Kimberly Poniatowicz

Walt Disney World Resort
Senior Industrial Engineer


University of Michigan, BSE Industrial and Operations Engineering, 2012

Indiana University, MBA, 2020


When I started full-time with Disney, I first worked on a labor strategy team, ensuring that we have the right number of Cast Members, in the right place, at the right time, to meet our guests’ needs every day. I worked on labor strategy efforts with teams in California at Disneyland and with partners at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Working on projects with partners in different time zones and different countries was a great chance to build my communication skills.

Career Timeline


  • General Motors
  • Eli Lilly and Co.
  • Walt Disney Co.


  • Walt Disney Company
    • Labor Analyst, focusing on labor planning for parks and resorts expansions
    • Labor Project Planner, focusing on domestic and international labor projects
    • Industrial Engineer, supporting Merchandise and Entertainment
    • Senior Industrial Engineer, supporting Transportation
    • Manager, Industrial Engineering, supporting Resorts, Transportation, and Sports
    • Manager, Industrial Engineering, supporting Expedited Attractions Access, Security, Main Entrance, Guest Relations, Custodial

What excites you about your career?
It is an exciting environment to work in because there is always something new to learn and always new challenges that need industrial engineering skillsets.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M
I use skills every day that I learned from my U-M IOE classes, especially statistics, optimization, simulation, and data processing. We apply engineering skills to projects and work collaboratively with partners across the organization to inform business decisions.

Favorite Student Org
I was a member of the Michigan Marching Band and really enjoyed my time performing at football games. It also offered me leadership experience that I have been able to draw on in my career.

Advice to Students
Seek out internships and professional work experience while you are a student. An internship is a great way to gain experience and to make you a better candidate for a full-time position upon graduation. But it is also a great way to learn what type of work you like to do, what type of company you might want to work for, and what roles might be a good fit for you after graduation.
While in college I had a chance to work with several different companies on internships – General Motors, Eli Lilly, and Walt Disney World. These internships were a great way to see how my coursework applied to real work environments. Each internship also allowed me to explore a different type of work: manufacturing at GM, distribution warehousing at Eli Lilly, and a service-driven environment at Disney.