Student enjoys Internship at DreamWorks Animation

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist:

When Kung Fu Panda — one of the most successful animated franchises in the world — returns next year with a new comedy adventure, fans of DreamWorks Animation movies are likely to rush to theaters to see “Kung Fu Panda 3.”

But Mary Glumb won’t be among them. It’s not that she doesn’t think she’ll like “Kung Fu Panda 3.” It’s just that she’s already seen it — or most of it.

Mary Glumb

Mary Glumb

The sophomore computer graphics technology student in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI began a three-month internship Sept. 14 in Glendale, Calif., at DreamWorks Animation.

Assigned to the company’s marketing department, Glumb got to watch “Kung Fu Panda 3” as part of her job.

“It wasn’t finished yet,” she said. “I was watching the movie when it reached a part where nothing was moving, and I realized ‘this scene isn’t done being made yet.'”

While the internship began just two months ago, you could say it dates back 30 years to a diner in Chicago where Glumb’s mom was working. One of the other employees was a man who went on to become an executive producer at DreamWorks Animation.

When Glumb became interested in computer graphics about three years ago, her mom reached out to her friend from that dinner. He invited Glumb and her family to come to California, tour DreamWorks Animation and meet some of the people who work there.

“When we met him at DreamWorks, we got to go up to the second floor where all the executives are, which was exciting because no one is allowed up there,” Glumb said. “He talked about what jobs they have and what it’s like to work there. Before leaving, I met with the recruiting office and talked with them about the process for applying for an internship.”

While Glumb’s family connection likely helped, it only helped her gain consideration as a would-be intern. It took three applications (and rejections) before she was accepted on her fourth try.

Glumb says she entered the computer graphics technology program thinking she wanted to do something with animated movies, reflecting a passion for art, drawing, and creating comics and storyboards.

“In high school, I took a digital design class that really started everything,” she said. “Once I took that, I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something with animated movies.”

On Sept. 14, Glumb joined 19 others beginning an internship at DreamWorks. After dealing with administrative details like email accounts and computer access, the new batch of interns saw the perks like free snack and coffee booths on every floor and the “lagoon,” a canal that runs through grassy areas of the campus.

The internship has been a valuable experience, Glumb says. “I think it’s important to be in the working world, to get to talk to bosses and other co-workers. I really haven’t done that before.”

She also plans to meet and connect with as many others at DreamWorks as she can before her internship ends in December.

Before she arrived at DreamWorks, Glumb says, she was set on using her computer graphics skills to work on movies as an animator.

“Now that I’m in the marketing section, I am leaning toward marketing,” she said. “I’ve found I really enjoy it. I never thought in a million years because I had never taken an interest in it. Now that I’m actually doing it, I enjoy it. Marketing is a good fit for me.”

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