I’ve never lived on my own before. I commute to Kent State, and I’ve always had the helping hand of my parents to guide me through everything. It was time for me to fly from the nest, though, and I decided the best way to start would be moving to Florida to work at Walt Disney World for a semester. Why not?
When I was a freshman, a fellow CCI student, Brett Parr, encouraged me to look into the Disney College Program. I researched the program and saw how successful its alumni are within the Fortune 500 company. The networking opportunities the website described sounded too amazing to pass up. After speaking to my advisor about it for months, planning out how I could still graduate on time, saving my scholarships, and passing two separate interviews, I was accepted into the program and moved to Florida in January.
I work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom five days a week as a character attendant. As an attendant, I help characters take photos and sign autographs with guests at dining and meet and greet locations. Since I arrived, I have been able to work with characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and more.
Another day of my week is spent in a four-hour Corporate Communications class. I am gaining more in-class experience preparing and executing promotional events as a part of my final project. I’m so excited to host a mock Comic Con panel for DreamWorks Animation! Initially, I was worried that the class might be too tough for me, as I heard it was the most challenging class the Disney College Program offered. Thankfully, my Kent State public relations courses couldn’t have prepared me better. I know heaps more than my classmates on subjects such as writing a press release, developing social media posts and creating a PR plan using objectives, strategies, and tactics.
The program also offers an Alumni Speaker series where Disney Imagineers and officials offer tips for success in different areas of the company. I am attending a marketing and social media panel this month, and I can’t wait to hear what the communication specialists have to say.
I’m officially halfway through my program, and I know I’m going to miss the people I’ve met and the fun times I’ve had. I can’t wait to go back to Kent, however, so I can share these experiences with my classmates and friends.
For more information about the Disney College Program, visit http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/.
Follow Meghan on Twitter @Meghan_Caprez.