Ryman Arts Sklar Internships at the Walt Disney Company

To honor the retirement and 54 year career of Disney Legend and Ryman Arts Co-Founder Marty Sklar, The Walt Disney Company provides two paid internships to Ryman Arts alumni each year, one each in Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. These interns are known as the “Ryman Arts Sklar Interns”.


De'Von Stubblefield's portrait of himself as the 2011 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at
Walt Disney Animation Studios.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be a Ryman Arts alumnus.
  • Be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Be available to work full time this summer.
  • More eligibility details in the internship descriptions

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Internship at Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation

Walt Disney Animation Studios is the subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company responsible for combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, stretching from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013’s Academy Award®-winning Frozen.   Among the studio’s timeless creations areCinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph.Visit for more details. Located in Burbank, CA.

The 2019 Summer Internship Deadline is January 6, 2019

For any Ryman Alumni interested in applying to the Ryman Arts Sklar Intern opportunity with the Walt Disney Animation Studios Internship program, please note the following:

  • Visit - choose a discipline most suited for you skillset, read the descriptions and application requirements
  • Prepare your application materials according to the specifications listed on the website - application due date is January 6, 2019
  • After you have prepared your application materials, email Rebecca at so that she can verify you to them as a Ryman Arts alumnus eligible for the Ryman Arts Sklar internship.
  • REMINDER:  To be eligible to apply, you must be a Ryman Arts alumnus, a current college student who will be returning to school in the fall 2019, and be eligible to work in the USA.

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Internship at Walt Disney Imagineering

Walt Disney Imagineering

Walt Disney Imagineering is the master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production, project management, and research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company and its affiliates. Representing more than 140 different disciplines, its talented corps of Imagineers is responsible for the creation of Disney resorts, theme parks and attractions, hotels, water parks, real estate developments, regional entertainment venues, cruise ships and new media technology projects. Located in Glendale, CA, in Lake Buena Vista, FL in Anaheim, CA and in San Francisco, CA .

To be eligible you must:

  • Be a Ryman Arts alumnus.
  • Be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Be available to work full time this summer.
  • Be a current undergraduate junior or above, a current graduate student, or have graduated from undergraduate or graduate school within six months of applying. Current high school students, undergraduate college freshmen and undergraduate college sophomores are not eligible to apply.

The deadline for the summer 2019 internship is February 25, 2019

Application process:

  • Submit materials listed below to Rebecca Tuynman at Ryman Arts before February 25, 2019.
  • Rebecca and the Ryman Arts staff will review your application materials, respond to you individually with any suggestions, and then give you a unique link to upload your application directly to the Disney Careers website.
  • You will be notified in April to let you know whether or not you are a finalist for the internship. Finalists may be called in for interviews. The internship selection will be completed by the end of April.

Materials for application:

  • Cover letter and resume combined in a two-page document. First page cover letter, second page resume. To learn more about writing a cover letter and resume, visit our Career Preparation Booklet.
  • Portfolio (if applicable to your skill set). They recommend creating an online portfolio, and writing that link on both your cover letter and resume.

E-mail your application to:
Rebecca Tuynman before February 25, 2019


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2010 - 2012 Interns

The 2010, 2011 and 2012 Ryman Arts Sklar Interns had a wonderful experience working at Animation and Imagineering. Read their stories below.

Imagineering Internship, Summer 2012
by Amanda Rountree
2008 Ryman Alumnus
2012 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at Walt Disney Imagineering


I grew up going to Disneyland, and it was during my experiences there as a child that I was first captivated and enchanted by the magic of Disney. So when I was given the opportunity this summer to be a part of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, it was like a dream come true. Disney Imagineering is one of the most exciting places in the creative entertainment industry. I quickly learned that not only was Imagineering a place of magic and imagination, but that it was an organization led by visionary people who are passionate about their work and who seek to bring the seemingly impossible to life. During my internship, I had the opportunity to witness first-hand an immensely creative atmosphere where individuals from a multitude of different disciplines collaborate to advance the art of entertainment and the art of storytelling.

