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Anna Gardiner is currently studying on the BSc Business Economics programme. Here she discusses some of her experiences whilst doing a year-long placement at The Walt Disney Company and a summer internship at Goldman Sachs.

Where did you do your placement year and what were you responsible for?

“I did a year placement at The Walt Disney Company where I worked in the Mobile and Console Games Finance Team. I played a key role in the creation of the Annual Operating Plan, forecasting models and closing each financial quarter. I also rebuilt financial models, compiled data and presented it for use by managers and the Vice President of finance across EMEA.

 

Did you develop any new skills during your placement?

"My role involved advanced use of Microsoft Excel including VLOOKUP, SUMIFS AND GETPIVOTDATA. I was present during the restructuring of Disney after the acquisition of FOX which left me as the longest-serving member of the team. I used SAP to extract and reconcile data, hosted a year 10 work experience student for a week and collaborated across various teams. It was a huge learning experience for me.”

 

What kind of placement support did you receive from the Department of Economics?

"They were great. They checked over my CV and taught me how to write a successful application. I also had regular emails from them during the placement and was visited at the Disney office. "

 

Tell us more about your summer internship?

“Goldman Sachs are known to do an extensive sift of applications pre-interview. I think that having experience from Disney gave my application an edge. I worked in the Controllers team for synthetic products (a trading strategy). There were a lot of one-on-one meetings that I had set up and many group teaching and insight sessions. At the same time, I worked on two individual projects. I personally managed a profit and loss (P&L) account for a specific trading strategy. I was in direct contact daily with the trading desk that is linked to that P&L account. My second project was the automation of a weekly report into a programme called Ignite Pad which I presented and handed over to my team. "

“Goldman Sachs are known to do an extensive sift of applications pre-interview. I think that having experience from Disney gave my application an edge. I worked in the Controllers team for synthetic products (a trading strategy). There were a lot of one-on-one meetings that I had set up and many group teaching and insight sessions. At the same time, I worked on two individual projects. I personally managed a profit and loss (P&L) account for a specific trading strategy. I was in direct contact daily with the trading desk that is linked to that P&L account. My second project was the automation of a weekly report into a programme called Ignite Pad which I presented and handed over to my team. "

 

What do you have to say about your overall experience?

“I find myself much more comfortable in a work environment and confident in my abilities. I'm not afraid to ask questions and put myself out there for opportunities anymore. I gained extensive knowledge of Microsoft Excel and a detailed insight into finance both within mobile and console games and investment banking."

 

Have you been offered a graduate role by your placement providers?

"The summer internship at Goldman Sachs is treated as one long interview. If they feel like you fit in at the firm and see you adding value to the team, they offer you a position. I have been offered a graduate role but I have very little information about what team I will be in. I'm hoping I go back to the team I did the placement in!"

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