Why You Should Move to the Walt Disney World Resort for a Semester

Hi everyone! I am excited to now once again have free time to write for Castle Party now that (unfortunately) my program has come to an end. I still am in complete shock and am in denial that it is over. I hope to write often as it will help me cope with missing Disney. Thankfully, I have been offered to go seasonal as a Character Attendant, so Disney has not seen the last of me just yet!

My plan still holds to hopefully secure a Professional Internship in Human Resources after graduation, but for now I will be heading back to school to finish up and will be returning over breaks and part of summer to be a blueberry again! I am looking forward to this next chapter in my life and get even closer to my professional career with Disney.

Disney College Program

In today’s world, it’s about real world experiences. During interviews, companies want to see your resume. They want to know where you’ve interned and what you gained from that experience. They care more about that than the classes you take at your university. Having Disney on your resume for one looks incredible in itself. Disney is one of the largest companies in the world, and as soon as a company sees you interned at Disney, your resume will move to the top of that pile.

Almost daily, I have guests, family, and friends ask me “Well what does working in a theme park have to do with your degree? It is not a real internship. Disney is not reality.” I hope this post brings you just that explanation. I have learned more about the real world, and Human Resources, than any textbook or past internship I’ve had has ever taught me.

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You will meet and interact with guests and coworkers from all around the world, and even pick up some of their languages.

Disney College Program

Everyone comes from a different background and heritage, and in the world today it is something that must be recognized. Disney hires employees and welcomes guests regardless of ethnicity. Therefore, daily I was faced with challenges such as language barriers and cultural differences. I was taught to think quickly on my feet to overcome those, and make sure the guests still felt welcomed and accommodated for, even if I had to communicate through gestures.

I also was able to strengthen my Spanish skills just by hearing it and trying to communicate back based off what I heard, and what I learned through elementary and high school. Being able to think outside the box when faced with barriers like this, accept people from all around the world, and be open to learning about different cultures is highly recognized in companies.

Networking

Disney College Program Halloween

This is the most important word in the real world today. It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know most of the time. I was able to set up meet-and-greets with people who work in HR and connect with them, so they know I am interested in working in corporate for the organization later. Many other friends of mine with other majors did the same for their field as well.

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The professional resources provided

Disney College Program

If you live in housing, the Disney Education team provides exceptional opportunities to help build yourself professionally. They are easy to find, but most people do not seek them out. Need help with your resume or LinkedIn? There are seminars for that many times throughout the semester. I got to attend a seminar about networking one day, and it was incredible and super useful! I wish I got the chance to attend more seminars, but definitely seek them out. All of the courses Disney offers are incredible as well. I was able to get credit for the Human Resource Management course I took, but even if I weren’t able to, the class would have still been worth taking as it taught me a lot about how Disney runs their HR department.

The opportunity for personal growth

Disney College Program character attendant

I have grown more than I ever have in my life this semester. It was the most physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting semester of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I came out stronger, and a harder worker. I grew up professionally and became a more outgoing and social person. I learned to not settle for less than my dreams.

To learn how a real, large company runs

Disney College Program holidays

I got to see how large the Walt Disney Company truly is. I was amazed to learn that there is always someone working on the clock for Disney, even over night the third shift comes in to clean when I am leaving. Millions of people mesh together to make sure every day runs as smoothly as possible and create the most magic. I learned how to act and show up looking professional on time. I learned that I need to get enough sleep to get to work on time, and the repercussions if I don’t. I learned that everyone is vital to the organization, and sometimes if one person doesn’t show up it can create many problems. These lessons will carry through to any organization I may be with in the future.

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Lastly, to make friends that last a lifetime and to cry all the tears in your body out when it’s time to say goodbye

Disney College Program

Manual labor bonds people. You may be closer to your Disney College Program friends than you are to some other friends. They just don’t get it. Disney friends were there for the early shifts at 6:30 AM drinking caffeine nonstop and the late night shifts off at 2 AM eating Wendy’s with you and sharing guest stories. They will be there for you anytime, just a facetime away. They will be in your wedding. They will be there for every Disney reunion and trip in the future. And they always will be bonded with you through the power of Disney magic.

So family, friends, guests who have questioned me, if this didn’t convince you that this was an educational experience unlike any other, I don’t know what will. Many people say Disney isn’t reality, but it is. Nothing is ever perfect there. They never have a perfect day. We work our hardest to make it as perfect as possible, but we have our flaws. I am so thankful for this opportunity, it is one I will never stop discussing or ever forget. Thank you Disney College Program, for giving me the opportunity to follow my dreams. I cannot wait to see where my future with Disney goes from here.

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