mod, or craft a strong portfolio that demonstrates your aptitude. If you can get a “WOW!” or a fist-bump from your buddies, then chances are it’s pretty incredible.

Here are just a few examples of stuff former Riot interns did prior to applying:

  • Created high-value content on a well-known blog (or created a well-known blog)

  • Started a software development company and shipped a product

  • Created artwork that blew minds and won competitions

  • Demonstrated mastery of critical technologies we use (e.g., Hadoop, Drupal, Scaleform and Adobe Air) by shipping products using those technologies

  • Led Esports teams to victory in major League of Legends tournaments

  • Self-published a novel or three  

Q: I know how to do a lot of things, which position should I apply for?

A: We love awesome and talented people who’re good at lots of things! Do some digging to figure out where your skills intersect with your passions and see which internship fits you best. Don’t apply for all of them! If you’ve got a burning passion for a few teams, then give each one a shot. Come up with specific, compelling pitches for each, and let us know why you’re the perfect fit for them. Keep in mind that applying for more positions won’t increase your chances and spamming could hurt you.

Q: To whom should I address my cover letter?

A: “Dear Riot” or “Dear Rioters” works!

Q: How long should my cover letter and resume be?

A: We don’t have a hard cutoff and hate to be overly prescriptive, so check with your school’s career services office and use your best judgment.

Q: Can I submit extra materials?

A: Sure! Most positions require only a cover letter and resume, so anything extra is up to you as long as you can submit it electronically with your application. Use your best judgment; a link to a 10-minute monologue video is probably too much.

Q: Do I have to write my cover letter? Or can it be in whatever form I dream of?

A: Feel free to be creative and flex your odd and extraordinary skills. As long as you can submit it via the app portal or we can access it online, you’re good to go. Just keep in mind that a well-executed application is always better than a mediocre creative experiment.

Q: Should I include letters of recommendation or references?

A: They won’t come into play until later in the interview process, so stash them somewhere safe for now.

Q: Can you give me feedback on my application materials?

A: Unfortunately, we can’t. The volume of applications is such that we’d need a dedicated feedback team to provide comments on every application. There are resources and people in our LinkedIn community who may be willing to give feedback, though.

Q: Should I send in a hard copy of my application?

Please don’t kill Maokai’s family! Save a sapling and stick to using our website when submitting your materials.

Q: I’m having technical issues with the application portal, who can help me?

A: Technology is funky sometimes. Head over to our LinkedIn internship thread and post your question. Someone there can help!  

TIMELINE

Q: Would it be better to apply earlier?

A: Take your time to put together a kickass application. Keep in mind that there are different hard deadlines this year for different intern positions. We’d hate for you to wait until 11:59pm PST on the deadline only to find out that your power’s down or some unstoppable force is preventing you from hitting the submit button.

Q: BAM! I just applied, now what?

A: If your application collects sufficient kudos, we’ll be in touch via email to set up some phone convos, so keep an eye on your inbox and spam folder. During these calls, we’ll ask about your interests, expertise, what you want to learn from us and what we can learn from you. If the calls go well, we’ll invite you to Riot for a final round of interviews and to meet the team. Riot covers flights, accommodations, food and transportation for the interviews.

Q: Can I update my application with new stuff or correct an error?

A: There will be no way to update your application once it has been submitted. You will need to resubmit a brand new application--so it is definitely worth double checking before hitting the submit button.

Q: Is there anyone I can follow up with to check my application status or reiterate my interest?

A: Unfortunately, no. We promise to respond to every applicant via email. We'll share expected response dates when applications open on September 2. 

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