I worked for my dream company and had an incredible team to work with. I had the opportunity to work with the biggest brands in the industry for my year at Disney as well as having huge responsibilities that I did not expect to be given. I was really treated like part of the furniture and felt like I was a permanent employee at TWDC. I had the chance to use my creative skills, organisational skills and Excel skills as well as develop them and also build on my aptitude to work in which my line manager had a massive part to play in.
Extremely valued. All interns took part in team meetings and had every chance to contribute to discussion and decision-making. I had the chance to work many different departments in the company as well as arrange 1-on-1 meetings with senior managers and directors to get a better understanding of how each department work differently. Every manager there were always willing to help and develop my skills. And I was always invited to team gatherings and social outings.
I was given fantastic support by my line manager and all other managers in the department. I would have weekly catch up meetings with my line manager to discuss how I am getting on and to receive constructive feedback in which I could work on to make me a better employee. Even during the lockdown and we had to work from home, I still felt as though I was not far away from reaching a member of the team.
Due to my role and department as well as the home entertainment industry, some days may be extremely busy if there was a new movie release and some days would be slow if all work was up to date. At that point I would have to use my initiative and be proactive to find tasks for myself in turn would make a slow day much busier. And usually on a daily basis a third party or a manager from another department would give me ad hoc, which would always keep me busy.
During my placement, I had an massive amount of responsibility. This ranged from solely managing our merchandising budget to creating and handling A+ content and brand stores on Amazon. When comparing notes with friends who were doing placements at other companies, I realised how much more responsibility I had in comparison. However, most decisions I made I would of course have to run them by my line manager. As Amazon was Disney's largest retailer, therefore I had a massive responsibility of managing sales and marketing for Disney on Amazon.
The skills I learnt and developed at Disney will be with me for life and I will definitely be able to build on them during my career. Working for Disney has been my biggest stepping stone so far. It has really helped in my final year of university as the majority of my assessment is based on my placement year. As I had a great amount of exposure to the company and many responsibilities, it will definitely help me achieve my goal of succeeding at university.
It was an open plan office which made conversing with others very easy. It was only when lockdown happened that we realised how easy it was at the office to discuss something about work without having to call anyone. The office was very well lit and definitely helped keep spirits high. It also seemed like everybody who worked there were handpicked as everybody were very friendly and approachable. It was a very fast paced work environment as well, as there was a lot of movement between meeting rooms around the building. You felt that it was a busy place and work was taken very seriously.
It was set up extremely well. The previous intern would have a week's handover with you and leave you with a substantial amount of handover notes that you would use for the entire year. From day 1 to the end, everything was done like clockwork. Registration and passport submission was handled immediately and ID cards were created immediately. My work responsibilities were already confirmed and sometimes changed during the year which was very exciting as it is quite difficult for there to be boring work at Disney.
Disney had quarterly set ups of development training and seminars. A lot of the training available was aimed at interns, so there was a massive amount to learn. We would be provided with workbooks and information that we could to help us in our careers. These were all paid for by the company. There were also online training sessions to gain a better understanding on how Disney work as a company as well as their values and culture.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
Disney do not provide graduate schemes but having a successful internship at the company and maintaining contact with your team can definitely help keep one foot in the door. Many interns have returned to work at Disney fairly soon after graduating in junior roles. The department I worked in will most likely have no new roles opened, only vacancies. Therefore it may be easier to look at working in a different department in the company whilst keeping an eye on the department I worked in.
Yes there was. It was more likely you'd only get to know the people on your floor. However, there were always Disney intern events planned and a lot of departments working together. There are 200 interns at the company, so it was not difficult to make friends. Also, almost all of my colleagues were very sociable and would plan outings after work on Fridays. However, the most important thing was to remain professional at work and with fellow interns.
As the office was based in Hammersmith, it was fairly expensive to live in. Luckily I am from London therefore, I could just commute and I saved a lot during my year. Cost of socialising was also very expensive as most nice and local places to go were in Hammersmith or Central London. However, working at Disney meant you could get discounts at most restaurants and pubs in Hammersmith. You would also be reimbursed for any travel made to and from work events.
The nightlife was great, with numerous pubs around at every price range. There were also many clubs in and around Central London, however very expensive. The bars in Hammersmith and Chiswick were very nice too and no more than a 15 minute walk, train or bus. Pubs were always open and there were happy hours where pints would be around £3 each. Most clubs would have events on with big artists or DJs performing at them which is something you don't really experience on the suburbs of London.
Yes, there were multiple leisure centres and sports centres in which you could get a membership. There was a trampoline park in Park Royal which is only 4 stops from Hammersmith and that would be great fun to go with the other interns. There was well established also rock climbing places that you could go to and pay a very cheap pay as you go amount. There was also Westfield shopping centre where there was really cool crazy golf. Also the company building is right opposite the Hammersmith Apollo where there would be shows on almost every week.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
16th November 2020