Recently landing a full-time analyst position in Finance, former Professional Intern Jesse is an example of the opportunities that can be opened within Disney through the Disney Theme Parks & Resorts Professional Internship program.
Jesse did his Finance Professional Internship from January to June, and was asked to stay on full-time when his program was completed. During his internship, in Marketing Finance, Jesse learned that working for Disney is unlike a Finance position anywhere else.
“I really like the product. With finance, it’s mostly just about numbers, but Disney gives you the opportunity to work with a pretty unique product,” Jesse said.
In his Marketing Finance role, Jesse worked with his team to manage the budget for marketing teams within the company and properly allocate the funds to different disciplines and partners Disney works with, which he enjoyed because of the uniqueness of Finance in a marketing sense.
“Marketing is just so much more subjective,” Jesse said, explaining that he refreshed and maintained budget reports mostly for the Theme Parks in his role.
Though intimidating at first, Jesse said he enjoyed the hands-on work and the opportunity to impact real-world projects, including his favorite project of making a ticket barter model.
“We give a radio station tickets for commercial time, so the radio station benefits and we do as well,” Jesse said. “I built a model to show the value of return we get from this relationship of doing business with a radio station.”
During his internship, Jesse said most of his responsibility was project-based work, including a four to five month long individual project that all Finance interns work on as well as a two to three month group project with other Finance interns.
During this case-study project, a group of four to five interns from different departments work together to best apply the financial skills and knowledge they acquire during their program.
“You’re given a trial sentence of a failing restaurants performance and you have to work together to find things to improve on. At the end of the project, you present this to all your leaders and managers,” Jesse said.
Jesse said the group project is challenging, but a good refresher of your own knowledge and how to partner with others.
“You do these things a million times in classes but it’s so different when it’s actually real-world,” he said.
Now, as a full-time analyst, Jesse works more with Resorts in the Lodging Line of Business Finance, evaluating anything considered “in-room” at Disney Resorts such as bath amenities, wireless internet etc.
To be a great cast member, and secure a part in the Disney family, Jesse said it is as simple as being a good people person to set yourself apart.
“You don’t necessarily need to know the answer; you need to know the people who can help you find the answer. You have to be curious and willing to learn,” Jesse said. “You’ll be amazed at how far you can get by just being friendly.”
Jesse said he would recommend doing a Finance Professional Internship to anyone pursuing a degree in this area for the invaluable experience of working on impactful project-based work, which can be hard to find in a Finance area.
“Working as a Finance Professional Intern really changes you; you grow up fast,” Jesse said. “You’re dealing with real performance reports for a large company. And having Disney on your resume and the power of the Disney brand will do a lot for you.”