This summer I was privileged to intern for the Digital Media Presentations department of WDI. Because of my background in digital media production, audio/video support, the visual arts, and theater, this department was a natural fit for my background and for my varied interests. On a daily basis I got to see the ways in which technical and creative fields are able to intersect and work together in an environment that fosters and encourages innovative thinking. Our department was always hard at work preparing and managing a broad range of multi-media in-house presentations, events, and projects. My interdisciplinary skills were put to the test as I was asked to perform a variety of different tasks --everything from video editing, live audio mixing, running video equipment, to theatrical lighting. By the end of the summer, I had edited several videos for WDI’s ImagiNations website, coordinated studio recording sessions, and worked with my amazing team to hang and operate stage lights for a variety of events and performances, run video shoots, and mix live music for musical concerts.

I am so grateful to Ryman Arts for the amazing opportunity I have had to work with people whose talent and vision I admire so much, and to the wonderful people I worked with at Walt Disney Imagineering for encouraging me, helping me to grow both in my technical skills and my ability to see and think creatively, and for giving me a chance to glimpse into the magical world of Imagineering.

Animation Internship, Summer 2012
by Ashley Perez
2010 Ryman Alumnus
2012 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at Walt Disney Animation Studios


At a very young age, I was a huge fan of all Walt Disney movies, songs, and parks. When I knew that I wanted to be an artist my dream was to become an animator at Disney Animation Studios. The Beginning of my dream came truewhen I received a call from Matt Roberts, notifying me that I got the 2012 Disney internship. I was so surprised and shocked that I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. I immediately told my mother and we both started jumping and screaming because of the excitement. On my first day at Disney I was asked an important question from an intern, “So Ashley what is your position here at Disney?” And I said, “I don’t know?” It was embarrassing being the only intern who didn’t know what they will be doing in the next eight weeks. I met my mentor the first week Dale Bear, an animator who has worked on numerous of Disney films that I grew up watching such as The Lion King and Tarzan. I was very honored to be his intern for the next eight weeks. Within the first week being mentored by Dale, I learned so much and felt as though my knowledge in animation enhanced immensely. Dale was like my “Jedi master Yoda” he gave me books and articles to read so I can understand more about animation. My first assignment was to do short walk cycle of goofy shrugging and a simple animation ball bouncing. It was fun watching my drawings come to life from paper to a computer. When I started, everyday was a challenge since I had no knowledge and experience in rigging, modeling, CG, visual development, look and lighting, etc.. More so, because I knew very little of 2D animation occasionally, I would walk by each intern and ask them questions about their field and what their working on. I knew that communication was a start for me to understand what is expected from me. I truly believe without the support of my fellow interns it would not have been an amazing experience at Disney Animation Studios. In four weeks, the interns and I worked very hard in an amazing one minute short film. The film was based on a Japanese story of Momotaro the Peach Boy. Although we worked many hours and days we also played Ninja to keeps us warmed up and awake. This was a very addicting and fun game. Because we worked hard and was determined to complete the film by the deadline. It was definitely a team effort! The film turned out to be good and very rewarding. Seeing my name on the big screen in front of the animators and Disney employees brought a big smile to my face and hope in a new beginning in animation. On my last day, I left Disney Animation with so much knowledge in digital art and being responsible and committed to a team . I am so grateful to Ryman Arts and Disney Animation for allowing me to experience a lifetime dream.

Imagineering Internship, Summer 2011
by Kelsey Hardwick
2009 Ryman Alumnus
2011 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at Walt Disney Imagineering

When Ryman first announced the Marty Sklar Internship at Walt Disney Imagineering I knew it would be a great opportunity, but I did not know how I could fit into such an accomplished company. After a little bit of research I learned that Imagineering covered a wider variety of disciplines than I could have imagined. I started to think about why I loved going to Disneyland so much and what about the Disney Company I felt was so special. I have always been attracted to the dark rides where I am immersed into another world that used to only exist on my television screen. That’s when I looked at how my artistic skills could help create this environment that I love. It all happened so fast, the phone call from the recruiter, the interview, the job application process, the official job offer, and then there I was in the lobby waiting to start my first day at Imagineering.

