Ashish Sridhar: Industrial Workforce Management Intern at Disney
Give me a little background about yourself?
I was originally born and raised in Arizona, but go to school at Georgia Institute of Technology and I am studying Industrial Engineering. GIT is very serious about tech and their co-op programs, you get three rotations in a company, and these companies give you a strong chance of getting a job offer. I personally think this is too good of an opportunity to pass up.
I chose Industrial Engineering because it’s relatively broad leaving me with a lot of options. I also didn’t have interest in other types of engineering, Industrial seemed to be the most well rounded. Industrial Engineers work in all different areas of the market; it gives me option to explore all sorts of opportunities.
How did you come about your internship?
I applied online for the professional internship as an Industrial Engineering Management Intern. The interview process was two phone calls; one was a security check and the other was 45-minute behavioral interview. They actually took quite long to get back to me, I only heard back about a month later. The internship was statistics based, which was tailored to my resume because a lot of the work I did in school was statistics and regression analysis.
What was your daily jobs/tasks like?
The job was similar to what a consultant would do; I would work with the parks and resorts, and figure out ways to increase their profit with food and beverages. If they felt they weren’t reaching maximum profit, they could reach out to the industrial engineering department. Then my team would give me a task; for example I would go onsite to that restaurant and basically help them find better ways to increase profit. It’s all about efficiency; I was trying to find ways to improve their process. I would make a proposal on how the restaurant could do better, and then give them recommendations on how to reduce those inefficiencies in the long run.
What was the company culture like?
The Disney culture was great, and the industrial engineering team was small with only 40 people, but everyone was very laid back. We would have movie nights, go to baseball games, and have different team building activities. This internship allowed me to see Disney from a different point of view. The view was deciding what you want to do for the customers and how would you execute that behind the scenes. The hardest part was figuring out what you can and can’t do at different times. I can’t really speak on behalf of the company as a whole, but from what I could tell everyone is super passionate about what they do and really believe in the company.
Where do you think this takes you in the future?
It showed me what working world was really like; when I came in to the internship I wasn’t mature enough to work in an environment like that. After this experience I feel developed both personally and professionally. Another plus was that I got to learn how to work with people from all backgrounds. Without this opportunity, I would be coming out of college with no internship experience and would only see things from one point of view.
What advice would you give other students seeking prestigious internships?
If you don’t have much on your resume, get involved around your school and start to network with people. Companies like to see people getting involved and trying different things on campus. The second thing is to apply to as many places as possible, to give yourself the best chance of getting your name picked out of the hat. I also recommend before the interview, you get to know the company and it’s culture. If you understand the principles and culture of the company you are interviewing for it will help you stand out from the other candidates.