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Her Practically Perfect Career

Magic Kingdom Job is Dream Come True for UCM Alumna

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"It's a very interesting career because I've been exposed to so many different things," she says. "There are constant changes, but if you can go with the flow instead of strictly thinking A+B=C, then you'll be successful."

Masakayan knows a thing or two about success. Since she started working there, Disney Consumer Products has grown from a $10 billion company with 100 employees in 1994 to a $30 billion company with 1,000 employees in 2008.

Success often comes at a price. For Masakayan, it's a difficult work-life balance. Being promoted to vice president at age 37, she constantly strives for a positive balance. "I think that [balance] comes with professional maturity, and we all know you only get that through life and work experiences," she says.

To de-stress from hours of meetings and hundreds of emails each day, Masakayan walks her dog while her two sons (Jake, 13, and Michael, 10) ride their bikes and enjoy the California sun.

Simply put, every time people buy an item with a Disney tag, whether from the Disney store or a major U.S. retailer, Masakayan's team helped develop it.

One of the perks of being employed by Disney is the benefit of working with the best artists in the world. But creativity is a fickle thing, so Masakayan has adopted an uncommon approach to motivating her staff and stimulating fresh ideas. She developed the Culture of Innovation in 2005 to give employees a positive, creative environment that inspires the product development process.

"Once a quarter we have an artist enhancement trip, where we take everyone to a place that is fresh; where something relevant is happening," she says."Last year we went to San Francisco because it's at the forefront of the green movement. We actually went to a dump and saw them separating the trash from the recyclable materials. We also visited some completely green buildings and museums. Our goal is to inspire and invigorate them, and
hopefully something creative will come from the experience."

So how do Disney products make it from the drawing tables to the store shelves? When Disney is working on a movie - such as the upcoming Toy Story 3 - Masakayan's creative team meets with filmmakers, directors and producers to brainstorm.

"We get a copy of the script and see the sketches, then we sit down and brainstorm to get a feel for the movie," she says. "As the movie progresses, we get back with the directors and producers to see that we are all on the same page."

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