Designing digital assets for Disney websites across EMEA markets.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I've had a really valuable and enjoyable year - its been relevant and helpful for my course, with the right amount of work and responsibility, and with a great team. The department has been lovely, and I've definitely grown as a person and as a designer over the last year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Interns are treated as equal members of the team, similar to any junior position. As such, I felt valued and like a real part of the department, and was given work accordingly. Our team cared about how much work we were given and valued the work that carried out. Interns are accepted as integral parts of the department.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Bi-weekly one to ones with our manager were useful to feed back and give an overview of how our work was going. Our team also supported us in whatever tasks we were doing and were always there to answer any questions or provide guidance and help, as well as weekly team meetings to share what we're working on and get any advice.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Most weeks were a comfortable level of tasks, with enough to keep me occupied, and only a handful of weeks where I stressed over the amount or urgency of work. There were a few weeks where there wasn't much to do, but quieter periods were usually followed by busier ones.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
We had a similar amount of responsibility to a junior position, carrying out many of the same tasks as senior positions but leaning more towards the more menial or repetitive tasks. These were still quite important and still felt like an appropriate level of responsibility for an intern, even if they got a bit boring towards the end of the year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The role was definitely relevant to my course, and will be useful in my final year and invaluable in getting a job afterwards. The role wasn't as 'creative' as my course, but I learned a lot about professionalism, workflows and processes that have made me a much better designer going forwards.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office (or at least our department) was very chilled out and relaxed and generally had a positive atmosphere. Most people were lovely and great to interact with, and special events such as film screenings during work time also helped to bring some (sometimes much needed) excitement and vary the working day.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The company have been taking interns for many, many years, so they are used to the yearly routine of taking on new interns. Because of this, the role seemed well suited for an intern, however there wasn't much opportunity to monitor progress, and there could've been more organised training in the first few weeks.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There wasn't a lot of personal training. The mandatory training is mostly online courses about data protection, bribery laws etc, that isn't very relevant to the role and is just a legal obligation. However there was more scope for personal development in the form of talks and conferences that you could sign up for. I found these much more interesting.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There doesn't seem to be a lot of career progression within the company so I would be concerned that if I re-joined the company in a junior position, that I would be stuck at that level. However, I do really like the company and would definitely consider coming back further down the line.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are around 200 interns in the building so there is a great social scene. The company encourages this by creating a facebook group each year for the new interns. This also allows interns to find other people to live with and a lot of interns houseshare during their internship.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in the area is extortionate - we chose to live within walking distance of the office and our rent cost 3/5 of our monthly salaries (and this was a cheap flat). Combined with the high cost of socialising and other expenses, the intern salary was only just enough to live on (although the salary is going up for future interns).
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in the immediate area was pretty bad - it is mainly limited to very expensive pubs or Wetherspoons. However there are really great transport links (multiple tube lines and buses) so it is easy to travel out of London for cheaper drinks, or into London for clubs or better nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are loads of great groups within the company such as LGBT+, Women at Disney, VoluntEars etc, that interns can get involve with. They organise quite a lot of activities outside of work (as well as some during work time) that are really fun and beneficial to get involved in.