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Sadie is studying BSc (Hons) Games Software Engineering and has been on placement with Disney for the past year. She is just about to return to study for her final year. Here she talks about her experiences on placement and how it’s helped her to develop skills that she can put to use whilst at BU and in future employment.

Hi I’m Sadie and I just concluded my placement with the Walt Disney Company on their EMEA Games team, about to return to university to finish my degree in Games Software Engineering.

I came across my Disney placement on their website, but saw that they were also on the BU Career Hub. Once I submitted my CV, I had a phone interview with one of the Game Producers, followed by an online assessment day with the producer, the intern I was to be replacing and my future line manager. The final stage of the interview process was a video interview with my future line manager and his manager. Altogether, the interview process was simple and smooth, as well as only taking a month to complete!

I started my placement in June 2021 during the covid pandemic, where we were still WFH. My main roles within the team included managing the upcoming video game slates for the entire company (including Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century), reviewing upcoming assets, localising assets, bug fixing our HTML5 games using Javascript and being in charge of level design for one of the companies upcoming HTML5 games.

I learnt many skills during my placement such as using Photoshop to create promotional marketing assets for games, as well as in-game assets. I also learnt how to use the game editor, Tiled 2D in order to create our HTML5 game that I was designing levels for. As well as the technical skills that I improved upon, I did have the chance to improve upon my presentation skills by leading a presentation on our upcoming HTML5 slate to our Director of Hardlines in EMEA (our big boss).

My placement year was a mix of WFH and eventually returning to the office in March 2022, where we were faced with tube strikes that disrupted everyone’s journeys into the office. This was a challenge for me as I was getting stressed over the journey and struggled to concentrate for the rest of the day. However, Disney were very welcoming and understanding of the issues that we faced throughout the year. However, once we did return to the office we did get to participate in a lot of organised events such as character meet and greets as well as film screenings and even seeing a preview of the latest Disney Theatre Show Frozen!

One of my favourite parts of my placement was helping run a ‘play day’ on the release of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Our team organised this day so that the other London office staff could come to relax and play some of the latest Lego game.

Overall, this placement was a fun and interesting experience, helping me influence what pathway of the games industry I want to go into, as I got to try my hand at a bit of everything. I am hoping to go down the Level Design route of games development in the near future.

I would recommend all second years to consider doing a placement, or at least applying as I felt that the interview processes helped me gain in confidence. Not only will it look good on your CV, but it would also give you the option to put more games on your portfolio!

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