If you’re interested in graphics, if you’re a budding photographer or videographer, if you’re quick on your feet and good with computers, then perhaps one of the many Corbis jobs might be for you.
Corbis is privately owned by Bill Gates, who created the firm in 1989 under the name Interactive Home Systems. The name was changed to Continuum Productions in 1994, and then it became Corbis Corporation. The original concept of the company was somewhat different, as it was intended to be an art licensing firm, rather than the comprehensive archive of digital photographs which it has become today.
In 1995 Corbis purchased the Bettman Archive, a huge trove of some 16 million photographs, including the entire photo archive of United Press International prior to 1983. This was an enormous growth for Corbis, whose total archive before this purchase was a mere half-million images.
In 1996, Corbis bought the rights to the collected works of renowned outdoor photographer Ansel Adams. Further acquisitions included the Sygma collection in France in 1999, and the stock image company Zefa in Germany in 2005.
Corbis has a division, Corbis Motion, with an archive of half a million video clips, and an advanced website featuring sophisticated search, purchase, and real-time delivery options. Corbis also has another division, Green Light, which handles content licensing, talent negotiating, and rights representation.
The blunt truth of the matter is that Corbis doesn’t seem to post openings online for many entry-level personnel. If you look carefully at their posted job openings, they generally ask two years of experience, although college work-experience can count. That said, let’s look at those entry-level or near-entry-level positions that Corbis does currently have posted.
Reporter – This job requires you to “source and write daily stories for print or web, shoot video to support stories, update external blog, communicate story/clip availability to external clients using digital marketing, monitor social media for celebrity happenings and liase (a fancy word for keep in touch with) global picture desks for mobilization”. Some journalism experience is required. The ideal candidate will be bilingual in English and Spanish, and have a strong geographical knowledge of the area. Computer experience with Apple is preferred over PC.
Photographer – This job involves “covering photographic assignments locally and globally, finding new contributors to supply fresh content, factual captioning and keywording of all photos and video, keeping up to date on all current news, entertainment, and sports stories, (they have go to be joking, all?!?), acquiring tippers to supply information on stories, working closely with others concerned with the story such as picture editors and reporters, maintaining photographic, computer/laptop, and electronic communications equipment”. Whew! And on top of all that, they want you to work weekends, and be available on-call 24/7/365. Plus, you must have a clean DMV report, have your own vehicle, and possess good skills with both Mac and PC. It doesn’t say anything about walking on water, but I’m sure that’s expected, too.
Anonymous feedback from former and current Corbis employees, reveals a definitely mediocre level of employee satisfaction. The same anonymous feedback shows that only a rather pathetic 21% “approve of” CEO Gary Shenk.
Getting that job at Corbis
This is another of those very simple career sites, (http://corporate.corbis.com/careers/how-you-get-here/opportunities/), that isn’t really much help, for the abundantly simple reason that there just isn’t much there. When you arrive at the page, you’ll see two pulldown menus. The left one lets you choose a metropolitan area. The right one allows you to choose a region of the world, The Americas, APAC which is Asia-Pacific, or EMEA which means Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Note that the two pulldowns do not work together intelligently. Whichever one you use, the other must be manually set to All or a compatible option. If you choose Dusseldorf and APAC, you won’t find any results.
And now some bits and pieces of information that may help you get that job at Corbis –
- Average wage for an intern is $15.00 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $14.00 to a high of $16.00 per hour.
- Applicant reports of the interview process vary widely depending on the location and position being interviewed for. The usual pattern seems to be an initial phone interview, followed by one to three face-to-face interviews.
- Some online applicants report being contacted immediately, and others report waiting as much as two weeks.
- Reports from applicants regarding the overall level of professionalism and competence displayed in the interview process also vary widely.
- Sample interview question – “Stand at the whiteboard in the front of the room and do this math problem, quickly!”
- Sample interview question – “How would you handle a difficult PR contact?”
- Sample interview question – “Where were you born?”
- Sample interview question – “Tell me about your experience”
And there you have a quick summary of available information on Corbis jobs. Corbis does encourage the use of the business-focused social networking site Linked-In, and you can sign up for email job alerts at Corbis’ own site. If you’re really serious about pursuing Corbis jobs, those are both good options to pursue.