1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have definitely enjoyed my placement here at Disney. I've developed technical and soft skills throughout the year and I've gained experience of working for a blue chip company. Work can sometimes be challenging, but most of my work has been interesting. I have also been able to meet lots of genuinely nice people within my team and across the business.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The majority of work you complete is needed within the team so you should always feel that your work is valued. I was immediately made to feel at home within my team. You'll find most people in the company are very friendly and you'll probably make friends outside of your team (who aren't just other interns).
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
It depends on the team you work for. Upon arrival I had a one-week handover with the previous intern (standard procedure for most interns). I was able to ask my team for help when I needed it. There are also office wide workshops available throughout the year covering personal development etc.
I worked for two different managers during the year. They had had contrasting styles, ways of working and relationships with their colleagues/teammates. This was a great learning experience and will inform my leadership style in my future career.
You'll most likely find yourself with a very helpful manager who is happy to support you and wants you to have the best experience during your placement.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Within the reporting team the workload varies as per the reporting cycle. Early periods of the month can be very busy but this tends to gradually lessen as the month draws to a close. In my other work later on in the year the workload was more unpredictable as various projects are happening at the same time. You will always be able to find work to do and my team were always happy to get me involved in new things.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given responsibility for several tasks. From a fairly early stage, I was producing several reports (monitoring cost saving initiatives, contracts with vendors/suppliers etc.) with little to no assistance. These reports were published for the use of our international team, including our Vice President who is based in the US.
Later in my placement I got involved in more diverse work where I was producing analysis for senior members of the company, as well as communicating with suppliers and internal stakeholders.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My skillset has grown considerably throughout my placement which puts me in a much better position moving into a graduate scheme after University. My hard skills such as Microsoft Office proficiency, knowledge of the business and how it operates have developed substantially. Furthermore, I've developed key soft skills such as communication, time management, conflict management, diplomacy and problem solving.
Working within an office environment for a year will make work in third year a lot easier to cope with - working at Disney can be busy so going back to University will not be a problem.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was really good. People are willing to help and offer guidance as they want you to have a good experience. Pretty much everyone is super friendly and if you are genuine you'll end up talking to lots of people and make friends in different departments.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
This depends on your team and how long the role has existed for. As previously mentioned I had a week long handover from the previous intern. Personally this wasn't enough as the role had to be condensed into a short time frame. However, the week was still very useful and I picked up a lot of things. One of the best things about my placement was the ability to progress onto different and more varied work throughout the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
You can go to office wide workshops which cover topics such as personal development. leadership, EQ or just how to manage your emails more efficiently. Depending on your role you may have some mandatory training schemes you need to complete. On the whole these internships are learn on the job.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Unfortunately, there is no graduate scheme at The Walt Disney Company. Despite this, there will likely be opportunities to join Disney again in the future (if you are good in your chosen field) and I think I would be open to joining Disney again. For instance, one of my managers was an intern a few years ago and he re-joined the company after a few years working elsewhere.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are nearly 200 interns here so the social scene is very good. You'll meet plenty of interns during early welcome events and interns tend to live with each other/play sports together. The interns also organise a winter ball which is great fun. If you want to make the most of the social aspect, living in London is the better option (if you can afford it/want to spend the extra money). It's harder to participate if you commute from home but you can still make it work; I commuted from home and I would again if I had the choice.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is notoriously expensive. Rent can rise towards to £200 mark (per week) and pints are £5-6 standard. Food can also be expensive but you are paying to live in a pretty cool place - most interns who live in London really enjoy it, despite the fact it costs so much.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are loads of places to go for work drinks. In the summer people tend to go to the river for drinks which is really good when the weather is nice. If you want to go clubbing you'll have to venture away from the office, but most office related social events will be in bars.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
You can get involved in VoluntEars which is Disney's volunteer programme. Through this you can get involved in a multitude of activities which can be very rewarding. It's also a good thing to put on your CV. Other things include social activities such as work drinks with your colleagues or other interns.