I thought taking a break from student life and entering the world of work for the first time was going to be a big enough change, but The Walt Disney Company had other plans in mind. I’m Janhvi, an International Business Management student, and I’m going to discuss my placement experience at the House of Mouse!
Intern Network & Support
One of the great things about a placement at Disney is the strong network of interns, which make up 10% of the employees in the Hammersmith Office. Knowing there are 200+ people in it with you makes you realise the big impact that we as interns have on the business. We handle real responsibilities that make a difference to the way things are run across the region, and we are integral to the teams we work with.
Aside from the support of fellow Interns, the Company has many resource groups that all employees can get involved in – for example, Women at Disney; ‘T.R.U.S.T’, a Mental Health awareness group; VoluntEARS. During International Women’s Week, Women at Disney held a networking screening of Little Women and we had an opportunity to discuss matters close to us in the realm of Women’s representation and rights.
Fantasy Becoming Reality
Working in the Physical Home Entertainment department, I gained a deeper understanding of retail and e-commerce, and how our legendary titles fit into the online and physical space. In particular, one of my first tasks in the job was to set up Avengers: Endgame, the biggest title ever, for pre-order across specialist websites, such as Amazon and HMV. That same week, I held an exclusive screening of Toy Story 4 for our retail clients in our office cinema. It’s definitely easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities, and you have to remind yourself of the real impact you have – bringing Entertainment into people’s homes.
One of the memorable projects I got stuck into is the ‘Disney Princess Collection’ launch in October. Alongside my team, I devised a plan for the social media, influencer and marketing campaign to springboard the product in the first few weeks of launch. This had amazing results and was really cool to see the hard work pay off.
This was a big year for the Company, with the acquisition of 20th Century Fox (20CF) being implemented across the region. Having real consequences for the company, we were challenged to search for efficiencies across our systems while remaining sensitive to the reality of the situation for employees of 20CF. It showed me the realities of a restructure, and what it means to go through changes together as a team. Not to mention the library of amazing content we get to work with that has extended across franchises and channels – National Geographic, The Simpsons and Avatar, to name a few.
Another unforgettable event is the launch of Disney+. The streaming platform gained 50 million+ subscribers worldwide by May, and was launched across selected countries including the UK during the Covid-19 lockdown period. To be part of the Company at a time where Entertainment history is being made to such a large extent is unfathomable.
The Bigger Picture
Now that my time at Disney is coming to an end and I face the reality of going back to being a student, the challenge now is to take this knowledge and experience and use it to add structure to my student life. This is an experience I will talk about with future employers and colleagues, and will no doubt stand me in a great position for the rest of my career. The people I have had the pleasure of working alongside, their passion and commitment to the industry, have encouraged me to potentially consider pursuing a career in Entertainment.