Simon Wagstaff, industrial placement at Disney Interactive

Simon Wagstaff

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

The Walt Disney Company, a multifaceted company operating in the media, live entertainment, theme park, retail and digital segments. Their mission is to develop and deliver unforgettable experiences and create compelling and immersive entertainment experiences that delight and engage children and families in the UK, Ireland and around the world.

What is your role within the company?

Creative Intern - working as part of the Disney Interactive EMEA creative team. 

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

The role is very diverse and requires a wide range of differing design related skills and approaches. Typically my day will be spent creating promotional graphics and sustaining content for the website across the 23 markets we operate within. This is mostly short deadline projects because of the fast-paced environment of the digital world. A lot of the work is Photoshop/Illustrator based in terms of graphic production and illustration, although much of my time is also spent on research, ideation and creative thinking for new branding, online games, user experience flows and co-play printable activities.

What are you enjoying the most and are you involved in any interesting projects? 

One of the most enjoyable part of my role is working alongside the different Disney Interactive teams, collaborating with producers, analytics, research, channel and so forth to deliver exciting new content. And another would be working within our small team on art direction, ideation and rebranding projects. As mentioned previously, a lot of the content I produce is short deadline and involves supporting my design lead and senior designer by creating assets for much larger design projects, such as the games portal refresh or to sustain the Disney.xx website. One particular sustain project I love working on is illustrating new content for Jakes World, an online immersive world where the child can create and customize an avatar and their room. I work with such a vast array of Disney IP that it makes each day new and exciting.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

To gain those important first steps into the design industry where experience is so important. I wanted to gain more tailored skills in order to platform my career on graduating, as well as experience working for an international corporate company where there are a people from various specialities and backgrounds.

What are you hoping to get out of this experience? 

An insight into design industry and to help recognise more specifically where I want to align myself as a designer. Being from the north, I wanted to experience life as a working professional in London, gain contacts in the art world and immerse myself in both professional and social culture.

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

If you're persistent enough and persevere in applying for everything, somebody somewhere is looking for you and when you know it's right it'll happen for you. Also I'd say don't fixate yourself on or put your whole heart into just one thing or dismiss other opportunities, options are always good! It's been an absolutely amazing experience at Disney so I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about it to do it! I feel in a much better place to begin my final year having taken the year in industry.