This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.


  • The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

Role Description

Developing, approving and managing plush toys within Disney Direct Consumer Products. Included standard plush, infant toys, Tsum Tsum, backpacks and fair/stall plush items. Communicated with factories in China to develop, whilst contacting Pixar/Lucas/Marvel studios to approve. Managed receiving/sending/storing product samples.

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • Overall experience was fantastic, great perks and friendly atmosphere. However, some aspects of my particular role were not enjoyable and I would say the majority of the work I was doing did not relate to my uni degree (Product Design and Manufacture), e.g mainly admin tasks. Sometimes felt very disillusioned/demotivated about the Disney name, given the work involved. Especially when on £16k for a London placement, when our next interns jumped to £18k. Unreasonable hours sometimes expected, was once told I had to choose between playing in the company's 5-aside and work, also was rushed to complete a task by phone on Xmas Eve after everyone else had gone home - wasn't happy!


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • Felt valued since the work is important and there is a great deal of responsibility. Although difference between valued and needed - sometimes felt like I was treated like the intern (e.g spoken down to a lot of the time, no chance to discuss my points of view on different ways to do tasks, etc), which shouldn't be the case with such an ethically responsible company as Disney.


  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • Very little, incredibly disappointing. But this was only my line manager - other members in the team gave support and guidance (maybe they felt they had to). My manager would be constantly on the phone with his property development business, this made it hard to find a good time to talk to him. Asked for small guidance on some university work- this never happened. Constantly asking about store room management (I.e which samples can be chucked out), this only happened literally on my last day. Organised meetings with him and I'd say about 70% of the time, had to reorganise to another time/day, which wastes time (having got everything ready at 3pm for example and then needing to find what else can be done). Remember suggesting different methods for tasks, very little open discussion on this type of thing. Asked to go to several important presentations (e.g film/franchise rollouts) and told not to go, when every other intern in the floor had gone. As previously mentioned, often was asked to do tasks after 6pm leaving time, ending up finishing anytime from 6 till 8.30. Was often whatsapped and texted during time off/late evenings. Felt like work was taking over too much/claustrophobic. Was once told by line manager that he sometimes feels he comes across as rude - realistically nothing actually done about this. Still felt talked down to a lot of the time.


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • Immensely busy. Perhaps too much but it's hard to say. Given the nature of the work in plush (very high volume), it did seem overwhelming. However it was best to be chucked in the deep end, instead of being mollycoddled - this will be valuable for future career. Hours were sometimes long with no extra pay, so yes perhaps too busy. I think it was evident we needed an extra member of staff, given that the number of skus we turnover had increased dramatically over the years.


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • Lots of responsibility, in certain areas (e.g sending/receiving products). The high responsibility was in hindsight a very good aspect of the placement. Any small error would have repercussions later down the line, which was evident in the first few months whilst still getting used to everything. Tasks involved approving products, sending/receiving products, contacting Chinese manufacturers to make changes to products, contacting Pixar/Lucas/Marvel for their approvals, so yes very involved and a high level of responsibility (particularly for example making good relationships with the aforementioned).


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • Learnt great skills for life and career, not so much specific to product design and manufacture engineering. Learnt how to deal with managers, form healthy business relationships, email etiquette, time management (biggest!), when it is acceptable to challenge your manager on tasks. Skills loosely relating to my degree - improved Abode Photoshop and Illustrator skills (I.e became very quick and efficient), image formatting, product presentation. Manufacturing of products - when/how to push and negotiate for reduced costs, how to clearly contact the factory, coping with the language barrier.


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • Great atmosphere in Disney Consumer Products overall, all very friendly and approachable. Disney Direct seems slightly cut off from the rest of DCP - in own corner and not much interaction with the other members of DCP. Within Disney Direct - atmosphere seemed stressed and high pressure. Also very messy in office, too much product lying around.


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • Yes, well organised. HR were great in setting things up, usually replied to emails within that same day if any queries. Since they employ ~200 interns, they have a very good system for making interns feel welcome in such a busy environment. Contact with university not great or that consistent.


  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • Really not much - felt like doing a lot of menial admin tasks with Disney Direct. No training whatsoever in terms of degree-related skills. Apart from one free lance designer who I had asked myself anyway for some tips on rendering sketches in Photoshop. Personal development definitely came though through working and being thrown into the deep end right at the start, which is good.


  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • Sports and Social Club


  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • Yes, very appealing. However probably not within Disney Direct, but within DCP. Great company to work for overall. Some great perks such as screenings, events, premiers, products, etc. Very friendly atmosphere within DCP. Lots of mingling in between departments especially with interns. Unsure about career progression and starting/future salaries though.


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • The social scene was fantastic within interns - almost everyone knew everyone somehow, perhaps through housemates, departments or introductions at the beginning of the placement. Almost every week there would tend to be something happening at places nearby Hammersmith. With other colleagues (not interns), the social scene wasn't as frequent, but still great when it happened (i.e. themed nights out, everyone makes a real effort to bond with each other).


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • Very high, just due to London prices. I paid £736 a month for a house share in Barnes with 3 others, then moved back home as I couldn't afford. The intern salary just about would scrape covering living/socializing in Hammersmith/London, but really not much of a chance to save up.


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • In Hammermith itself there are a few small bars and restaurants and some great pubs also by the river. So nightlife tended to be organised closer into central London, since there are no good/big clubs in Hammersmith. This wasn't an issue though, since large clubs wouldn't be a midweek thing anyway!


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • Not massively, but yes there were two 5-aside football teams, organised just by interns. This was great for getting to know people in other departments. There was a Disney Choir, Disney Triathlon and a Volunteering project, but apart from that I don't think there were many group activities. Such as actual Disney teams for sports - that would have been great to take part in, especially sports other than football.


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Placement Year (10 Months+)

Design, Graphic Design, Logistics and Operations, Manufacturing, Marketing, Product Design/Industrial Design

25th July 2016

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