At the end of July was the second annual Enterprise Professional Internship Networking Event. Recruiters for internships across the entire Disney Enterprise (Disney ABC Television Group, The Walt Disney Company – Corporate, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Interactive, ESPN, Disney Consumer Products, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Parks & Resorts Technology and The Walt Disney Studios) hosted a panel discussion for current Disney College Program (CP) and Disney Professional Internship (PI) participants.

During the panel, we were flooded with helpful information for expanding our careers at Disney. Here are 10 things I learned from the recruiters:

  1. Networking Emails. When writing a networking email or connecting on LinkedIn, have something to say. Use the opportunity to actually introduce yourself. Think of it as a written version of your 30-second elevator speech. Give the person a reason to write back.
  2. LinkedIn. Recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates for hard-to-fill positions and to stay in touch. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated with specific skills such as SAP and Excel. The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the higher you’ll be ranked in the search results. Also, remember to have a professional photo.
  3. Resumes. When you read a job description, highlight things that are mentioned twice and make sure they’re in your resume. Have the all of the required skills. Recruiters only have three seconds to flip through your resume the first time, so make it relevant and highlight your accomplishments. As one recruiter said, “If it’s not on your resume, I won’t assume you know it.”

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  4. Initial Interview. First-round interviews with the internship recruiters help weed out those who aren’t qualified. Though they may ask more general questions, you should know exactly what position you’re applying for and steer the conversation in the direction. Help them help you.
  5. Hiring Leaders. If you weren’t qualified, you wouldn’t make it to the second-round interview. At this point, you are the best of the best. Be confident in your abilities and don’t blow it by not preparing. Do your research on the company and the position. Feel confident that you can speak to the role.
  6. Mistakes. A few different recruiters talked about common mistakes candidates make during interviews. For example, if you’re applying for a job at Disney ABC Television Group, don’t tell your recruiter “I don’t watch TV.” Additionally, avoid “ums.” Instead, remember to pause and breathe. Finally, never talk down about your peers or fellow applicants.pi_recruiters3
  7. Following Up. Your interview does not end when you leave the room. Send your interviewer a thoughtful thank you note, and reference something from the interview. Also offer, “Please let me know if I can provide any information to make your decision easier.” This allows open communication and leaves a positive impression.
  8. In Your Role. Once you land a Disney Internship, don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Raise your hand to ask questions and raise your hand to volunteer for projects. Be an active participant in the workplace and you will go far.
  9. Mentors. Finding a mentor can be a great asset for the rest of your Disney career. A mentor doesn’t have to be someone you report to. Just let it happens organically. Look for a genuine connection. A mentor is someone who roots for your success and offers to do what they can to help you achieve your goals.
  10. Building Your Network. There are many tools you’ll have as a CP or PI that you need to use to build your network. Attend housing and networking events. Tell your recruiter what you want out of your Disney career and ask for their help. Set up meet and greets. And don’t forget about your university alumni network.

Disney Recruiters are full of truly valuable insight for landing Professional Internships and jobs. I’m really glad I got the opportunity to learn from them at the panel. From start to finish, they definitely provided the keys to success in starting a career at any segment of The Walt Disney Company.

author_jule
Jule, Global Recruitment Market, Undergraduate Associate