This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I enjoyed it thoroughly. It is the most valuable career decision I have made but it also became part of my life. After the novelty wears off its still a fantastic job & a great company to work for. I think a big part of this was my team who were amazing!
I think something to remember with this placement it isn’t just “work experience”. It is a full time job with full time responsibilities. Though sometimes you may be doing a lot of admin you aren’t treated as the departments slave. Everyone brings each other coffee & Tea and that is stereotypically the fear many have within the industries. I was an integral part of the team and was valued and respected.
I struck gold with my manager. They were amazing and I can truly call them a friend. They didn’t patronize me but they were there to help whenever I needed. We had constant communication (not just because we were sat next to each other). We had weekly 1-1s where I was allowed to pick a topic about anything I wanted from something work related to how to fund an indie film. My manager had so much knowledge and was an amazing person to work with. I have learnt so much from them and owe my whole placement to them.
I think it is fair to say I was extremely busy. I rarely felt like I was drowning but I never was twiddling my thumbs. The whole department is stretched and busy so you’re not alone! I had my set day to day tasks which I normally got done mid morning, and then weekly tasks and then there was always some little adventure to be had!
It was my responsibility to sort all of the creative to do lists for the day and if I missed something then it wouldn’t be reviewed to deadline. So it was quite a big deal, I had to do the delivery schedules for shows which went out globally so again it would be on me if there was an issue! I liked this level of responsibility and to be honest my manager was so great they would always stick up for me if there was a problem (which there was hardly ever).
I think the most important thing I learnt through this placement was how the industry works through a broadcasters eyes. It was such a great experience, why things are commissioned, how important working with other countries is and just general lingo and faces to remember! Of course I learnt job based skills and how to effectively communicate with others.
We were in a quieter part of the building but it was just our team which was really nice. Always general chatter and you didn’t feel awkward at all. Constant treats on the treat table (I would recommend getting a gym pass as you shall put a lot of chocolate chub on). Summer Fridays were my best day as everyone was so cheery and the hidden booze bottles would appear at 3pm!
I didn’t have any issues at all, HR were what you would expect of from a company like Disney. It is very much down to your manager to ensure you have regular 1-1s and approve holiday. I never had an issue taking holiday when I wanted it. The interview process was late in the day but that wouldn’t bother the right kind of candidate!
I was encouraged to attend internal seminars and some external talks and conferences. I think this is something you should take on yourself to ask for and look for. In my last month I part time shadowed the creative team which was something I organized and my manager supported. But again I worked out what I wanted to get out of Disney and my manager listened.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
I know if I were to come back after my degree the people here would help find me something. Either with Disney or with our partner production companies. My colleagues really do look out for each other. I think I would like to be more creative in the future so may look to get experience out of the company and then return once I had improved my skill set. But I would like to work here again definitely.
There was a little intern mafia but I tended to socialise more with my department and managers. As each department has one or more interns it is a great way to encourage inter company links. The Intern group were helpful and normally knew things before anyone else. There wasn’t particularly much encouragement from the company to socialise as interns joined at different times but it was easy to spot the intern lunch table!
London is expensive- I think everyone knows this. But if the London experience isn't for you then it is true it's harder to get into Television (but not impossible). You just need to do things cheaply and it is known by senior work colleagues that they may have to foot the bill a little for department excursions!
There was Disney Volunteers which organised charity days where you could go paint a charity shop or help with the local community. This was great but obviously you are doing a full-time job so once or twice a year is plenty. There weren't any sports teams or things like that which were obvious to me. There was the occasional quit night. There were loads of screenings, work parties, partner events which was great to meet external people from the industry. There wasn't a week were there wasn't something or other!
Placement Year (10 Months+)
29th June 2016