Hi, I’m Matt, an Economics and Finance student here at York. I’m currently doing a Placement Year working as a Finance Intern at The Walt Disney Company.
Why did you decide to do a placement?
When looking at uni courses I decided I wanted to do some sort of internship or placement year. I also really liked the idea of experiencing the world of work before graduating and getting an idea of what to expect and what sort of industry I might enjoy a career in. So, this seemed like a great way to learn which aspects of a role I might enjoy and look for later in a grad role and which too avoid as well. I also liked the idea of learning some work environment skills and knowledge that isn’t necessarily learnt through a university degree.
How did you find the opportunity?
I was applying to different internships and found the internship advertised on the York Careers Gateway (now called Handshake).
What’s your typical day?
Typically, I’ll start by checking my emails and the company news. After that I’ll work my way through my weekly tasks and respond to any Adhoc requests. These Adhoc requests can be a whole variety of different tasks and are some of the things I enjoy most. They often challenge me and help to develop new skills which is always interesting.
Generally, my main tasks include financial reporting and analysis on Disney’s titles that have been released on DVD (or any other format). Such as tracking the progress of a promotion, re-forecasting how a newly released film will perform and tracking how Disney is performing on a total level in comparison to the market.
What did you get out of it?
So far 3 months in, I have learnt a lot about the professional environment. Such as effective communication in a work place, how to manage people’s expectations and how to use my time effectively to juggle lots of tasks at once. I’ve also learnt that you’re not expected to know everything and asking lots of questions is a good thing so that you learn as much as possible. Finally I’ve developed my excel skills and financial analysis skills which will hopefully help me in a future role.
How has it influenced your future career options?
I’ve gained a clearer idea of future career path after uni. I think I want to try to gain a financial qualification such as the ACA and hopefully do this at one of ‘The Big Four’. As for a specific career path, I think I will enjoy a role more focused on financial reporting and analysis rather than audit or accountancy. For example, I think that commercial/retail finance is a great alternative to corporate finance and banking for a more balanced lifestyle. I’ve also learnt that I value the workplace environment and that the people you work with are an important part of enjoying the role.