Carnegie Mellon University


July 19, 2018

Student Spotlight: A Summer at Disney

Even before he graduated from Boston University’s biomedical engineering program, Timothy Mon already had entrepreneurial dreams. “I realized that if I ever wanted to start my own company, it would be very difficult without knowing anything about how businesses operate,” he said.

He began working at the management consulting firm Accenture as a technology consultant. “It would give me the business acumen I needed to complement my engineering background,” he said. He worked with global Fortune 500 clients in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and health insurance, among others, advising them on business strategy and technical project management.

As a student enrolled in Carnegie Mellon’s dual MBA/Master of Software Engineering degree program, Mon sought an internship opportunity “at the intersection of business and technology.” The internship program in Disney’s Technology Management Rotation program was an optimal position, requiring multiple years of experience in a business role and a technical background.

Media and Entertainment Trek

As part of the MBA requirements of the MBA/MSE program, Mon needed to complete an internship in the summer between his first and second years at CMU. He joined his MBA classmates on the winter break trek hosted by the Tepper School Media & Entertainment Club in Los Angeles, which included a visit to Disney.

Disney hosts a leadership development program, the Technology Management Rotation, aimed at candidates with graduate degrees whose educational and professional experience includes both business and technology. “The program is exactly what I was looking for,” Mon said. “It develops business leaders who have technical expertise, people who can understand the big picture as well as the details of the technology the company is implementing.”

Mon applied for the internship opportunity by reaching out to Disney’s university recruiter directly. After reviewing his resume, the recruiter set up a series of interviews for Mon over the course of two weeks. Disney offered him the internship shortly after.

During the summer, Mon will be working with the Consumer Analytics and Data Science teams in both the Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division and the Disney Direct-To-Consumer and International division. The company is leveraging its vast user base across numerous mobile and web platforms to improve its marketing strategy and capabilities. “It’s a cross-functional role with exposure to both the business side as well as the technical side,” Mon said.

After the Internship

When Mon returns to Carnegie Mellon in the fall, his coursework will primarily be with the School of Computer Science’s Institute for Software Research to fulfill the requirements of his Master of Software Engineering degree. He will receive both his MBA and MSE in December 2019.

Upon graduation, Mon has the opportunity to return to the full-time Technology Management Rotation program at Disney. Associates in the program work on four different projects over the course of two years, after which they are generally placed into a long-term managerial position at Disney. “Rotations are possible in every part of the company. I’ve met associates who have worked on projects with Lucasfilm, ESPN, Disney Parks, ABC, Marvel and Movies Anywhere. Networking is a big part of where you get placed,” Mon said. “We meet with executives to explore where there is a match between our skills and interests and what the company needs at that point in time.”

However, Mon still sees starting a company in his future. “It’s definitely easier to start a venture when you know more about a particular industry,” he said. “It’s something that I intend on pursuing further along in my career.” He is paying close attention to trends in the entertainment industry, such as the explosive growth of streaming platforms.

“It’s hard to say where the opportunities are going to be in a few years since technology is changing every day,” Mon said. “I intend to operate where big business changes are enabled by disruptive technologies, where I can utilize my expertise to do something nobody else can do — that’s where I’m headed.”