This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
My finance placement at The Walt Disney Company was very enjoyable in many ways. I learnt so much about the finance sector as well as general office etiquette which will be invaluable to me for the rest of my life. The atmosphere in the office was particularly enjoyable as everyone was so friendly and helpful and you feel like a valued member of the team.
As there is a large intern community at Disney all other colleagues really value and understand the importance of interns to the company. My internship was challenging as I was given the responsibility of multiple different tasks. I also went through many team changes and this resulted in a lot of dependability on myself from new team members.
As I went through many team changes I do feel like I was given less support and guidance then would usually be given. This was because there were periods of vacancy in my team in the managerial roles. However I do feel like the rest of the team strived to make sure I was comfortable in my role and I believe it made me grow and learn quicker than I would have otherwise.
The nature of my team/role meant that there were very busy periods during forecast/budget/close times but other times there was much less to do. This inconsistency of volume of work is simply unavoidable in this line of business. I do feel like at busier times I was able to develop my time management and prioritisation skills effectively.
Due to team changes I gained a lot of responsibility for various tasks throughout the year. I really enjoyed making my mark on my work and running some things by myself as it was a great learning experience. I was able to communicate effectively with teams within and outside the UK and it really developed my independence.
The skills I have developed, whether it is excel skills or competencies such as team work, time management and efficiency, I think will assist me greatly in my last year of my degree and beyond. I have learnt invaluable skills from working in an office environment which will definitely help in future jobs.
The general atmosphere was pleasant and friendly. We often celebrated each other’s birthdays/achievements with cake and other goodies! It was a nice environment to work in as everyone joined in on work events and made an effort to get to know new members of staff. The general Disney environment is made even better with the merchandise dotted around!
The internship program at Disney is well established with over 100 intern roles within the Hammersmith office alone. There was clear welcome events and training as well as each team being used to the intern cycle. Having a well organised program was reassuring as most people starting the placement had not had experience similar to this before.
There were a lot of opportunities to go to talks about other aspects of the company as well as external speakers talking about various issues and research opportunities. There were some great exhibitions at Women’s Week and other such events. However, quite often myself and other interns found that certain training and development opportunities were not given to interns.
Disney has a wide variety of business areas and opportunities for graduates as I met many people who were previously interns at Disney who have now returned for full time employment. However there is no “graduate scheme” as such which may dissuade me to return to the company straight away.
There was an excellent social scene within the office. There were often after work drinks and meals out organised which really improved my placement experience. Also as there are many other placement students in the same position as you it is easy to get to know people. I felt like I really made some friends for life in my year at Disney.
I was fortunate to live at home in Surrey on my placement year as it is close enough to commute to London in a reasonable time. However travel was very expensive as rail and tube fares severely add up. Socialising within Hammersmith was fairly expensive but very reasonable for the City of London.
There are many excellent pubs and bars in Hammersmith which varied in price which we frequented at. Being near the River Thames it is lovely in the summer for evening drinks. However there is not much of a clubbing scene but being in London nothing is more than a tube ride away!
I personally did not get involved in any activities outside of work. However I do believe there were squash/football/other sporting teams that could be joined. There were also Triathlon and other events raising money for charities. Other than sport, I was only aware of the office choir, I feel there could be more effort made into increasing awareness for non-sporting activities.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
4th July 2016