Darren Jones

Darren Jones

Executive Director, Client Engagement


The Walt Disney Company

Burbank, CA USA


Have a passion for learning daily.

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Moved from a small desert town to Fullerton, CA to attend Cal State Fullerton. Struggled to decide on my degree and switched it three times.
Graduated in the 1991 recession and my first job paid poorly and I absolutely hated it. Fortunately, after 9 months, I found a much better job.
Just as I was preparing to start my MBA in CA, my girlfriend (now my wife) got admitted to a PhD program in Michigan, so I walked away from everything here and moved to the Midwest.
While in MI, I worked during the day and earned my MBA at night. At my job, I ran the finances for a tech project. When the tech manager quit, I was asked to take over (with no technical background)
After earning her PhD, my wife accepted a post-doc position in Florida, so just as I was becoming successful in Michigan, I had to move!
After five years, we settled back in California, and I had several good consulting positions, but ultimately, I wanted to commit to one company. My dream company was Disney, and soon I got a job there
While at Disney, I have switched roles or been promoted 6 times. I always say 'yes' to any opportunity or challenge. I have been an executive for 4 years now.

Education

High School
Yucca Valley High School
Bachelor
Business Administration and Management, General
California State University, Fullerton
Graduate
MBA
Wayne State University

Career

Executive Director, Client Engagement

I lead teams that align technology solutions and services across The Walt Disney Company

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Business
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

At this point, being in management, much of my day is spent maturing strategies, aligning to urgent priorities, developing staff, and adding value to the businesses around The Walt Disney Company. In a typical day, I am in 8 meetings, respond to a couple of hundred emails/messages, and engage in a dozen or say spontaneous hallway conversations to make rapid decisions.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

A passion for learning daily. I spend about an hour each week day advancing my skills and knowledge.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Dedicate 2 hours each week to networking. Use LinkedIn, the Titan Pro Network, attend campus career events, follow and engage leaders in your industry on social media.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Business Administration and Management, General
graduate
Graduate
MBA

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You don't have a formal background in technology, how can you hold a role as a technology executive?"

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student