I was fortunate enough to work in the color and design department where I could paint eight hours a day and be paid to do it. There we worked on colorboards that would be shown to the banks, vendors, or used out on the construction site to guide the painting process for a new attraction. When I first began I mixed a lot of paint to match color swatches, prepared many colorboards and mixed some more paint. As I was progressing I was given more independence to paint a few colorboards and choose the colors that could eventually be used on the actual ride. I was able to get feedback on my work from the art director and other members of the color and design department. The other painters I worked with were generous enough to share their painting tricks with me. I was also introduced to the painting technique of airbrushing and the equipment. Once a week all the interns working for The Walt Disney Company were invited to hear presentations from leaders within the company and ask them questions.

Animation Internship, Summer 2011
by De'Von Stubblefield
2011 Ryman Alumnus
2011 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at the Walt Disney Animation Studios


De'Von, right, on a field trip with his fellow Animation interns.

My passion for Disney Animated Films awoke three years ago after having viewed Glen Keane’s artwork. He gave life to Aladdin, Beast, Tarzan, Ariel, and Pocahontas but in short he pretty much animated my childhood. What struck me about his art was that the viewer could really feel whatever emotion that character was feeling and the drawings were so bold and believable that you couldn’t help but get goosebumps! So from that point on I put on my “tunnel vision” goggles and said to myself that one day I was going to be an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Over the years I turned into a sponge and I would soak up everything I could find and I would constantly search, draw, observe, search, draw, observe, search (etc.). I just knew that someday my dream would come true and that day finally came!

After having applied for the internship, I received a call from Matt Roberts a couple weeks later while I was in the car, telling me that all the art directors liked my website and that I was accepted into the program! My mom and I were ecstatic! I was hired as a visual development intern which is the same thing as character design. Over the course of the eight weeks I worked alongside with thirteen other amazing interns to create a thirty second short about the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

To me the best part of the whole experience was being assigned two mentors that are my biggest inspirations, and the top talents in their field and they were Shiyoon Kim for Character Design and Bruce Smith for Animation! Shiyoon told me that learning animation not only brings my characters to life but also strengthens the design as a whole because I would have to think around the form rather than just putting the lines down that didn’t have a purpose. I not only learned character design but I was fortunate to be taught animation for the first time by Bruce Smith. He is the creator of the Proud Family, he also was the supervising animator for Kerchack in Tarzan and the villain in Princess and the Frog named Dr. Facilier. The first assignment I was given under Bruce was to animate my favorite Disney character in a walk cycle. I decided to be bold and choose Robin Hood because of his confident stride and he just looked like a fun, appealing character to animate.

Another bonus was being able to see Glen Keane’s work that was displayed in a hallway near our work area. To finally be able to see his work in person left me dumbfounded but also left me filled with inspiration! At the end of the program we were able to complete our short film and the studio enjoyed it! I learned so much from this whole experience that my head might explode from all the knowledge and wisdom I gained! Thank you so much Ryman for making my dream come true!

Summer at WDI
by Stephanie Jazmines
2006 Ryman Alumus
2010 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI)


Stephanie Jazmines with her summer project.

It happens every year. You come back from summer break, dive back into the school routine, and catch up with your classmates. The questions are simple and to the point: “How was your summer? What did you do?” For me, the answer this past year was epic. That’s right. Epic. “Oh, no big deal, I was an Imagineer.” That’s how you could tell if people were listening to you or not.

