Published 01/19/16

David Giardino '09: Marketing magic in Walt Disney World

For as long as he can remember, David Giardino ’09 knew he wanted to work for the Walt Disney Co.  “Bryant helped me chart my courses to make sure I got there,” he says.

“I found that there were great professors at Bryant who really cared about their students’ success,” says Giardino, now a marketing strategy manager at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. “It was more than just whether you passed their class. They wanted to advance your career.”

Professor Michael A. Roberto, D.B.A., Trustee Professor of Management, was “an invaluable mentor. When I had a phone interview with Disney, it was terrifying, but he gave me tips on how I should direct the conversation. When I was preparing to live outside of Rhode Island for the first time, he taught me how I could build up a network in a place where I knew nobody.”

"There were great professors at Bryant who really cared about their students’ success."

During the spring semester of his junior year, Giardino participated in the Disney College Program, where he not only took marketing classes but also networked with leaders and worked as an attraction host at the Animal Kingdom.

“It was incredible to get on the front line for a few months,” Giardino says. “I saw how guests spend their time in the parks and how they move around the park, and I marketed myself to Disney representatives, which really helped me after graduation,” when he landed a job with Disney’s PR department.

In December, Giardino shared his experiences with students in the Bryant Marketing Association.

“What employers are looking for now is all of the other things that you’ve done outside of academics,” he told them. “There are so many clubs and opportunities on campus that you can get involved with that will really catch someone’s eye and show that you really have experience marketing something.

“It’s all about meeting people,” he says. “Sometimes your resume is just another piece of paper sitting on someone’s desk. It is critical to build relationships because they could pay off in the future.”