DC Regional Finance Intern at The Walt Disney Company

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Review Date
Accountancy Business Analytics Financial Management

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The Walt Disney Company is a Top Employer


The Role
The Company
The Culture

Role Description

Working within the Regional finance team for Disney Channels. Assisting in the forecasting/budgeting process and working with programming and marketing teams.

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

The workplace environment was very relaxed and the open plan layout encouraged everyone to interact which made for an enjoyable working day. There were several opportunities to get involved with outside of the normal working day, such as the May 4th Star Wars event, the Alice in Wonderland Urban Decay makeover and many more. I enjoyed working for a company within the entertainment industry as I was genuinely interested in any work I was undertaking.
4 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

I felt very valued - even by the senior management who were always full of praise when appropriate. The senior management also broke down any barriers and were very approachable and made you feel worthy of being there. We were taken out for drinks by the vice-presidents who were genuinely interested in what we had to say. My team also made me feel like an integral member with real responsibilities and not 'just an intern'.
4 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I had regular weekly catch ups with my line manager who encouraged a two-way feedback system and also provided me with additional training in systems such as SAP (accounting software) and Cognos (forecasting and budgeting systems). My manager also encouraged me to go to seminars and talks by senior management and also external companies who visited. Although I was given all the support I needed, I was also given the independence to manage my own work load and wasn't micro-managed.
4 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

As I worked in finance this varied depending on the forecasting phase - I was busier at quarter forecast, quarter ends, the annual operating plan and the five-year plan etc... If I wasn't busy I would extend my capacity to other team members to see if I could assist in anything.
3 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was given full responsibility for the invoicing process for programmes that Disney bought from third-party vendors, including liaising with external vendors and upholding the Disney brand whilst doing so. In terms of the forecasting cycles and presenting information this is very hierarchical at Disney, so senior management would do the presenting etc...
3 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

The development of my Microsoft Office skills will be hugely applicable in any future jobs, as well as the training in SAP for accounting/finance roles. Practically understanding how a global conglomerate functions will assist in my finance modules by providing a real contextual background I can relate to. I also got insight into marketing through my work on the marketing budgets, this will be applicable should I choose to take on more marketing modules.
4 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The general atmosphere was relaxed and friendly which was emphasised by the open plan layout that encouraged everyone to interact, including between teams and departments. Disney also encouraged flexi working time where appropriate - most people took advantage of the summer hours - where you could stay till 6 during the week to be able to leave at 3pm on a Friday. This encouraged everyone to work harder to make Friday afternoon more relaxed. We also initiated a 'Great Disney Bake Off' where people would compete by baking every Monday morning - this made Mondays a lot easier to cope with getting up when you knew there was cake to be eaten... Obviously times would get slightly tenser when there were deadlines.
4 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Disney operates a very well run placement programme with training put in place for interns as well as a welcome to Disney day when you begin. They also have a Disney Interns Facebook page which they invite you to upon starting to encourage house-sharing etc... Interns are given a handover by the previous intern which is a nice way to ease you in being taught by someone who was in the same position a year ago.
4 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I was given training in the systems I needed for my role - SAP (accounting software) and Cognos (forecasting and budgeting software). I was also encouraged to go to training and inspirational seminars and talks that were hosted by successful senior management people or external company visitors so overall I'd say they invested well in me and gave me a good basis to go and get a graduate role within another company,
3 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
3 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

Although Disney do not offer a graduate scheme, within the office it is very apparent that previous interns have come back and got junior roles here and often are sponsored to take on additional qualifications (such as their accounting qualifications). Disney is very invested in the people and know the importance of having employees that know how the business works so this obviously can put you higher above people who haven't worked here - managers are also very keen to give you recommendations. My vice-president was clear in saying I'd be welcome back should I choose to,
4 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

Yes, there are so many interns at Disney so everyone becomes friendly and Facebook groups and events are set up.
4 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The cost of living and socialising was quite high being based in London but this was as expected. I managed to live very close to Hammersmith and still manage to afford a social life and save for travelling so it's definitely do-able!
2 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Hammersmith is full of pubs (like the most pubs per square mile in England or something like that...) including really nice pubs along the river. With the underground it's also so easy to get around London for whatever kind of nightlife you're after.
5 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Yes Disney had many Disney run events such as The Star Wars Celebration as well as sporting activities such as the triathlon team.
3 /5