If they were, the logical response is, “What did you do?!” This is where I could sound really important, with an exhale followed by, “I’m not really at liberty to say. They haven’t announced the project yet.” Then maybe a slight brush of the shoulder… That might be a bit over the line, but when my friends were coming back from working at small architectural firms, I came back from working for Walt Disney Imagineering. Most of them spent their time at work sitting in front of computers and drawing on CAD or editing in Photoshop, which is typical for an intern. I, however, was able to work in a way that I loved – through hand-drawing. At WDI, they gave me the opportunity to take what I knew and do it as my job. I was able to design facades using pencils, vellum, trace paper, colored pencils, all on a drafting table that they had put in my cubicle (which was actually pretty rare in the Environmental Design & Engineering department, I hear). People would stop by my desk, amazed that kids my age still knew how to “draw with a pencil” or “analog draw.” Also, our site visits were at Disneyland. Enough said.

I was extremely fortunate to have gotten this internship through Ryman. Because of it, I was able to see that there are more to jobs than punching in and out and staring at a screen in a dimly-lit cubicle. It’s cliché, but I’ll admit it – jobs can be fun, not only in terms of the work, but the environment itself. There’s something about working with people who love what they do that makes you love what you do even more. After graduation, I can only hope I’ll be lucky enough to return to my seat at that drafting table. And you can bet I’d be wearing mouse ears.

My Animation Internship
by Courtney Tuck
2007 Ryman Alumus
2010 Ryman Arts Sklar Intern at Walt Disney Animation Studios


Remember, Courtney, Animation is fun!! All the best, Eric Goldberg.

As an animator, I dreamed of getting to one day work in a grand, amazing studio such as Disney, but I just did not know how to get my foot in the door; Until I got this letter from Ryman. I applied thinking there was no way at all I would get it, there were so many other talented artist out there that it felt impossible. Then I got the call from Matt Roberts at the Walt Disney Animation Studio and I almost died!

I went in as a 2D animator and learned that I would be working with 13 other interns through the course of 10 weeks. All the interns were there for different talents: 3D modeler, Rigging, Lighting and Texture, Visual Concept Art, Character Design, etc. The first 4 weeks we were assigned a mentor to work with, someone within the studio that could help us bring our talents to their full potential. Amazingly enough, I got to work with the great Eric Goldberg, who is best known for creating and animating the Genie from Aladdin. I learned more from working two hours with him then I had in 2 years of school!

The last 6 weeks were the tough part. As a team, all the interns had to work together to create an animated short. We had to start from scratch, include both 3D and 2D animation and keep it down to thirty seconds long. They made sure to tell us it didn’t have to be completed either. They just wanted us to do our best. But being the over achievers we were, we managed to create a completed 2 minute and 30 second short that was screened and shown to the entire studio. It was an amazing feeling to sit there and watch as some of the greatest Disney animators came to see our animated short and loved it. I have never been more proud of myself then when I saw my name rolling up in the credits on the big screen. And in the process, the team of interns had become a family. We all become amazingly close and still keep in touch today. Having them in my life now is was of the things I cherished most from this internship. That and the fact that I can now say I’ve had the chance to work at the wonderful Walt Disney Animation Studio.

Every Imagineer I met was helpful with guidance and making sure I got the most out of my time there. I could not thank Ryman and WDI enough for the opportunity to do something I love and work with people who love what they do too. I hope to return to WDI and see what else I can learn.

Ryman Arts Alumni Internships at The Hettema Group

The Hettema Group is offering paid internships for both Summer and Fall 2018. Current college students are eligible.

The Hettema Group (THG) specializes in uniquely creative, impactful design and production in the world of experiential entertainment. With more than a decade of experience creating acclaimed projects around the world, THG has become one of the premiere place-making and experience design studios in the industry. THG works on a broad range of projects from theme parks and media based attractions, to large scale parades and live events, museums and master planned destination resorts. Our team consists of experienced designers, architects, media producers, illustrators, master planners, engineers, technical designers and project managers, with decades of cumulative experience across a wide variety of disciplines.

This internship position provides students practical experience with broad exposure to the multi-disciplinary approach in experiential design. Students who are pursuing an educational track in the fine arts or in experiential design are encouraged to apply. This opportunity is a paid internship.

Accepting applications for the Fall 2018 internship from July 15 - Aug 15

Learn more about the position in the forms, below.

Fall Internship Forms


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