Disney inspires A&M students
Internship program provides work, plenty of play
Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 22:08
Students from across the country and the world traveled to the place “where dreams come true” this summer to study with Mickey and all the Disney characters through the Disney College Program.
“There are literally thousands of jobs for students,” said Cami Bryant, junior sports management major and campus representative for Texas A&M. “There are 14 departments, and students are anything from character performers to vacation planners.”
Bryant said she decided to participate after seeing a poster advertising the program.
“I’d always been a Disney fan,” Bryant said. “I knew I wanted to do something adventurous and a little bit crazy, so I just went for it.”
Molly Livingstone, Class of 2013, said she chose the program after seeing what the job market was like.
“I have been faced with the job market being as difficult as people say it is,” Livingstone said. “Getting to work for a Fortune 500 company like the Walt Disney Company seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Since joining the program and staying at the Columbia Harborhouse in the Magic Kingdom, Livingstone said she has found the experience rewarding.
“The experience definitely has taught me how to adapt, learn new skills and work with new people,” Livingstone said. “These are all valuable things that I’m going to use for the rest of my life.”
The program is not just for fans of Disney, Livingstone said, but also for anyone who desires a rewarding internship experience. It offers current undergraduate, graduating and graduate students the opportunity to work in positions across the parks.
“I recommend it to anyone really,” Livingstone said. “It really has taught me that we should be appreciative of detail. Everyone should have this experience because it teaches you the value of a dollar and humility.”
Amy McClintock, senior interdisciplinary studies major, said she heard about the internship in high school. Going in, she said she expected to work a lot, but also have fun.
“I did work a lot, between 40 and 50 hours a week,” McClintock said. “Pretty much any time I had off I went to the parks with my friends and roommates.”
Since going into the program as a safari driver in the Animal Kingdom, McClintock found she enjoyed the job enough to consider working with Disney after she graduates.
“It had more to do with education and teaching than I thought because I had to tell people about all of the animals,” McClintock said. “I learned a lot about animals and guest interaction, customer service and how Disney runs such a big operation.”
Calling the experience a “dream come true,” McClintock said prospective interns should know the program is hard work, but rewarding. It’s not all work and no play though, Bryant said, as the program offers more than insight and experience.
“As part of the college program, you get into all the Disney parks, all the Disney resorts for free,” Bryant said. “Disney basically becomes your playground.”